Danielle Martin – Author

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Book Club Picks, reading

Best Book Club Pick #2: Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

If your virtual book club is looking for an au courant selection that just zings with cinematic flair, Janelle Brown’s Pretty Things should be at the top of your list.

Within the first 50 pages or so of this gem, I found myself thinking: This should be a movie. (Side note: I once interned in the book-to-film department at Paramount Pictures, so it’s automatic for me to consider the cinematic potential of a book.)

I was pleased to see that Hollywood has in fact ceased upon the cinematic potential of Pretty Things with Nicole Kidman attached to the future project.

Your book club can thus enjoy this book on multiple levels – as you all discuss the book itself, and as you all indulge in flights of fancy, imagining how the film might eventually unfold.

Why Pretty Things is a Best Book Club Pick

Pretty Things is a page-turner that’s ripe with social and psychological commentary. The characters are well-drawn out and memorable, and it would be easy for your book club to spend time dissecting the “ins and outs” of Nina and Vanessa’s life choices.

It’s also a perfect book for readers who are ready to think a little bit deeper about our social media culture. What does social media provide for us, and what can happen when it spirals out of control?

What Will Your Book Club Talk About?

Let’s start with the setting. We’re all stuck in our homes right now, and it’s fun to think about gigantic homes with a lot of built-in history. “Stonehaven” – the behemoth Lake Tahoe mansion with a past – is an intriguing backdrop to the action, with its endless rooms covered in dusty antiques. The oversized home becomes especially interesting to examine when it’s contrasted with the glossy dreams and lifestyle choices of its current owner, a social media star who’s never satisfied.

Nina, the grifter who re-visits Stonehaven with a “plan” in mind, is a complex woman who will likely draw out some complex reactions from your book club companions. What do you think of Nina? What might she have done to escape her nebulous situation? Was she doomed to become the woman that she became?

Finally, your Pretty Things book club can enjoy a robust discussion of the extremely twisty character arcs in this novel. Without giving away any spoilers, y’all might be pretty shocked by the truth about one of the secondary characters.

This book is glossy – this book is visual – and your book club will absolutely eat it up.


Looking for a future selection for your book club? You can get ready now and pre-order my novel Glimmer As You Can. It’s twisty women’s fiction that captures the heartbeat of the early 60’s, and it’s sure to get your book club abuzz!

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