Cover Image: Pretty as a Picture

Pretty as a Picture

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Member Reviews

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3044216902?book_show_action=false&from_review_page=1

Thank you to Viking Publishers for my ARC of this book.

Things I liked: The narrator- She is funny, endearing, and lovably awkward. I enjoyed her point of view and was rooting for her. Also, the podcast scripts interspersed between chapters, the two teen girls invested in the case were great! Main Characters 5/5
There were a lot of supporting characters that could have been explored more.

Things to note: This is not a thriller, but reads more like fiction mixed with a true crime podcast. The novel gives the reader behind the scenes look at a hollywood production turned investigation. Some parts went into great technical detail about cinematography, but they were not many.

Overall, it was a little too 'tame' for my taste (Yes, I do realize this is about a murder- the twists just didn't seem 'twisty' enough for me) and I was hoping for slightly more suspense and excitement in the second half of the book. Nonetheless, I would read another book by this author and will be sure to check out "Dear Daughter".
I would recommend for both adult and YA readers.
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I loved the author's first book, Dear Daughter, so I was super excited to see that she had a new one coming out. It was definitely worth the wait. The author manages to keep the things I loved about Dear Daughter -- the voice, the observations, the elements of celebrity -- while creating a completely different character in Marissa Dahl. You get the sense that the author knows this world and is giving us an inside glimpse of a movie set and a really interesting mystery with some great twists.
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"Pretty as a Picture" by Elizabeth Little is sure to be your next beach read! A fast-paced page-turner, this whodunit has an intriguing main character and a plot that moves quickly, yet still has plenty of twists and turns. The story takes place primarily on a movie location--a hotel that has seen better days--and every character, from the film editor to the hotel's proprietors, are caught up in a web of murder and mystery.

This novel is meant to be read quickly; there are side plots and characters that are not fully explored or resolved. The main character is obviously on the spectrum yet that is never directly addressed, which is an interesting move by the author. I'm not sure if this is setting up to be the first in a series; if so, the dangling story threads make sense as they would be the basis for other books. As it stands, the mystery is neatly solved by the end of the book, but the reader is left without a full resolution in terms of character backstory and development. Those issues aside, it kept my attention and is one I'd definitely recommend.
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Marissa Dahl is shy movie editor who needs a job - desperately. She's just moved out and taking a break from her  movie partner/best friend, and needs to be on her own for bit. That's the only reason she agrees to take on a mysterious movie project that only gets more mysterious once she takes the plane-car-boat to get to the isolated island where the movie is being filmed. She soon discovers the true crime movie is being filmed where the actual crime took place and is still unsolved. When accidents start happening and Marissa starts asking questions...things get dangerous and secrets start unravelling. Interspersed with the story are transcripts of a true crime podcast, which adds some fun to the story. Marissa is treated as an outcast as she has difficulty reading people, although she compensates for that in ways that make her a great movie editor. She's not always treated well by those around her, although a more endearing character would be hard to find. This is a fun read that takes a deep dive into movie making and a mystery that kept me guessing until the end. Take it on spring break with you...just not to an isolated island. Here's hoping we see more of Marissa and her adventures in the future!(Advanced copy read courtesy of Viking and NetGalley. Opinions are my own.)
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Thank you to Viking Publishers for my ARC of this book. I loved Dear Daughter so I was very excited to read Pretty As A Picture.

I loved the unique structure of this book with the integration of the podcast. It is perfect for anyone who loves true crime podcasts. The protagonist was quirky and unique. She seemed to be on the spectrum but that was never really explored, which was an interesting choice by the author.

This book had a lot of the components that I really enjoy - but unfortunately it did not hold my attention. The Hollywood ¨jargon"weighed the book down. Some of the descriptions of camera angles and ¨Video Village"and producerś responsibilities etc. felt superfluous and weighed the book down. The characters´ quirks and nuances were not fleshed out as much as I would have wanted.

I think this would make an enjoyable beach read for someone that has some background understanding of film making.
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Gave this one a try because the description sounded tailor made for me... it wasn’t unfortunately. Couldn’t get interested.
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"Pretty as a Picture" by Elizabeth Little is sure to be your next beach read! A fast-paced page-turner, this whodunit has an intriguing main character and a plot that moves quickly, yet still has plenty of twists and turns.  The story takes place primarily on a movie location--a hotel that has seen better days--and every character, from the film editor to the hotel's proprietors, are caught up in a web of murder and mystery.

This novel is meant to be read quickly; there are side plots and characters that are not fully explored or resolved.  The main character is obviously on the spectrum yet that is never directly addressed, which is an interesting move by the author.  I'm not sure if this is setting up to be the first in a series; if so, the dangling story threads make sense as they would be the basis for other books.  As it stands, the mystery is neatly solved by the end of the book, but the reader is left without a full resolution in terms of character backstory and development.  Those issues aside, it kept my attention and is one I'd definitely recommend.
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Unfortunately this book just failed to maintain my interest. While I did find some of the banter between characters funny, all in all I just found the plot super slow and anti-climactic
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Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review the E-arc copy of The Lying Room.
#TheLyingRoom
A thrilling, mystery that centers on a woman's fear of her affair being found out. Once she finds her lover murdered things spiral out of control and she scrambles to keep her life in tact. It is full of twists and lies. It will keep the pages turning.
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In some ways, Pretty as a Picture has been done a disservice by the way Little's first book, Dear Daughter, grabbed the reader so completely from word one. This one, by contrast, demands patience. Its main character is dogged by terrible anxiety and struggles badly in social situations; as a result she's hard to get to know and can be abrasive, to reader and characters alike. It's to Little's great credit that she trusts her writing enough that she's willing to push the reader away with her main character -- and, of course, her faith in her ability i well-placed. Once the reader beings to get a sense of Marissa and her habits and routines, it's easy to spend time with her, and the story can really take off. Pretty as a Picture is a wonderful, cynical look at a small group of people who should not be together, and how their wildly different agendas, confidences, and egos mix -- and disastrously don't mix. (TBH the best characters are the teen podcast hosts -- their interjections are flawlessly timed, and their voices are absolutely perfect.) Oh, and there's a dead person. Obviously.

Anyway. If nothing else, Pretty as a Picture confirms that Elizabeth Little is irritatingly talented, with a wonderful ear (eye? typing fingers?) for voices and relationships. Here's hoping there won't be six more years between books two and three!

[A month before publication date, the above review will replace the placeholder that is currently posted at the link below.]
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It’s a dream come true for film editor Marissa Dahl when she gets the chance to work with legendary director Tony Rees on his new movie. Marissa travels to the small island off Delaware where the movie is being shot, expecting to keep her head down, work hard and get some cred for her hard work. But things are off big time on set, half of the crew has been fired and the other half hate Rees and the project. It’s not long before Marissa meets the group of teens who are working to solve the real life murder mystery the movie is based on. She can’t help but get caught up in their energy, even as she wonders what happened to the editor she’s replacing. Taut, engrossing and impossible to put down
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