Cover Image: Smile and Look Pretty

Smile and Look Pretty

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Member Reviews

Four friends start a blog about their male-chauvanist bosses. There were layers to this, one girl even loved her boss, but was harassed by a co-worker; I appreciated that all the men were not pigs, some were good and lovable. I enjoyed this for the girl-power and the satisfying ending.
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Cate, Olivia, Max, and Lauren are all tired of their bosses. They are overworked, and way under respected, not to mention the sexual harassment some of them face. So they decide to start twentysomething, a blog that anonymously details the crap they deal with on a daily basis. Before they know it submissions are spilling in, and people are starting to wonder who is behind the now viral blog.

God I love a good smashing of the patriarchy! This book gave me every emotion I needed. Anger, hurt, trauma, and sweet sweet sweet mother freaking revenge. I absolutely love books about women finding their voice, sticking up for themselves and others, and working to take down those who deserve it. Gone are the days (well not fully but getting there) of male bosses getting away with whatever they want because they are in a position of power. If you too love to see the big men fall, this book is for you!
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Disclaimer: I was sent a free book and am voluntarily leaving this honest review.

This story was a face-paced, page-turning read for me.

The story is about four female friends who work in the world of personal assistants. As they work hard to climb the ladder they are subjected to many forms of harassment both verbal and sexual. They look at it as paying their dues to grab the golden ring of success.

However when they start seeing their male counterparts being promoted and rising up the ladder of successes they team up to shed light on the toxic work environment.

They begin writing a blog anonymously about all they are facing but when their blog goes viral and they become famous they run the risk of being found out.

What I loved about this story was that these women chose t to speak out. They gave a voice to all those who suffered in silence. It also made me think of my son who tells people when we meet them to be careful what they say as they may end up in my blog.

I thought the writer did a great job in shedding light on a situation that is all too familiar to many women in the corporate world. IT is sad to know these things still happen but by bringing them to light we can work towards stopping.

Overall I enjoyed this book and the characters. I found it to be a quick and interesting read.
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Calling all bosses, supervisors, and people who seem to have forgotten how workplace dynamics are supposed to work: Assistants are human too. 

"...we can't speak up. Instead, we're told to be invisible but look presentable. To blend in but wear more makeup. To shroud our faces but put on tighter pants. To be grateful to have a job but barely make minimum wage."

Smile and Look Pretty is the story of four twenty-something assistants trying to advance their careers while running personal errands for their bosses, completing degrading tasks, and navigating sexual harassment in the workplace. As frustration with their jobs (read: their bosses) grow, they start a blog for assistants to anonymously share their stories. But when it garners more attention than they initially intended, their lives become increasingly difficult to navigate and they are ultimately forced to make life-altering decisions. Was it worth it? Absolutely.

I love and can relate to all of the characters, though I admit, I had a difficult time keeping their stories straight. The messaging is powerful though...and who doesn't love a good girl power read? As someone who was told within the last year that their job was to "be a body in a building," I can totally relate to feeling underestimated and unvalued at work. Fiction or not, there is a lot of truth here and I hope it inspires real change.

"This is us killing the whisper network."
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While I'm no longer at this point in my life to relate to these expertly written characters, this was a great storyline with well developed characters.
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There's this question women of a certain age are asked when interviewed: "What advice would you give to your younger self?" After a thoughtful pause, the response is always a variation on the theme of confidence - in our bodies, in our self, in our abilities. Amanda Pellegrino's Smile and Look Pretty represents that pause - that review of the experiences and interactions that have shaped a life. The moments that made us stand up and say, "Things have got to change."

Centered around four 'twenty-something-year-old' assistants in Manhattan, each has a male boss whose antics require biohazard warning labels. Young and ambitious, the women know they need to pay their dues to move up in their respective industries, but is the torture and exploitation worth it? To combat toxic work environments, the group found a blog to tell their stories under labels of "The Bossy One" or "The Bitchy One"  or other ways women are called out by men and offer other women a place to share their own tales. But just anonymously talking about something doesn't change it. But it might cause a movement big enough to topple a few of the most toxic offenders. The story is engaging, the characters are different, but not distinct. It reads like a new adult story, a YA crossover, but it doesn't hit the depth of adult fiction. However, that's not the audience - it is for the ones who have yet to be asked for advice.
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If you liked The Assistants or The Whisper Network, you will love Smile and Look Pretty. This emotional book takes on power, abuse, and women in the workforce in a dramatic and substantial way.
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Smile and Look Pretty is the story of 4 best friends who are each in toxic work environments in their respective industries working as assistants hoping to get a break into their field.  I felt like I really got to know Cate, Lauren, Max and Olivia throughout the book.  They start up a website called Twentysomething where they become anonymous whistleblowers writing about their bad bosses.  Suddenly the website takes off and goes viral and everyone is wanting to know who The Bossy One, The Bitchy One, The Emotional One and The Aggressive one really are.  The website begins getting thousands of submissions of similar stories from women with bosses who abuse their power in some way.  
I think that the cover of this book is so amazing and I feel like its Cate on the cover with her makeup kit she's given when she's told to make herself "presentable" when she delivers coffee to her boss in the boardroom.  Smile and Look Pretty seems to be the perfect title for this book! I enjoyed it thoroughly and I feel like I'm going to miss Cate, Lauren, Olivia and Max.   Maybe an epilogue would be nice letting readers know what happens next for them.  I think this book would make an amazing Lifetime movie! 
Thank you so much Harlequin/:Park Row and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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These women are coming for you. #timesup

Cate, Lauren, Olivia, and Max are best friends who also work as assistants. They’re overworked, underpaid, and undervalued. They each have a terrible boss, and they’re getting very sick of the toxic behavior they have to put up with. 

When Cate is pushed too far, she has the brilliant idea to start an anonymous blog where they can discuss their experiences in the workplace…and how sleazy their bosses are. 

The blog quickly goes viral, and other anonymous women start submitting their stories. When the women get wind that someone is trying to find out their true identities, they are instantly worried about the ramifications of what they created…unless they can find a way to own their narrative and bring down the bad guys. 

This is a refreshing and timely drama, written expertly by debut author Amanda Pellegrino. The complex friendship between the four leads really shines, as does each of their workplace situations. While I enjoyed it from the start, I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure how much that enjoyment would last. Cate, Lauren, Olivia, and Max can seem a bit young and naive, and that was made clear when they would constantly check how many “views” the blog had, or when they occasionally bickered about mundane things. 

However, the last 25% was absolutely brilliant and unputdownable!! 

These four women are badasses, and the story really ramps up with so much empowerment, bravery, and well…girl power! It feels silly for me to say that, but I was literally rooting for these women and saying things like, “YES! Do it!” 

You don’t have to be an assistant or a woman to read this one…but you’ll probably enjoy it more if you’re not a complete scumbag. Highly recommended, and I’m thrilled to have ended my year of reading on a high note. 

Thank you to Park Row for a widget of the ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Expected Publication Date: 3/8/22.

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9 to 5 meets Devil Wears Prada, with intelligent women who aren't taking it anymore. I loved this book, it doesn't take itself too seriously and it really delivers.

Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy! It is my pleasure to write an honest review.
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Smile and Look Pretty is somewhat similar to The Devil Wears Prada, light and humorous, with interesting and eclectic characters and an an important storyline, but yet it’s not quite the same. The topics  sexism, discrimination, and inequality at the workplace firsthand, too many times for too long. A group of four young women finally decide they no longer want to continue to be treated the way they do so they start a movement to make themselves seen and heard and to put a stop to this inexcusable and barbaric behavior. Sexism, discrimination, and the whisper network at the workplace is getting old and you would think in today’s world it wouldn’t exist anymore, or at least not be as prevalent, but unfortunately it is. Women put up with these behaviors because they are afraid of not being believed, of being scorned, reprimanded, or even fired. This is why it took some time for the four friends to all reach the final breaking point, though some backpedaled and retreated a few times, but together they drew others in and made an important and successful impact. 

I loved reading this book not only because it flowed easily, but because the characters and topic were incredibly intriguing. I felt very emotional throughout the book; ranging from anger, sadness, and defeat to eagerness, excitement and triumph. This novel is empowering, important, and fantastic. I highly recommend it and hope to see it made into a movie!

“This is us killing the whisper network. This is us yelling to the world something that we know to be true.”
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Smile and Look Pretty is the story of four assistants, each with bosses that are varying degrees of mortifying. Think Horrible Bosses meets Me Too. They meet weekly to write down what terrible things they were subjected to in the last seven days, only to burn their thoughts quickly thereafter. 

Only one day they decide to flip the script and wonder, what if they didn’t burn the evidence? What if they anonymously posted it instead? Creating fitting monikers the Office version of the Spice Girls would envy like the Aggressive One, the Bossy One, the Bitchy One and the Emotional One, they post under the generic title of Twenty Somethings.

Initially they are content in airing their gripes anonymously. But as the blog begins to grow and more women come forward, the friends quickly realize remaining anonymous would dismantle all they’ve tried to push back against. But coming clean has its own set of challenges. Are these women ready for the fallout?

In many ways, Smile and Look Pretty is like the 9 to 5 of a new generation. Timely in its release, it’s almost too much so given all that’s being written about the topic. Although I could see this working as a tv show or film, I found it a little hard keeping all the women straight, never really spending enough time with any one of them to feel invested. That being said, it’s message, although fictional, is an important one. And if the news is any indication, it needs continued revisiting
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This was a quick, fun read! Lots of twenty-something drama that kept me intrigued throughout the whole book. It was a bit trite at times (throwing themes of sexual harassment in your face), and it didn't quite reach the "empowering" level for me. However, I did enjoy it for what it was.
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WOW this was gripping! Maybe it's because I've been an assistant in New York City and related so well to each of the characters and the absolute grind it can be depending on who your boss is, but I LOVED this book. I loved the line of women making a whisper network to reclaim their power.

I've been thinking a lot about how I would classify this book and part of me wants to say "horror" because of what they have to endure as assistants, but contemporary fiction is probably spot on. Thank you to the author for reminding me of some of my own nightmare stories from being an assistant. 😁

Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC copy. Opinions are my own.
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Yeeessssss! This was the chick lit/girl power story I didn't know that I needed. While I have never had to deal with harassments in the work place, and most of my bosses were good to me, I definitely could put myself in their place, feeling like I would never advance in my career, and just feeling like nothing I did would really matter. I wish there was something like the Shit List around IRL!
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I dont know quite how I feel about this book! Overall I liked it. A nice updated rewrite or homage to the movie 9 to 5. It was funny at some points but had a few draggy moments as well. Character I both loved and hated. A quick easy read at the end of the day, and Im happy to have gotten the chance to read it. Overall 4.25 stars!
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I loved the premise of this book and applaud the author for taking on a big and sensitive topic. However, I don't feel like the writing was fantastic and the "fight the patriarchy" theme became super heavy handed at times. I also wish that the main characters had been better developed as I struggled to distinguish them from one another and found their storylines blurring together. Overall it was a quick and enjoyable read - I just wished there was a little more depth!
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4 best friends are all “assistants” to their bosses and they have had “enough” of them treating them so bad. As I was reading, I wanted to toss my book across the room - these men made me so mad! This book was just ok for me. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this early release in exchange for my honest review. To be published March 2022.
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This is the story of four assistants who band together to create a blog to expound on the injustices of their workplaces and their bosses. Once the site is publicized, more and more people post about their own issues.
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I really enjoyed this book. It was a great break from my typical thriller reads. It was witty and funny. Had me laughing out loud at some points. 
I would recommend this to anyone who wants a lighter read that moves quickly.
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