Cover Image: Smile and Look Pretty

Smile and Look Pretty

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Member Reviews

Cate, Lauren, Olivia, and Max are assistants for people in the entertainment industry. They are working and hoping and dreaming of moving up to their dream jobs. But how much do they have to endure? When they create an anonymous sight for others to share their own horror stories of bad bosses and toxic workplaces it takes off. But what will happen to their careers if their bosses find out?
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I'm a corporate gal and I love reading books that involve gossip, juicy work stories and lots of drama. Reading the synopsis made me think of the Apple TV show, The Morning Show. I had high hopes because of this. Smile and Look Pretty tackles the subjects of pay gap, discrimination, sexual harassments, being taken advantage of, friendship, courage, morality and so much more. This could have been a very dry read but it was far from it. I felt empowered while reading this and it made me think about my own life. The ladies in this book smile, look pretty and kick some feminist booty.
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Four best friends who are sick and tired of the way that they are treated. They are passed over for jobs that they earned and deserved, they are talked to and treated inappropriately, they are asked to do demeaning tasks and they are often put into dangerous situations.

They decide to fight back by starting an anonymous blog where they are publicly air their grievances, and it takes off with a power that they couldn’t have expected.

I liked the girl power aspect of this story. The fact that the blog wasn’t just some place for them to complain but actually ended up giving a voice too many women through submissions. They were able to rights some wrongs and bring to light abuses that were happening all around them.

Having experienced many of the issues and situations that they encounter in this book it was kind of nice to “damn the man” vicariously with them. These women are completely bad ass and I loved it.
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If The Devil Wears Prada and Bridget Jones Diary had a baby it would be this book. I’m loving this book, the dialogue and most of the characters. Four friends in entry level positions in New York City work as assistants in various industries. All four women want to climb the ladder within their respective fields and have a successful career. 

Cate is an assistant to the head of a huge book publisher.  He  requires her to do the administrative as well as personal jobs for him.  Keep his calender but also get cupcakes to his son's school for a party, pick up dry cleaning, open his home in Vermont for his vacation.

Max is an assistant at a news station with goals to be journalist.  She is sexually harrassed by the lead news anchor and does all the running for coffee and other minor tasks.  Her male counterpart Charlie is never subjected to demeaning comments or asked to run out on errands.

Lauren dreams of being a script writer one day.  She is an assistant to Pete and gets harrassed by one of the writers on the show. Go get the coffee and keep your mouth shut.  Until she has enough of that treatment.

Olivia is an actor's assistant and has some of the same demeaning tasks as her friends.  Go to a smelly unairconditioned warehouse to search for a sofa he wants delivered;  try and take notes and keep his calendar while he is doing yoga naked. The B list actor Nate always dangles the idea of passing on a screen test of hers to someone who can help.

The ladies meet Thursdays to drink margaritas and unburden themselves to one another, the only people they can trust.  Then they take the napkins with the written out grievences and burn them at the end of the night.  One night they decide to start a website called Twentysomething and write out their stories anonymously.  Thanks to the NDA (non disclosure agreements) they must use names like The Bossy One, The Emotional One, etc.  Then it takes off.  More women are telling their stories and the website becomes a sensation. People start to wonder, who are these women behind Twentysomething as it becomes newsworthy.

This book has sexual references and the occasional F bomb.  This doesn't bother me but I know it does for some. The stories are believable as are the friendships and struggles.  This is a story about women being impowered by one another and getting tired of being passed over for promotion and treated differently than their male counterparts.

I will definitely be looking for more by Amanda Pelligrino  in the future.

Publication date December 21, 2021 by Harlequin.  Genre: General Fiction Adult and Women's Fiction.

Thank you to Netgalley for the advanced reader's copy of this book.  I was not compensated for the review, all opinions are mine.
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I mean doesn't the title just scream that this will be a crazy book?! I knew it from the beginning that I would like this  storyline. Tons of drama and suspense, which is right up my alley! This was also my first read from Amanda Pellegrino and I cannot wait to read more!
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I was instantly intrigued by this book, because like many other employees in the workforce, I have survived life as an underpaid assistant and intern, and I was so curious to see how this book would tackle such a complicated and seldomly spoken about topic. And this author did so seamlessly and authentically in a way that still told a compelling story. This book was described as a "9 to 5" for the Instagram generation, which instantly intrigued me because I understand where they're coming from all too well.

Told via multiple perspectives, you get an in=depth look at how each girl got to this decision to chronicle their Me Too-era work experiences via the blog in a poignant and authentic way. After a slow start, the book ramps up into a compelling, relatable, and unputdownable read that's chock full of captivating language.
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This book should have been called 'Twentysomething', after the blog in the book. That being said, I thought this book was a little too much like the plot of The Morning Show on AppleTV. In the #metoo movement, everyone is looking to have a voice, and while I did enjoy this book, I didn't love it. I finished it, and somewhat enjoyed it and would recommend to someone who hasn't seen The Morning Show.
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As a female millennial, I was absolutely jumping with excitement when I was approved to review this one. The sexism in our world, especially in the workplace, is still rampant and it feels good to finally have a voice in literature. 

The book was all-in-all a great read. Seeing how many people came together thanks to this one blog was amazing and uplifting. I did feel like the middle was way too slow. I was a bit disappointed when I found myself struggling to pick up the book for awhile. Once you get past that slump, though, it's back to being that inspirational read we all need right now. 

Thank you to NetGalley, publisher and author for an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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NYC 9 to 5 girl gang fight the patriarchy vibes all aboard 

Alas a tale of young women climbing the ladder in corporate America and all the discrimination they must endure. Sound familiar my overworked and underpaid ladies? 

Four best friends, all assistants to big names in the entertainment industry, start an anonymous blog called ‘TwentySomething’ to detail experiences of misdemeanor and degrading tasks at work. Smile and Look Pretty follows the blog’s unexpected take off, consequences of speaking up and speaking out against such ‘Bosses’. 

This book is a good way to get an introduction to unfortunate subject material such as sexual harassment, etc in a fiction read. That sentence sounds wrong, but what these girls experience happens everyday and this author found a way to show that fast paced, humorous, and grotesquely exemplary of reality. The writing is not fantastic, but the novel accurately depicts harassment and abuse in the workplace and does so with an addicting plot. 

This book would be SO good if the characters had more development. Yes, this is the rare chance I am asking for a longer book. The four main characters are very similar and easily mixed, more individuality and development of the women would have made stronger emotional connections to the readers. At the end, it felt a little like a perfect ribbon tied up all loose ends, but in a satisfying way that I don’t think many readers would mind. 

Give this one a go, it made me anxious, sometimes the writing fell short like a draft, but the sensitive content matter is well done for what it is and in this type of book I think that’s the most important aspect. It is inclusive and respectable and of course disturbing.
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This book captured my attention from the very beginning. I do not think there is a woman alive who cannot relate to at least one of the girls or their situations in this story. It captured the complicated emotions of the movement very well. This is a very timely story and unfortunately it has been timely for a while and probably will continue to be relevant for quite some time. This is a must read.
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Ahhh this book set me up with so much rage. When I wasn’t reading, I just blared The Man by Taylor Swift on repeat. The fact that ANY WOMAN who reads this will just nod and say “yep I know that’s right” is all too infuriating…like I’m surprised the blog is not real, because the stories certainly are. I didn’t really enjoy how they had to deal with that all going viral but I guess that’s just how it is.
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Absolutely adored this title. It gave me Sex and the City vibes and was a great hold-over until I can tune-in again. Unfortunately, it's all too true, but I loved how the women finally had enough and took action. It was laugh-out-loud and I can't wait to recommend it to my readers!
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Wow! I could not put this book down. Four overworked and under-appreciated assistants realize it's time for them to make a change and risk everything in the process. With powerful bosses who have either demeaned, embarrassed, or sexually harassed them (or all), these four friends create a safe (public) space for other assistants to speak their truth anonymously. This book does an excellent job with character development and including a variety of different abuses from a superior. I would highly recommend this book.
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Every woman can relate to Smile and Look Pretty! Amanda Pellegrino does a great job of capturing the vibe of the moment.
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An absolutely breathtaking, fast paced, and heart wrenchingly true to life debut novel, Smile and Look Pretty is the story of four twenty something assistants just trying to get their foot in the door in their respective careers. Only instead of actual on the job training, they're subjected to being more like under paid servants. Promises of getting ahead are mever met for them,  yet they watch their male peers move up the corporate ladder daily.  They're also all experiencing various forms of sexual harassment. From male bosses who constantly walk around naked to some who actually physically touch them, they've finally had it. And they're going to start a revolution to help not only themselves, but every single woman who's ever been made to feel uncomfortable by a man who's in power over her. 

I sped through this delicious novel as fast as I could! The girls stories are truly disgusting, yet something women have to experience every single day. This is a feminist manifesto. A call to each of us to stand tall and stand together. Scream as loud as we can. Fight for what we deserve. And at the end of the day, hopefully you'll have friends there to pick you up and love you through it. Five stars isn't enough for this masterpiece of a read. 


Thank you to NetGalley, Amanda Pellegrino, and Harlequin Trade Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed “Smile and Look Pretty” by Amanda Pellegrino. In the age of #MeToo, this perspective told from four assistants suffering under bosses who either are clueless or all together harassing, I enjoyed the narrative of fighting back against how corporations operate with white men at the top. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC.
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When four friends, all working as assistants in media/entertainment industries, decide to turn their weekly debriefing sessions about the terrible behavior of their bosses into an anonymous blog, it goes viral and threatens to reveal their identities. Over the course of the book the relationships between the friends are tested, and they have to decide whether or not to reveal their identifies and claim their voices, or continue to hide behind the impersonal pen names they've chosen (The Bossy One, The Aggressive One, etc).
I'll recommend to fans of The Nanny Diaries, The Devil Wears Prada, and Laura Hankin (A Special Place for Women, Happy and You Know It).
Thank you to Harlequin/ Park Row Books and Netgalley for providing a digital copy in exchange for review.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of Smile and Look Pretty by Amanda Pellegrino.

This is a very relevant, and unfortunately too relatable story of four women coming together to write an anonymous online expose about their horrific experiences at work.  From abusive hours, to abusive language, to violent behavior, through this anonymous blog, more and more women are empowered to come forward and tell their stories, hopefully bringing down some of the worse offenders.

I feel fortunate to live in the era of #metoo, where women are finally given a platform to expose the abuser that made them feel unsafe, either at home, at work, or just in public.  Obviously we have a long way to go, but it's a promising start, as long as we continue to work to believe women.

This is one such story, which takes the "whisper network" and gives it a real voice, causing perpetrators to shake in their boots, and hopefully change their ways.  It's well written and entertaining, even funny sometimes.  Well worth the read.
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Four best friends, all assistants, create an online blog for their profession to vent and show the world how they are treated. When it goes viral, they don’t know how long they can keep it anonymous.

Ooooo I was so excited to read this one! As an executive assistant, I eat up stories featuring them. I liked this one but at times I felt like there were too many women with too many similar experiences. I understand one of the goals was to show how they are treated as a profession in general, but I would have liked to see more variety in the main characters. They all kind of blurred together to me. I loved the submission stories and think they’d make great short stories in themselves. The female power and professional empowerment was awesome, but at times I was a little bored

“We know everything. That’s the danger of assistant life. It’s our job to know everything but pretend to know nothing.”

Smile And Look Pretty comes out 12/28.
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A well written and interesting  #metoo novel, with fresh and intriguing characters . I really liked how these four young women grew throughout the book.
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