The name of the game is revenge—no matter the cost—in this emotionally charged thriller reminiscent of The Wife Between Us and The Perfect Nanny.
Kerrie O’Malley, jobless and in an unfulfilling relationship, can isolate the singular moment in her life when things veered off course—the night she was irrevocably wronged by someone she looked up to. Eighteen years later, when Kerrie sees the very woman who destroyed her life on television, a fire ignites inside her. The stakes are high. The risks are perilous. But she’ll stop at nothing to achieve the retribution she deserves.
Jordana Pierson is a gilded New Yorker who appears to have it all: wealth, glamour, a successful and handsome husband, and a thriving wedding concierge business. Her record is spotless. Her business is flourishing. No one knows the truth about her and the dark shadows of her past.
No one, that is, except Kerrie.
Exploring just how far someone will go for vengeance, Pretty Revengeis a riveting, compulsively readable novel bursting with twists and turns and plenty of suspense.
|Publisher:||Simon & Schuster Audio|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 5.60(h) x 0.50(d)|
About the Author
Emily Liebert is the author of four novels and has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Ladies’ Home Journal, People, HuffPost, and many more. Emily lives with her husband and sons in Connecticut.
Erin Mallon is a television, film, and stage actress. She received a BFA in acting from Adelphi University.
Natalie Naudus is a Taiwanese American actor who started out as an opera singer, with a
Master of Music from the University of North Texas. She has a passion for stories and characters, and her language training has allowed her to develop a skill for accents and convincing foreign language dialogue. She excels at unique character voices and passionate storytelling. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two daughters.
Read an Excerpt
Not many people can isolate the singular moment in their life when things veered off course. When suddenly their existence—which may not have been perfect, but was at least reliable—abruptly swerved into oncoming traffic. My moment could have been the day my parents died. Or when I realized I’d never had a true friend.
But those aren’t the days I’m thinking of.
Believe me, I know what I did was wrong. Or, at a minimum, I know it was immoral. I mean, I lied to the police. Still, my intentions were honest. Really, they were.
In fact, I remember everything about that night—the way the streets were slick with milky fog. The way a steady breath of air whistled in my ears. The way the chill infested my body as I stopped in front of her house, with its sagging rain gutters and weedy lawn.
I knew the house well. I had a direct view of it from my second-floor bedroom, where I’d lived for nearly all of my twelve years. I’d watched the splintered front door dangle from a pair of corroded hinges and sway in the slightest breeze. I’d mourned the three cats that were buried under crooked gravestones in the strip of a front yard. And I’d spent hours imagining what was concealed in their decrepit shed, nailed shut by an X of reticent wooden planks.
I’d pitied the girl who lived there, with her silky red hair and tenacious blue eyes, but I’d also admired her. She was everything I wasn’t and everything I wished I could be.
The problem was that I was so foolishly desperate for a friend, so eager to soothe the sting of loneliness, that when she showed up on my doorstep, I let her in, no questions asked.
I just wanted someone to see me for a change. Is that so much to ask?
I guess so.
Because my actions that night changed our lives forever.
And not for the better.
Reading Group Guide
This reading group guide for Pretty Revenge includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your conversation. We hope that these ideas will enrich your dialogue and increase your enjoyment of the book.
The name of the game is revenge.
Kerrie O’Malley, jobless and in an unfulfilling relationship, can pinpoint the exact moment when her life veered off course—the ill-fated night she was wronged by her childhood role model. Eighteen years later, when Kerrie sees the woman who destroyed her life on television, she devises a plan. Kerrie knows the risks—but she’ll stop at nothing to achieve the retribution she deserves.
Jordana Pierson is a gilded New Yorker who appears to have it all: wealth, a successful and handsome husband, and a thriving wedding concierge business. Her record is spotless. Her business is flourishing. No one knows the truth about her and the dark shadows of her past.
No one, that is, except Kerrie.
Pretty Revenge is a riveting, compulsively readable novel that explores just how far someone will go for vengeance.
Topics and Questions for Discussion
1. Both Kerrie (Olivia) and Jordan (Jordana) assume new, invented identities to move on from their pasts. Discuss each woman’s reasoning for assuming a new identity and how these reasons are similar or different.
2. Early in the book, Kerrie shares something her Nana used to say: “Senseless revenge will whip its neck and snap you on the bottom” (p. 5). Discuss the different revenge plots in the novel. Do you think Kerrie’s reasons for revenge against Jordana are sensible? By the novel’s end, do you think she succeeds in her revenge?
3. As part of their work in the marriage concierge business, Jordana and Kerrie see their fair share of different relationships and arrangements. Describe what marriage and love look like in their industry. Of the couples and marriages represented, do any seem happy or healthy to you? Which ones? Why or why not?
4. Financial security is a major motive for Jordana, which is juxtaposed with her role in serving clients for whom money is no object. Discuss the different levels of wealth among the characters. Do you agree with Jordana’s determination for financial security? Why or why not?
5. Jordana says that “happiness isn’t always a choice.” Do you agree with this sentiment? Why or why not?
6. As a group, discuss what a marriage means to you. If you are married, what defines your relationship with your partner? Do you have an overbearing mother/mother-in-law like Caroline. When planning your wedding, did find yourself anxious over everything like Alexa? If you are not yet married, describe the relationship you hope to be in and what you value in a partner.
7. When Kerrie comes clean and admits her reasons for being in New York to Sara, the two devise a plan. Discuss Sara’s willingness to be involved and her desire to return to work. Can you relate to her trouble finding work in her early years of motherhood? Has anyone in your book group taken time off to build or care for their family? Consider the pros and cons of giving up work to become a stay-at-home parent and vice versa.
8. Further to the above, mothers and motherhood are represented in many forms in Pretty Revenge. As a group, compare and contrast the different family dynamics and relationships that exist. Is Caroline similar to Sara? Is Jordana’s mother similar to Caroline? Discuss how the characters view their parents or the act of parenting.
9. Kerrie’s past with Jordana is finally revealed in Chapter 26. Are you surprised by what happened between them? Do you think Jordana is responsible for Kerrie’s grandmother’s death? Why or why not?
10. Considering the dual nature of decisions and their impact, there are always two sides to every story and every memory. What do you think about Jordana’s decision to take the ring and money? Do you think Kerrie would have seen things differently if she were older, and if her grandmother had survived?
11. Why do you think Jordana’s mother is so insistent on having her reunite with her father? Do you think Jordana is right to want to avoid it? Are you surprised when Jordana and her mother reconnect in the final scene?
12. At the end of your discussion, consider Pretty Revenge in the context of other popular female-driven thrillers, like Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn and An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen.
Enhance Your Book Club
1. Consider reading the wedding announcements or Vows column in your local newspaper. Discuss as a group what you think of the weddings that have happened in your area. Are they as over-the-top as the receptions Jordana Pierson’s company creates?
2. Before your book club, read Alain de Botton’s opinion piece in the May 28, 2016, edition of The New York Times: “Why You Will Marry the Wrong Person” (www.nytimes.com/2016/05/29/opinion/sunday/why-you-will-marry-the-wrong-person.html). Discuss his views on marriage, and whether or not you agree with what he has to say. Would any of the characters in Pretty Revenge benefit from adapting to his point of view?
3. Consider making mood boards for your own wedding—or imaginary wedding, if you could do it over again—if you had the budget that Jordana’s clients have. Clip images from a magazine or create a Pinterest board and share as a group. Discuss the differences between the wedding of your dreams and the wedding of your reality. Would you do it the way Jordana’s clients could, if you had the chance? Why or why not?
4. Visit Emily Liebert’s website at www.emilyliebert.com to learn more about Emily and connect with her on social media.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The name of the game is revenge--no matter the cost. Maybe it's just the way my brain works anymore, after decades of reading twisty, psychological thrillers...but every time I turned a page in this novel, I found myself hoping something big would happen. Anything. Nothing ever did. So, my fellow readers, if you're looking for a fast-paced stunner...this isn't the book for you. However, if what you crave is a slow-burning, character driven story which begins and ends EXACTLY as you'd expect it to, you've found it. The writing is decent, the characters are well-developed, and the plot promises intrigue. I frantically kept turning pages to see how everything would play out...and was so disappointed by the anti-climatic, almost mundane, conclusion. I wanted more. More suspense, more drama, more depth, and most certainly, a more fiery finale. Pretty Revenge would rate mild on the pepper heat intensity scale. Having said that, with a few tweaks, I think this could be a very, very worthwhile read. Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for my advanced reader's copy. All opinions are my own.
Enjoyable read, a little mystery and a surprise ending. I enjoyed this book and recommend it
I enjoyed reading this ebook, it's not a story you should take as a serious physiological thriller. It has some fun character and I just went with it to see where things would come out. Whether a person would go to the lengths Olivia was willing to just for revenge, I'm not so sure. But it was a quick read and I liked it!
I’m sorry....I couldn’t wait for this read to be over. In my opinion, the characters are feckless and the plot insipid. Thank you Netgalley and Gallery Press for the opportunity to read and review this ARC.
Pretty Revenge is a suspenseful tale that explores just how far someone will go for retaliation and payback . It’s a suspenseful novel told from the alternating viewpoints of the two main characters, Kerrie and Jordana. I enjoyed this book. It captured my attention with its riveting and intriguing plot. I enjoyed the twists turns and the interesting and well developed characters.Thanks to NetGalley, the author and the publisher for the advance reader copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.
This one reads like a contemporary mixed with a little thriller. We have two main characters that take turns narrating the story. Jordonna has it all, the husband and a successful wedding planning business. Kerri, not so much. Kerri finds out that Jordonna is hiring at jumps at the chance to work for her to only to get the revenge she desires. I allowed the author a lot of grace in the believability of this plot. So many things just happened and lined up perfectly to allow Kerri to get her revenge with little, to no consequences. It all felt a little too predictable and wrapped up in a bow for me. However, this was a refreshing book and I really appreciated it for what it was. I would recommend this to anyone. Especially if they are new to the thriller genre and just wait to dip their toe in it.
How have I not heard of this lovely author before??? Now I am going to gobble up every book she has written! This novel literally sucked me in from the beginning as I love women/friendship/frenemies plot lines and this one has it all! As a twelve-year-old, Kerrie admired Jordan as she appeared to have it all--a nice house and adoring parents. So when the opportunity arose to help Jordan, she was there to be a friend...but something went horribly wrong. Fast-forward eighteen years later as Kerrie sees Jordan (now Jordana) on television as the famous Wedding Concierge sought out by celebrity couples, and she is determined to seek revenge on the woman she believes ruined her life. What's not to like about this plot? Of course both women are flawed, both frauds in their own ways, but somehow they are both lovable as their childhood/adolescent stories are slowly revealed and we see their concealed pain and their attempts to rise above their upbringing. Enough said. Just read this book and you won't be disappointed! Many surprises, no simple "happy endings" tied up in a neat little bow; it's just a heartwarming/heartbreaking novel that I loved! Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC!
Thank you to #NetGalley for this ARC of Pretty Revenge Emily Liebert provides a narrative of revenge and retribution, told from the alternating vantage points of her two main characters, Kerrie and Jordana. Liebert knowingly clouds the reader’s opinion of which of the two woman holds merit for their deceiving actions by providing a look into their troubled, entangled pasts. It is perhaps misleading and a stretch of genre to categorize this novel as a thriller. While the narrative does hold some aspects of mystery, the pace of the plot lacks that anticipatory feel one tends to seek from typical novels in this genre. Still a good read with an interesting story line. 4 stars.
3.5 stars I had a good time reading this one, but it's not the type of story you want to take too seriously. It has a bit of a soap opera like quality and it's best to just roll with it and not get caught up in whether or not a person really would go to extreme lengths just for revenge. The story opens with Kerrie O’Malley, currently unemployed and not that into her boyfriend, making the decision now is the time to finally get even with Jordana Pierson who wronged her so many years ago. So Kerrie does what any sane person would do and packs up and moves to New York City and begins working as Jordana's assistant. And of course Jordana doesn't recognize the person she hired at her wedding planning business is someone from her past because Kerrie is no longer a child, she dyed her hair and got a nose job. (Like I said, just go with it and trust me it's more believable than the current storyline on Days of Our Lives with Kristen just whipping on a mask and pretending to be Nicole and everyone buying it except poor Maggie who everyone thinks is drinking again). So will Kerrie finally get her revenge and utterly destroy everything Jordana has worked for and expose her lies to the rest of the world? The story certainly has some holes in it but it was fun, mindless entertainment which I especially like in the summertime as it's the type of book you are meant to relax with on a chaise lounge by the pool. I like how the story alternated between the perspectives of Kerrie and Jordana. The only slight criticism I have is when I finally learned just why Kerrie is so ticked off at Jordana, I was left feeling underwhelmed. Overall a decent book to keep you entertained for awhile. I won an advance copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
Revenge can be all consuming, and once Kerrie saw Jordana on the news, she decided to move to New York and take back what Jordana took from her all those years ago. Out of work and with some money from her grandmother, Kerrie, using her new name - Olivia, makes the move and lands an interview with Jordana who owns a wedding planner business that caters to the wealthy and important. Kerrie - the new Olivia - gets the job in a quick and easy interview. Was it too easy? Did Jordana really not know who Kerrie was? After Kerrie was successful at obtaining the job, the excitement wore off almost immediately, and she was worried she didn’t make the right decision. We follow both women as they play their roles and we wonder what had happened between them that made Olivia want to ruin Jordana. Learning about their pasts and their childhoods gave insight into what happened eighteen years ago and what made them who they were today. I actually liked both Jordana and Olivia even though they both were pretending to be someone they were not. I also liked the light story line and learning the ins and outs and stresses of a wedding-planning business for the rich and famous. It took a chapter or two to get me hooked, but PRETTY REVENGE was an enjoyable read despite what I thought was a sinister-sounding title and sinister-looking cover. I didn’t think it was going to be as tame as it was. This book actually was on the delightful side. If you are a fashionista, love New York, wonder how friendships go wrong, believe that you can be happy, and find characters you can love and hate at the same time, you won’t want to miss PRETTY REVENGE. 5/5 This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
inda' Book Obsession Reviews "Pretty Revenge" by Emily Liebert, July 2, 2019 Emily Liebert, Author of "Pretty Revenge" has written an intense, captivating, suspenseful, intriguing, edgy and thrilling novel. The Genres for this novel are Psychological Fiction, Suspense, Fiction and Women's Fiction. The timeline for this story spans 18 years. The author describes her characters as obsessive, vengeful, complex, dysfunctional and complicated. As a noun, "revenge ( Google definition) the action of infliction hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong suffered at their hands." As a verb, "inflict hurt or harm on someone for an injury or wrong done to (someone else)" Google definition I have heard that revenge has been referred to as payback, an eye for an eye, and retaliation. How far should one person go to get revenge? What motivations or goals should that person expect? Kerrie O'Malley has lost her job, and is living what she feels is a mundane life. She turns on the television and sees someone that she feels is responsible for her greatest losses and is determined to get her "just desserts" or revenge. Jordana Pierson is wealthy and seems very together with a successful Wedding Consultant Business. If you only knew what really is going on. This is an intense page-turning, riveting story with twists and turns, betrayals, secrets, and lies. I would highly recommend this edgy novel!