Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Book Review: The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales

The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales
Release Date: 21st May 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Paperback 
Pages: 259
Rating: 4.0/5.0

This book was read as part of the 2013 ODY

Summary from Goodreads:
buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery"Meet the Bling Ring: six club-hopping LA teenagers accused of stealing more than $3 million in clothing and jewelry from the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom, Rachel Bilson and other young members of the Hollywood elite-allegedly the most audacious burglary gang in recent history.

Driven by celebrity worship, vanity, and the desire to look and dress like the rich and famous, the Bling Ring made headlines in 2009 for using readily available sources-like Google maps, Facebook and TMZ, to track the comings and goings of their targets. Seven teens were arrested for the crimes, and instantly became tabloid fodder. The world asked-how did the American obsession with celebrity get so out of hand? And why did a band of ostensibly privileged LA teens take such a risk?

Vanity Fair reporter Nancy Jo Sales found the answer: they did it because they could. And because it was just that easy.

Author of the acclaimed Vanity Fair story on the Bling Ring "The Suspect Wore Louboutins," Sales gained unprecedented access to the Hollywood thieves, and in the process uncovered a dark world of teenage arrogance, greed, obsession, and delusion. Now, for the first time in a full book length work, Sales details the Bling Ring crimes up close and in depth, and reveals the key players' stories in a shocking look at the seedy world of the real young Hollywood.

What with The Bling Ring movie being released this year, when I saw this little book on a book stand for only $10, I thought I'd give it a go. And this was indeed a good read. 

I don't read a lot of non-fiction, because most of the time I find that it bores me. But, thankfully, I didn't encounter this problem here. The topic of interest is just so interesting - a bunch of teenagers burgled the homes of some of the highest profile celebrities, and didn't get caught, all because they were obsessed by celebrity culture. It really was fascinating to read about the reasons why they did it - it wasn't because they were poor, or they were criminal masterminds who sold everything they stole. Quite the opposite actually - these were relatively well off teenagers who stole from these celebs because they wanted to look like them, be like them, live their life. It's really fascinating to read about how affected these kids were by celebrity culture. It wasn't enough for them to read about their fave celebs, or see them on the TV - they wanted to be them. 

Being non-fiction, I would only suggest picking this one up if the story surrounding The Bling Ring interests you. Me, being quite interested by celebrity and pop culture, found this one really interesting. And it makes me just a little more interested to see how well the movie pulls this version of the story off. 

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