Author: The Creator of Rich Kids of Instagram & Maya Sloan
Genre: Pop Culture, New Adult, Fiction
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: July 8, 2014
eBook: 336 pages
Stand alone or series: Standalone
How did I get this book: NetGalley
NOTE:I was provided with an e-ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Gallery Books for letting me read this.
Let’s start with a brief synopsis via Goodreads:
Based on the wildly popular blog “Rich Kids of Instagram,” a dishy and hilarious novel about the intersecting lives of the world’s most extravagant, unapologetically uber-rich teenagers.
The “Rich Kids of Instagram” are not your typical well-to-do brats. These “kids” drive Ferraris, fly to their weekend getaways in private jets, and post self-indulgent photos of themselves online as frequently—and as wantonly—as they blow wads of cash. Not to mention that they’re more involved in sex, drugs, and power plays than most people twice their age.
Drawing from the ten most frequent contributors to the popular blog of the same name—which receives an average of 850,000 unique visitors a month and has been featured on 20/20, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Forbes, The Atlantic, Buzzfeed, Gawker, and others—Rich Kids of Instagram revolves around a core group of spoiled young people, from a Southern Belle poultry-empire heiress to a media mogul’s driven daughter and an old-money rifle heir with a Mayflower legacy; to a nouveau riche outsider who is thrust into the members-only universe of the .1%, with scandalous results.
In a world that is smaller, more connected, and more competitive than ever, where nothing is off limits, some kids are just trying to make a buck—or ten thousand. Prepare to be wowed by this saucy, compulsively readable book about the hilarious display of extravagant wealth and the teenagers who have fallen into it.
What I thought:
So if you didn’t know, this book is based on the Tumblr, Rich Kids of Instagram. The tagline of the blog says, “They have more money than you and this is what they do.” Before I saw this book on NetGalley, I’d heard of the blog, but I had never visited. Why would I want to look at pictures from douchey teens bragging about their money? I wouldn’t. I’m not really sure why I requested this book on NetGalley. I suppose, for me, there’s a difference between being forced to look at their wealth and just reading about it, especially if it’s fiction.
I think I sat down to read this book expecting to absolutely hate it, and I did and didn’t. I had my ups and downs with this book. It’s told from the perspective of six “rich kids” who range from total psychotic bitches to strange, new age sorta-hippies. While the kids themselves got on my nerves more than once, Sloan has a knack for creating unique perspectives. I have had problems in the past with books that are told from different, first person perspectives that were indistinguishable, but I was able to tell which of Sloan’s characters were telling the story.
On the other hand, I think there were TOO many characters giving their perspective and backstories and talking about their craziness. I was okay with it when we were reading from Annalise’s (the daughter of a media mogul) and Cordelia’s (a Southern belle who takes Annalise’s dream right from under her nose) perspectives; they were strong woman fighting for what they wanted, even if it wasn’t always in the most respectable way (scratch that, it was never respectable). It was fun seeing things through Cordelia’s eyes, who was constantly upbeat and positive, and then seeing Cordelia through Annalise’s eyes; I actually saw Cordelia as the hillbilly that Annalise saw her as (again, Sloan is great at making perspectives distinguishable) and it made me laugh when Annalise said, “I mean, she hardly speaks English.” Though I liked the two of them, I seriously couldn’t stand Desy (a wannabe pop star who is basically bipolar) and I thought Christian (a foreign royal who wants to design jewelry) was completely unrelatable and boring, as well as a total idiot.
Another thing I didn’t like was that there wasn’t really any concept of time. In each chapter there are several sections; you’ll read a few paragraphs then there’ll be a divider and the next few paragraphs are usually a flashback. You don’t really know how long ago any of this happened, and it made it hard to understand the characters’ changes, the friendships made, and the life lessons learned. In addition to this, I thought the excessive drug and alcohol abuse was a little over-the-top. Of course, I’ve never partied with these people, so I don’t know for sure, but it was pushing the line of believability for me.
The bottom line:
Rich Kids of Instagram is a sometimes interesting, sometimes boring and annoying look into the lives of those who have WAY more money than me. It is a super quick read. I was able to completely distinguish between the SIX different perspectives, but I did prefer some to others and I thought there were a few too many. I’ve heard if you like Gossip Girl, you might like this book, but I’ve never read or watched that so I can’t be sure. I don’t think I’d really recommend this book.
Rating: 5 – Take it or leave it
Reading next: Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern