Thursday, January 23, 2014

Krystelle's Book Club- The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales

Remember when The Bling Ring burglaries were a big deal? Its been a few years now, almost a lifetime ago in today's attention deficit world. They were shocking- not only because it was celebrities that were the victims, but because teenagers (rich teenagers at that) were the culprits. In a time when people were grossly underestimating today's youth, they showed that they were smart enough to pull off something big. Too bad it wasn't something beneficial to society. 

I went into this book hoping to be thrown right into the story of the Bling Ring-ers. I remembered that only two really spoke out about it, the boy (Nick) and Alexis, the girl whose one season reality show with E! was centered on this. Instead, this book dragged its way into the story. The book itself was based on Nancy Jo's article for Vanity Fair titled "The Suspects Wore Louboutins", and I wondered if the dragging of the book had to do with her trying to stretch the content of her article to make it book length.  The book is broken down into three parts, with each part having chapters. Part One and half of Two are littered with historical facts and statistics that don't really have a place in the story (she also seems to think that America's inflated ego and the rise of such trash as the Kardashians was made possible by the crashing down of the Berlin Wall. Seriously?). It felt like reading a term paper where someone had just thrown in a bunch of junk to meet the word requirements their professor had set for the assignment. And she appears to be liberal, as she threw in some political jabs that were unnecessary (George W Bush is like Paris Hilton? Its his fault that the Bling Ring kids used the Internet to stalk celebs because of what his administration did? Um, no.). I try to leave my political affiliation out of my reviews, but I really hate when people throw theirs into their work for no reason other than they can. It really took all I had to keep reading through those beginning parts. It bored me.

The second half of Part Two though, and all of Three, finally focused on the case. It really got into the story, and that was interesting. The only two that really talked were Nick and Alexis (Diana, Rachel and Courtney were the other main players), and their stories were so different, you really had to wonder who was telling the truth. Or maybe neither one of them was. When Nancy Jo tried to talk to the other defendants, their lawyers wouldn't allow it, or would deny any comment made (mostly by Nick). Nick sold out his friends on the advice of his attorney (who turned out to be shady himself), Alexis tried to distance herself while still speaking out because she was on teevee (you can still see the season of Pretty Wild, her show, on Netflix. Its pretty funny, even though its not supposed to be.). You can see her story change several times in the book, which I thought was interesting. What was also interesting, was Nancy Jo recalling a night when she kept getting calls from Alexis's mom, but she didn't answer.  They turned out to be from Alexis,who kept leaving voicemails. She was saying the same thing over and over. I remember her doing that from the show. And Nancy Jo put in her book that that whole incident was in fact scripted for Pretty Wild, so she was glad she didn't answer! (The book also shows just how scripted Pretty Wild was. Its amazing. Its pretty much a sitcom with that much script.) 

For all the crap in the first parts of the book, I really enjoyed the last part. It even made me want to rent the movie (and I did, review tomorrow!) I can only half recommend this book though. If the first part of the book didn't exist, I could wholeheartedly recommend it. But it does, so I can't. If you want the abbreviated version though, you can always read the article :) 


Ms. Hilton by The Penfifteen Club
(since the Bling Ring Broke into her house five times)

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