The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World by Nancy Jo Sales

The Bling Ring: How a Gang of Fame-Obsessed Teens Ripped Off Hollywood and Shocked the World

Synopsis: In time for the 2013 film The Bling Ring directed by Sofia Coppola and starring Emma Watson: an in-depth exposé of the exploits of the infamous Hollywood “Bling Ring”-a band of beautiful, privileged teenagers who were caught breaking into celebrity mansions and stealing millions of dollars’ worth of valuables

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. 

Release Date: May 21st, 2013
Number of pages: 288

My review: After watching the movie, The Bling Ring, directed by Sofia Coppola, I knew that I had to read the book and get more details on this fascinating story. There is something about this whole plot that is just surreal to me; as if, it really is a piece of fiction. But it’s not, it’s real.

The novel is completely different from the film which was good. While the film focused more on the surface of the story (spoiled kids from Southern California who go to celebrities homes to steal their stuff) the novel delves more into the background of the kids, what happened before, after, and during the burglaries, and a lot of statistics about kids in America and their fascination with celebrities and Hollywood. 

I liked every aspect of this novel. It comes across as a very long newspaper article, which it essentially is. Most of the novel focuses on Nick Prugo’s testimonies and confessions about the burglaries. Although, there are some components in which Nancy Jo Sales talks with the other kids who were apart of the burglaries. 

While most of the kids disgusted me, Nick Prugo actually was the only one who earned my sympathy. First, however, I feel I must state that in my own opinion, I feel that they all committed the burglaries. With that being said, I also think it was extremely disgusting what they did. Under no circumstances is it okay to go into another person’s home and take their possessions. It doesn’t matter how rich or famous they are. No one deserves to be trespassed upon. 

I could tell from the novel that Prugo felt sorry for what he did. He seemed to be a kid who was sucked into something he didn’t want to do in the first place. Yes, you could say that he didn’t have to do anything, but when you’re a kid in high school and are going through the anxiety issues that Prugo was going through and needed friends, then I understand why he confessed.

The novel also gave statistics and information about teens in this new age Hollywood and how we’re all apparently obsessed with celebrities and becoming famous. The novel also had this sort of feminist perspective. There were quite a few times when Sales would go off on a tangent about women and girls and how they are constantly being exploited by media and advertising. I loved this aspect of the novel, because it went more in-depth as to possibly why the teens in the Bling Ring committed their crimes, especially the girls. 

Overall, I was enthralled by the novel. It was fascinating to me not only what these Bling Ring kids did, but everything going along with their burglaries. I think the fact that I myself am sort of fascinated with celebrities too helped spike my interest in the story. Admittedly, the whole thing was also interesting to me too because all of this happened less than an hour away from where I live in California. As someone who grew up here I know what it’s like to feel close to Hollywood and feel like you know these celebrities. However, I’m not one to walk up to their homes and steal their things.

I listened to the audiobook for this book and it really helped me get through the story. I don’t know why but somehow it made it easier for me to understand and get through the novel because at times it can be quite dry. Just a word of warning. 

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