on 8th July 2014
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.
They are the kids with more money than sense. Their toothbrushes cost more than your car and a regular night on the town costs more than you make in a year. They party all night in designer outfits at exclusive clubs and after driving their sports cars home they sleep in unbelievably high thread count sheets. They are Rich Kids of Instagram. Their world is fashionably select with membership only open to a privileged few. Todd Evergreen, an outsider now cyber billionaire, is new on the scene and his presence shakes up the lives of many of these privileged teens.
I’d not heard of the Rich Kids of Instagram tumblr before I got my hands on a copy of this book but after checking it out I thought it looked like a bit of fun. Photos of the young and wealthy enjoying their lives: pools full of Moet bottles, exotic and expensive cars, extravagant yachts and people with more Rolexs than they could possibly wear in a lifetime. From the blurb this book seemed like a lot of fun and a chance to get to see a fictionalized version of just what their lives might be like.
Unfortunately this book lacked the charm I was expecting. Rich Kids of Instagram is a more crude version of Gossip Girl without GG’s redeeming qualities. It’s deliberately vulgar with even the book’s classier characters being what I felt was unnecessarily coarse. It may have been an attempt to show how the characters are unapologetically themselves not censoring themselves for anyone but felt more dirty than anything else. The constant pop-culture references didn’t feel naturally inserted into the story and the copious drug use painted all the characters in a bad light (although the front cover of this book should have been an indication of that). I really wanted to like this book but by the time I finished it I realized I didn’t like any of the characters. For a book like this to work for me then there has to be a character who endears themselves to the reader. There was an attempt of this at the end but it was too little too late.
Part of the problem may be trying to fit too much into the novel. There are seven main characters each sharing their points of view over the course of the book. Each are connected to each other however some of the links (especially Christian Rixen to everyone else) were fairly tenuous and forced. I liked parts of their stories individually (like Annalise’s rivalry with Cordelia, MC and Desi’s music ambitions) but when paired with everything else which was going on, was a little disappointed in just how much we got to see regarding those storylines. There was also a lack of continuity throughout the book regarding personalities.
People who like Rich Kids of Instagram purely for the ostentatious and frivolous lifestyles it portrays might enjoy this book. There’s a chapter devoted to one character categorizing her possessions and telling everyone just how wealthy she is. There’s plenty of name dropping with regards to expensive brands and celebrities and also some behind the scenes access to lavish and exclusive parties. However if lifestyles of the drug fuelled, over sexed and vulgar teenagers isn’t your thing I would suggest you give Rich Kids of Instagram a miss.
Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia for the review copy