The Bling Ring by Nancy Jo Sales

You may recognize the title of this book, as The Bling Ring, starring Emma Watson (Hermione), was recently out in theaters.  This is the book that inspired the movie.  The Bling Ring is what the media named a group of seven people, mostly teens, who robbed the homes of “celebrities” such as Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, and Orlando Bloom. Their activities, which occurred October 2008 through August 2009, resulted in the theft of about $3 million in cash, clothes, and other material goods.

This is an important read because not only is this an intriguing book about a teenage burglary ring, it also provides a lot of insight into today’s obsession with fame and celebrity culture. According to Sales, a 2011 survey conducted by the ChildFund Alliance discovered that a majority of children in developing countries aspire toward professions that help others — becoming a doctor or a teacher —while those in developed nations desire jobs that will make them rich and famous — becoming a professional athlete, actor, singer or designer.  Nowadays, you can’t go online without reading the most intimate details about the rich and famous.  The Bling Ring crew was often able to know when to burgle a particular house based on logging onto TMZ or following twitter feeds.

While it was a fun and quick read, The Bling Ring really made me think about the world we live in today.   I enjoy reading US Weekly and about the salacious details of Lindsay Lohan’s latest arrest as much as the next person, but it is not something that consumes my life. What is it that made the Bling crew feel that they had the right to break into homes and steal millions in possessions?  Was it the draw of fame and fortune, or that they thought these people had so much that they wouldn’t even notice the items removed from their homes?  I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait for the DVD to be released.

Review by Maddie, CLP-Squirrel Hill

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