Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Rebels: City of Indra: The Story of Lex and Livia by Kendall Jenner

DNF @ p.138

Hey, did you know Kendall and Kylie Jenner wrote a book? Me either, until a couple years ago, when I was trawling a list of books called "Worst Books Ever" and happened upon this title, which was jostling for top spot with Justin Bieber's autobiography, Snooki's A SHORE THING, and Tyra Banks's MODELLAND.

I read weird celebrity books every time I hit a milestone on various social media channels, and I promised that when I hit 5,000 followers on Threads, I would read and review Kendall and Kylie Jenner's dystopian effort, REBELS: CITY OF INDRA. This book is interesting because I've never seen them promote it and it has not one, but two ghost writers (one of them was their creative director, and the other was a YA author they apparently hired for the effort).

The writing is actually not too bad, which I fully credit to the ghost writer, but the story feels empty and kind of soulless. It's set in this weird dystopian society where the rich live in these sky islands and the poor live on the ground. Lex is the poor one and Livia is the rich one, and this book is just so... bizarre?? Like, Lex is bullied for being an orphan, and for some reason, the ghost writers (or the authors???) decided that the term for getting booted out of the orphanage is called "bottoming out"? People also bully her for being a smelly orphan, which is so weird, because Tyra Banks also had this happen in her YA dystopian, too.

Livia is a rich society princess living in a pseudo Giver-via-French-Revolution society where she refers to people by their roles (Governess = Governess). She's about to debut, marry, and cohabitate, which is a big deal, but she's having second thoughts. Maybe there's more to life than being rich and really, really ridiculously good-looking?

I really tried to read this book but apart from the accidental hilarity, it really wasn't that interesting-- not even in a hate-read sort of way. Like, I was able to get through all of MODELLAND because even though it was an objectively bad book, it was creative and interesting, and you still could hear Tyra Banks's "voice" throughout the narrative. It felt like she'd lent a heavy-hand to it. Conversely, there's nothing of the Jenners in this book at all. It just feels like a very derivative and uninteresting attempt to cash in on the post-Hunger Games dystopian boom. Which is not very interesting or fun to read.

1 out of 5 stars

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