As model and actress Cara Delevingne announces she's written her first novel, _shift rounds up the top 5 best of the worst celebrity penned novels
1. Rebels: City of Indra by Kylie and Kendall Jenner
Best Worst Amazon Review: “Awful, cack, rubbish, tripe, garbage, insulting, embarrassing, boring, poor, illiterate and absurd”
There was much fanfare when news broke that the Kardashian’s newest, shiniest and perhaps most profitable sister duo, Kendall and Kylie, were writing a book. A heavy round of promotion began as the sisters readied themselves to light up the literary world with Rebels: City of Indra. Instead, it crashed and burned. On Amazon, the novel received highly entertaining reviews, some of the highlights being; “Shocking!!”; “Absolutely rubbish”; “The most offensive act of writing of history EVER…”, and, my personal favourite, “Aaaaarggghhh!”.
When it was revealed that the novel was in fact written almost entirely by a ghostwriter (confirmed by said ghostwriter) with just a basic outline provided by the sisters, everyone’s suspicions were affirmed. A sequel, Time of the Twins, was released late last year. Nobody, least of all Kendall and Kylie, appeared to notice.
2. A Shore Thing by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
Best Worst Amazon Review: “It was s***”
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi came to fame as a result of the hit reality TV show, Jersey Shore. As if having her every salacious moment captured by the MTV camera crews wasn’t enough, Snooki decided that a novel, very much based on her own life, would be her gift to the world, containing such gems as, “Gia danced around a little, shaking her peaches for show. She shook it hard. Too hard. In the middle of a shimmy, her stomach cramped. A fart slipped out. A loud one. A stinky one.”
Despite claiming to only ever having read two books her entire life, A Shore Thing appeared on The New York Times Bestseller list, and Snooki persisted with the story that she and she alone had written the book. Eventually she cracked and admitted receiving help from a co-writer. She has since released two other books which, thankfully, remain largely unread.
3. Girl Online by Zoe “Zoella” Sugg
Best Worst Amazon Review: “It was just a completely pathetic attempt at a book. The fact it has 4.5 stars tells me that humanity is truly doomed.”
When uber-popular YouTuber, Zoe Sugg, (Zoella to her legion of pre-teen fans) announced she was writing a book, pandemonium ensued. Few actual novels received the amount of media attention that Girl Online did, ahead of its 2014 release. Most of it, unfortunately for the genuinely well-meaning Sugg, was targeted for her blatant use of a ghost writer.
This was revealed by the publisher, sparking a massive backlash against Zoella, mainly from the 13-year old fans that worshipped her. It didn’t deter her however – three years later, Girl Online has two sequels. There is no doubt however, that the scandal damaged Sugg’s carefully built brand, and the book remains a point of contention amongst her once devoted admirers.
4. The Truth About Diamonds by Nicole Ritchie
Best Worst Amazon Review: “I only read 2 pages, what a waste”
By the time Nicole Richie came to release her debut novel, she was already a household name thanks to her dad, Lionel Richie, her celebrity BFF Paris Hilton, and their shared reality show, The Simple Life. The autobiographically inspired novel, The Truth About Diamonds, centres around Chloe, a girl propelled from rags to riches when adopted by music royalty at the age of seven.
Probably due to the fact it was released before the advent of social media, the book received minimal attention. However, whilst promoting the 2010 sequel, Priceless, Richie stated that no ghostwriter was involved, a statement later contradicted wholly by her publisher Judith Curr, who clarified that the majority of the novel was ghostwritten.
5. Dollhouse by Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian
Best Worst Amazon Review: “Not worth the paper it’s written on”
In what might be Kris Jenner’s biggest miscalculation concerning her daughters branding, the 2011 novel Dollhouse was released, purportedly penned by all three Kardashian sisters. Amazon describes it as a novel which “reveals the inner workings of a glamorous, high profile and complicated family which, at the center of their universe, is one with a huge heart and a lot of love.”
Readers weren’t quite so enthralled. A reviewer on GoodReaders called it Chick-lit, but “Not the good, Shopie [sic] Kinsella, kind of chick lit. More of the bad, horrible-written kind celebrity authors try to write. Think Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy series kind of chick lit.” Six years later, it remains unclear whether Kourtney, Kim and Khloé are actually aware of the novel’s existence.