Love 'em or hate 'em, you know who they are. Rich Kids of Instagram is a tumblr. that popped up two years ago filled with photos of teens unapologetically flaunting their extreme wealth. Photos of $40,000 shopping sprees, out of control yacht parties and champagne bubble baths are just a sampling of what you'll find. Now, in the first Instagram-to-book deal, a novel based on these photos will be coming out next week.
The creator of the tumblr. is anonymous, and he enlisted writer Maya Sloan - who ghostwrote Kendall and Kylie Jenner's new YA novel - to write the book, which centers around a Danish royal and his five friends. "The 10 most frequent contributors of the site served as a basic resource of information in the beginning," Sloan says. "The book is completely fiction, but I researched who these teens were, who was hanging out with who and what they were into." Amazingly, Sloan was able to befriend a real European heir for research, as long as he remained anonymous. She says her husband, who is Danish, also helped provide a lot of insight for the main character.
Sloan says the teens who submit their photos to the Instagram and tumblr. have a love/hate relationship with the site, but ultimately are obsessed with it and want to be on it. "The creator gets tons of emails a day from people who want to be featured," she says. "When he doesn't post their photos, they start sending him angry emails. There was one kid who emailed saying he hated the site and never wanted to be on it again and then tried to get back on the site not too long after. The creator told him he wasn't going to put him on it because he made it clear about how he felt. Then, he sent the creator a picture of 'F-- you' spelled out in pills."
When writing the book, Sloan's challenge was to humanize these types of teens, so they would be more than just a clique people laugh at. "As I got to know people with extreme wealth, I did start to feel for them," she says. "There's a classic money-can't-buy-love thing going on. A lot of these kids are really lonely, feel unloved and are looking for a way to feel validated."
Author Maya Sloan will be celebrating the book's release in, where else, East Hampton. Feel free to come and intermingle with the real Rich Kids Of Instagram:
July 10th, 8 p.m.
41 Main Street, East Hampton
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