29 October 2010

Book Review: Priceless by Nicole Richie

Charlotte Williams pretty much has it all. Her financier father's success means that Charlotte wants for nothing, and she has a close group of friends who she enjoys going out with and having fun regularly. But when her father is arrested for a huge fraud case, Charlotte finds that her world has started to collapse around her. She's got no money, no family and no one to look after her. She decides to flee to New Orleans and the home of her former Nanny, the only place she knows she will feel safe from the paparazzi. She begins to work for the first time in her life, and also reignites her own love for music and singing, but there is someone out there determined to make Charlotte pay for what her father has done to hundreds of people. Can Charlotte escape the madman before he gets to her?

I have to confess that I don't know all that much about Nicole Richie other than the fact she is the adopted daughter of singer Lionel Richie, and she has 2 babies herself now, so when I was sent her book for review, I wasn't at all sure what to expect. I've had a little look online to see if there is any information about whether Nicole actually wrote this herself or used a ghostwriter as many celebrity "authors" tend to do these days. I didn't find anything, but that doesn't mean anything of course, it could just be a well hidden secret! Either way, I tried to go into the book with an open mind, and tried to put out of my mind that this was another celebrity book. The cover is quite eye-catching, but as Leah has mentioned before,the image used on the cover does look uncannily like Nicole herself, and I don't know why the publishers would choose to use an image that looks scarily like the author, it seems a bit cheesy!

When I began to read the book, I was surprised to find how easy I found myself absorbed into the story. Richie makes Charlotte a quite likeable character straight away which is really unusual for a spoilt rich princess type character, which is exactly what Charlotte is. I found her easy to read about and Richie's writing style was very good to read, and flowed very well too which I found very good. The action of the book begins pretty much straight away, and I think it was good idea to throw the reader right into the drama. I actually felt sorry for Charlotte because her dad is the one who did the crime, yet Charlotte is targeted because of it, and this makes the reader have sympathy for our lead character.

The other characters are written just as well too. I enjoyed when the book moved over to New Orleans, and we meet the characters of Millie, Charlotte's former nanny, Jackson, Millie's son and Kat, a shop owner who Charlotte befriends when she is looking for a job. One of the relationships I really enjoyed reading about was that of Jackson and Charlotte. You wouldn't expect the pair to have much in common, but in fact they share a love of music, and this really is a huge plot point of the book, and helps Charlotte grow as a character too. Richie's love of music herself comes through in this because she writes very passionately about it, and writes about the jazzy music with ease which is great. Kat, the local shop owner, is also a really fun character to read, she's a bit mad and therefore works well as the antithesis of Charlotte. Reading about these developing relationships is really good, and it shows how Charlotte changes as a person too.

There is also the exciting part of the book where Charlotte is being chased around by some mad stalker threatening to cause her harm. This is quite a good addition to the book because it adds something different into it. As well as having the more sedate storyline of the developing relationship between Charlotte and Jackson, and her other friendships within the book, we get this exciting story that pops up throughout the book and carries on right to the end. We don't know who the stalker is, just like Charlotte doesn't know, and that keeps it exciting, and the pace moves along well too, getting more threatening as the story nears its climax. I liked that Richie included this in the book as I said, and it certainly makes for fun reading!

Overall, I was quite surprised by how I really enjoyed this book. I went into it with an open mind, and therefore was able to enjoy it for what it was - a well written and enjoyable read. Yes, the fact it is written by Nicole Richie and has her name over it may well help it sell and encourage more people to read it, but it is a good story on its own merits, the writing style is pleasant and easy to read, and the book moves at a good pace that keeps the readers attention from start to finish. I often find 'celebrity reads' are tarnished with a certain reputation but if you ignore the name on the cover and just enjoy the story, you'll find yourself pleasantly surprised with it! It's a really good read and one I would definitely recommend.

Rating: 4/5


  1. Fantastic review Chloe! I actually hesitated to buy this book because it was from Nicole, now i can buy it without worries.

  2. I totally, and exactly agree with Rossy! Amazing, now I have a huge craving to read it! Wooooop, go Ritchie!

  3. (Nicole is amazing regardless, but what you wrote just made it clear)

  4. The character's father was not a musician. He was a financier like Madoff and got caught in a huge fraud case by stealing hard earned money from people that trusted him to invest their money. I am almost finished reading this book and as you said, if you don't think about "who" the author is, it is a fun book to read. The cover does look like Nicole Richie while she was a blonde. She now has dark hair as seen on the back cover. I have some questions for you....
    How do you get publishers and authors to send you books to do reviews? I have been doing book reviews for years now but have always bought my own books. I have had one famous author send me books and post my review to her website which was very exciting! Keep up the good work ladies! If you need another American book reviewer, I would be happy to help.