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L.A. Candy

Review

L.A. Candy

Most people are familiar with Lauren Conrad from her hit reality TV show “Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County” and its spinoff, “The Hills.” Now, having left television, Conrad is trying her hand as a novelist with her teenage fan base in mind. In her semi-autobiographical first novel, L.A. CANDY, Conrad draws on her experiences as a reality TV star to tell the story of Jane Roberts and her best friend, Scarlett, as they discover the pleasures and pitfalls of instant, unexpected fame.

Jane and Scarlett have recently graduated from a posh California high school and decide to strike out on their own in glamorous Los Angeles. Sweet, girl-next-door Jane is interning for a top celebrity event planner, while Scarlett, a knockout as well as an intellectual, plans to attend U.S.C. Drawn to L.A. hoping to inject some excitement into their humdrum, privileged lives, in no time they’re shopping, clubbing, making new friends, and starting exciting new relationships. After only a few weeks in town, the pair is suddenly “discovered” by one of the top producers in Hollywood to star in his new reality series, “L.A. Candy.” Since they came to the city to shake things up, the girls are only too happy to sign on.

Before they know it, Jane and Scarlett are having every moment of their lives filmed. They are introduced to their co-stars, backstabbing Madison and benign Gaby, who are vying for top billing on the show. It’s not long before they begin to feel that their lives are being scripted, their relationships invaded, and that their friends may not be who they thought they were. As Jane emerges as the star of the program, tensions among the girls rise, culminating in a scandal that will change everything.

L.A. CANDY is similar to eating cotton candy --- it lacks substance, but makes for a sinful indulgence. Some readers will wish for more meat from this story and more dimension from Jane, her friends and her enemies. The book has the feeling of just skimming the surface; it is too straightforward to be a truly engrossing read.

Nevertheless, die-hard fans who loved either of Conrad’s reality shows will undoubtedly enjoy this novel and will certainly recognize elements of the series as they read. Readers are pulled into the world of reality TV so completely that they will have no trouble visualizing the clubs, fancy restaurants and designer clothes. Conrad’s fans will find this a breezy read poolside this summer and will surely look forward to the impending sequel.

Reviewed by Meredyth Temple on June 16, 2009

L.A. Candy
by Lauren Conrad

  • Publication Date: January 5, 2010
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 006176759X
  • ISBN-13: 9780061767593