For anyone else that watched either Laguna Beach (not I) or The Hills (guilty as charged), then finding out that the main character, Lauren Conrad wrote a YA novel that basically summarized her life as a reality star was big news.
I admit, based on my bias of the show, I went into this book with low expectations. Oddly enough, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
LA Candy is about two high school graduates who move from Santa Barbara to Hollywood. Jane Roberts begins an internship with well known event planner, Fiona Chen. Her best friend Scarlett Hart enrolls at USC, University of Southern California. During their first week in LA, they meet a few cute guys with suspect relationship statuses, enter Braden. They also meet a TV producer, Trever Lord, who insists that they join his hip new reality show LA Candy that will air on PopTV. The show is about 4 girls living in the city, a sort of Sex and the City for a younger generation. Scarlett and Jane enlist, and become swept up in the glossy new world of forced friendships, Gaby and Madison, lies and broken hearts.
Truth be told, this book is basically a behind the scenes look at life on The Hills. The “nonscripted” show isn’t as pure and undirected as the studios would have their young generation of viewers, ages 16-34, think. The book started out pretty rocky with way too many parenthetical side thoughts which seemed more like notes to the author than notes to the reader, plus a lot of descriptions of Jane and Scarlett looks all cluttered together in a short span of pages. The writing is appropriate for the age group, but certain segments seemed really dumbed down at times.
Once the girls actually signed the contract for the show, the book got much better. The story took over and the writing had an easier flow. The characters weren’t really anything original. You have Jane: the girl-next-door, Scarlett: The incredibly sex and overly smart one, Gaby: the ditz, and Madison: The evil, spoiled prepster from the East Coast. The book focused more on the relationships forming in this book than the actual reality show, but I did like how certain elements were woven into the story. With Scarlett not playing along with the rules, the certain directions the girls would receive via text messages during filming. Although none of the girls actually went through any significant transformations or epiphanies, this is still a fun book that most high school teen girls would eat up, especially those with dreams of moving to LA and becoming the next big star. The book ends on a major cliffhanger, so I’m sure there will be a sequel on its way. Although now that I’ve gotten this read out of my system, I don’t think I’ll be picking up the next book.LA Candy by Lauren Conrad HarperTeen, 2009 ISBN 9780061767586 326 pages