L.A. Candy – Lauren Conrad (L.A. Candy #1)
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Romance
Summary: Jane and her best friend, Scarlett, have just moved to LA to pursue their dreams. All of their plans change, however, when a television producer discovers them at a bar and offers them the chance to audition for a reality television show that will chronicle their lives in L.A. Will it be more than the duo bargained for?
I’ll start this review with a confession: I was a covert fan of both Laguna Beach and The Hills, and whenever there was a marathon on MTV, I felt compelled to watch it. Something about both shows was so addicting to me, and as much as I wanted to look away, I just couldn’t do it. Shame, shame; you know my name.
Because of this, it probably isn’t really a surprise that L.A. Candy was on my radar. Much like the shows that Conrad was in, I didn’t really want to read this book, but because I was so curious about it, I decided to give it a try. Surprisingly, L.A. Candy wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be.
If you’re looking for an extended episode of The Hills or something similar, you’ll really enjoy this book. To me, it seemed like a “before they were famous” version of The Hills that recounted what it was like for the starlets as they rose to fame. It was interesting to see how the characters adjusted to all of the new pressure and attention they were receiving, though some portions did seem unrealistic.
I also really liked that it provided the reader with a sort of “behind the scenes” glimpse into what being on a reality show was like. I’ve always wondered how much was scripted and how much was real, so it was interesting to see that concept explored in this book.
The characters were rather one-dimensional, and I didn’t really bond with any of them. Jane made a lot of really questionable, dumb decisions, and her naiveté kind of drove me crazy. I did sort of like Scarlett, though, as she was the only one who wasn’t sucked in by her new circumstances, and she actively questioned what was going on. Perhaps both girls, along with their friends, are fleshed out a bit more in later books in the series.
One of the things that really drove me crazy was the language in this book. There were so many instances of “OMG,” “BFF,” etc, that made my head want to explode when reading it. Do people really talk like this when they’re 19/in their early 20s, because I’m pretty sure my friends and I grew out of that by that point in time? There is a possibility that I may have bonded with the characters a bit more had the narrator’s voice not been so maddening. Seriously, it was like, totally, like, super annoying. Like, OMGWTF?
If you like your books filled with life on reality television, drama, backstabbing, or are a fan of the Gossip Girl series, The Hills, or Laguna Beach, you may enjoy L.A. Candy.
I’m going to go sit in my shame corner now and think about what I’ve done.
Other Books in This Series: Sweet Little Lies, Sugar and Spice
Read-alikes: Gossip Girl series – Cecily von Ziegesar