I won’t lie – I used to watch The Hills religiously every week when it was on and I’m a fan of Lauren Conrad’s. So of course I was going to buy a copy of her first book L.A. Candy, which happened to be a teen chick lit novel.
Set in the glamourous LA/Hollywood area, L.A. Candy was a fast and fun read about two girls who have just moved to LA together: Jane Roberts, who has just started an internship for celebrity event planner Fiona Chen, and Scarlett, an intelligent and outgoing beauty who is attending USC.
The girls are overwhelmed and enthralled with the glitz and glamour of Hollywood life. One night at a club, a producer approaches them about starting their own reality series, a “reality version of Sex and the City”. After some hesitation, Jane and Scarlett agree… and their lives are never the same again. They join two other girls for the show: Madison, a spoiled, rich heiress, and Gaby, a loveable airhead. It doesn’t take long for the show to become a hit and for the girls to become celebrities.
They soon learn, however, that ‘reality tv’ is an oxymoron and that being a celebrity isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, they get nonstop invites to glamorous parties and clubs and mentions in the tabloids, but there is a drawback: their private life, or lack thereof. Scarlett is annoyed that the producers insist on filming her during class at school, which puts her at odds with her classmates, and Jane realizes that nothing is what it seems – including the new guys in her life. To make matters worse, one of the other girls on the show has her own damaging agenda that may make things even more difficult for them all.
L.A. Candy is a fast, fun and surprisingly well-written read. The book is very light and fluffy most of the time, but the characters and plot are enough to make up for it. The ending leaves quite a cliffhanger. Thankfully there will be more books in this series, as Lauren Conrad has allegedly signed a three-book contract with the publisher. I look forward to reading the next one!
As for whether the book is based on Lauren’s own life, well, a peek at the copyright page reveals it is filed under ‘self-perception: fiction’. So who knows?
reviewed by Rian