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L.A. Candy

January 20, 2010

L.A. Candy

by Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad’s departure from The Hills coincided with my departure from watching The Hills. Why? Because after Lauren left, the show took on a weird Jerry Springer quality. Who wants to watch Kristin Cavallari swearing like a sailor as she walks around dressed in her sleaziest ensemble? The rest of the cast is just as bad : Audrina is a space cadet. Brody’s only claim to fame are his famous parents. And Heidi and Spencer? There are no words for them. Or none that I am willing to write on this PG-rated blog anyway.

I was never an avid fan of The Hills but of the episodes I did watch, Lauren was always the classy, stylish, and articulate one. I think she is quite pretty as well – I have seen her several times here in Los Angeles and she looks better in her sweats than I do on my best day! Sad but true. Anyway, I have to admire her tenacity for turning her 15 minutes of fame into a respectable business. She is quite a role model for the MTV crowd and God knows they need someone other than the cast of Jersey Shore.

Last week when I admitted that I’d finally purchased the book ” target=”_blank”>L.A. Candy, many of you emailed me and left comments asking if I would do a book review. Your enthusiasm was contagious and I found myself pushing my stacks of reading material aside so I could get started. I really, really wanted to like this book, but a few pages into the story I nearly relegated the book to Maya so she decorate it with pretty pictures. It was only because of some weird sense of responsibility that I forced myself to push through.

Nobody can say that I am a quitter!

While L.A. Candy is marketed as fiction, it is really a semi-autobiographical account of Lauren’s experiences in Hollywood and her subsequent rise to fame. In the book, fictional characters Jane and Scarlett take the place of Lauren and Heidi. These two best friends move to Los Angeles from Santa Barbara and immediately immerse themselves in all things Hollywood. Girl-Next-Door Jane decides to postpone college and instead takes a job working for renowned, but difficult event planner Fiona Chen. Beautiful-But-Doesn’t-Care Scarlett begins her freshman year at USC and starts sleeping her way through the city. They live in a rundown apartment and have very little money to spare but are thrilled with the adventure they are about to embark on.

One day Jane and Scarlett run into producer Trevor Lord from PopTV who chooses them to star in his new reality show L.A. Candy. Every girl’s dream right? But as soon as the cameras start to roll Jane and Scarlett learn more about the reality of reality television. Their days revolve around filming schedules, hidden microphones, staged dates, and fake relationships and Jane and Scarlett find themselves questioning their newly scripted lives. Jealousy flares as Jane’s rise as television’s newest star leaves her co-stars Gaby and Madison green with envy and leading to a scandal changes Jane’s life forever. The book ends abruptly, forcing anyone interested in the adventures of Jane and Scarlett to go out and purchase book number two of Lauren’s three book deal.

Lauren is a very talented girl, but she is not a writer. I believe this book is being marketed for the Young Adult crowd but honestly, even my 15-year-old cousin could have done a better job developing the characters and putting together real world dialogue. The writing is very elementary…i.e. “That would be super-fun!” Or the ubiquitous, “Gag!” and “‘Kay!”

There was one positive in a sea of negatives though – the book gave some interesting insight into the filming of a reality TV show. Who knew that producers often order several takes when the cast leaves a restaurant because of camera locations? I also had no idea that “being miked” is such a huge undertaking. Are these tiny tidbits worth buying this book? Not a chance.

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