L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad | Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)
“Real relationships - the kind that were supposed to last but never did - were more trouble than they were worth.”
Pop culture enthusiasts will remember Lauren Conrad for her many
years spent on MTV’s reality A-List with two hit shows: Laguna Beach and
The Hills. Since breaking onto the scene of reality television a decade
ago, her career has exploded with not only two shows under her belt but
successful ventures in lifestyle, fashion and literature.
Lauren Conrad is a woman of many talents and one of my favorite people, well, ever.
L.A. Candy marked
her first dabble into the release of young adult fiction and serves a
dishy alternative to The A-List by Zoey Dean and Gossip Girl by Cecily
von Ziegesar. It is the first of a trilogy, and followed quickly by a
sequel trilogy as well, and is the very definition of beach reads.
of those series will have certainly flocked to this gem and its
follow-ups because reading it is just a genuinely good time. It’s smart
and stylish but not a slow read. Once you’re in it, you’re in it until
the finish and can’t take your eyes from it pages. The biggest mistake anyone could make with this novel is by thinking
it'll be something other than it's not: don't take it too seriously.
based loosely on Lauren’s own experiences with the spotlight and reality
television, L.A. Candy follows two best friends as they move to L.A.
after high school; Jane and Scarlett are just like us. Both leads are
very sweet and fun to read about and I adore their friendship! After a
chance encounter with a television producer, the girls are given the
chance to star in a new reality series for Pop TV.
and Jane are equal parts excited and hesitant for the opportunity but
soon find out that being in the spotlight came with far more baggage
than they’d hope. Gone is their privacy and anonymity and now, it seems,
they have to constantly be “on” for the cameras.
a glamorous world of secrets and backstabbing, the two struggle with,
well, all of it. From romance, to friends, to any and everything in
between, the girls can’t help but wonder what is really their reality. I
definitely enjoyed the contrast between Jane and Scarlett when it came
to how they dealt with this newfound fame.
Jane has the
easier time of the two when it comes to adjusting to this life; with an
internship of her dreams, she begins dating a Hollywood it-boy to try
and forget her ex-boyfriend and the guy she’s currently crushing on, who
happens to be her new boyfriend’s best friend, and befriends the two
other girls who round out the cast, Gaby and Madison.
Hollywood, nothing is as it seems, and sometimes those who seem like
they love you and have your back actually don’t. The look into that
statement, that trope, is a really fun read because it keeps you
guessing and wondering who’s intentions are pure and who’s, well,
aren’t. It’s amazing what a camera and fame can do to a person.
doesn’t know what to do about all these changes. On one hand, she was
excited for the opportunities, but the novelty of it all ended pretty
quickly. All she really wants, as things heat up, is to go back to the
way things were before she and Jane joined L.A. Candy–she misses her
privacy and her best friend.
There’s a bit of a gap between
the two now, despite their awesome new living arrangements, and while it
isn’t huge and too damaging, it is starting to form. Not to mention
Scarlett can’t seem to find her place in the show or her school.
While Jane is sugary sweet and a delight to read from, Scarlett feels
more real with all her subtle differences and she rounds out the cast
We meet other minor characters–the occasional love
interest, Madison and Gaby. Of the two, Madison gets more page time due
to her catty nature and ulterior motives. Add a few television
executives and gossip columnists, bosses, co-workers, cast members,
minor friends, classmates and so on, we’ve got a wide variety of
L.A. Candy is just a breezy read that will leave
you grinning. It’s not unlike reality television–dishy, fun and not at
all everyone’s cup of tea, but stylish nonetheless. I loved the vibe it
gave and can’t help it–it was delicious! We're left with a massive cliffhanger when scandal arises, so you know we are only just getting started.