Saturday, March 7, 2015

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad

Los Angeles is all about the sweet life: hot clubs, cute guys, designer...everything. Nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts can't wait to start living it up. She may be in L.A. for an internship, but Jane plans to play as hard as she works, and has enlisted her BFF Scarlett to join in the fun.

When Jane and Scarlett are approached by a producer who wants them to be on his new series, a "reality version of Sex and the City," they can hardly believe their luck. Their own show? Yes, please!

Soon Jane is TV's hottest star. Fame brings more than she ever imagined possible for a girl from Santa Barbara-free designer clothes, the choicest tables at the most exclusive clubs, invites to Hollywood premieres-and she's lapping up the VIP treatment with her eclectic entourage of new pals. But those same friends who are always up for a wild night are also out for a piece of Jane's spotlight.

My Thoughts:
I went into this book with zero expectations. I didn't know anything about it and only knew of Lauren Conrad by name. I've never seen her show.

I think having no expectations is key to reading this book. So if you think you actually will read it, please stop reading this review. Now. If you don't think you'll read it or don't care either way, by all means, keep reading.

You know that saying, "Write what you know"? Conrad definitely did that. Her main character is a blonde girl-next-door type of girl who is asked to participate in a reality TV show. So it was practically autobiographical. I'm hoping that made it easy for her to write because, well... you know.

So this wasn't groundbreaking or anything. There weren't any major plotlines or events that made this book special. I thought we might get an inside look at reality TV or something but what we did find out was nothing I hadn't heard before. What I did find interesting was the way the characters would do ridiculous things like spend tons of money on decorating their crappy apartment (why didn't they just spend that money on a nicer apartment?), or spending their $2,000 paycheck before they got it (because that's always a good idea), or going out to eat at fancy restaurants for every meal, or going out for drinks every night ("Let's go to this place 'cause they don't card!"), or buying $400 shoes just because they had jobs now. I know people do this. But the way Conrad wrote it like it was totally normal and hardly worth comment made me cringe a little. She's clearly always had money. She's never had to worry about scraping by or about who would bail her out. There was a back story in here about how when the main character (whose name I can't remember so I will call her Lauren since it's pretty much the author)turned 16 her parents didn't buy her her own car right away so she had to drive around in the family mini van. A couple months later she got her own brand new car. I just. Can't. The flippant, casual nature with which money was thrown around bugged. A lot.

And then these girls are teenagers, right? Just out of high school. So, on one hand, I appreciated that the dialogue seemed very true-to-life with slang and natural phraseology, even if it did sound a bit immature. I get that they were excited to live it up and go clubbing and meet cute guys. But this was such a huge focus of the book that it was annoying. And they were constantly drinking and were so excited when no one carded them. This is a YA book? If not an adult book, this should at least be a New Adult book. Especially with the best friend and her policy on one-night-stands ("The more, the better!"). This should definitely have been marketed to an older audience, is all I'm sayin'.

Ok, all that said, this was a pleasant read. It was quick, had good flow, and was easy to read. Conrad has a very natural writing style, which I appreciate. The characters actually had more depth than I would have expected and I found myself liking them. The end was a friggin' cliffhanger, though. I'm mildly curious about what happens in the next books but I don't know if I'm curious enough to pick them up. Only time will tell.

Anyway, I like that Conrad wrote about something she knew. I just wish that what she knew was a bit more interesting.

Sexual Content: Moderate
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild (if any)
Drugs/Alcohol: Heavy

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