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Book Review – L.A. Candy (and a Giveaway)

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 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.  But, if you are still interested in reading L.A. Candy I am giving my copy away.  It is too late for me but if you live in the U.S. or Canada and are interested in saving your $9.99 please enter to win as follows:

1. Leave a comment below telling me what book you’d like me to review next.
2. For a second chance to enter follow me on twitter @ameenadin and tweet the following: “I want to win L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad from The Hills.”

Check back on Sunday, January 24 to see if you’ve won!

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31 Comments leave one →
  1. actorsdiet permalink
    January 20, 2010 3:17 pm

    tee hee. i love that you reviewed this. i once saw them filming “the hills” at mcafe. too much production went into that “reality” show.

  2. whydeprive permalink
    January 20, 2010 3:50 pm

    Is it bad that I would totally still read this?

  3. Danielle permalink
    January 20, 2010 4:53 pm

    I never watched “The Hills” but of all the characters, I think Lauren Conrad is the most respectable.
    I haven’t read a lot of books lately! But I’m enjoying all of your reviews 🙂

  4. January 20, 2010 6:15 pm

    I thought this book was overtly about Lauren’s life… I’d love to hear your take on one of Michael pollan’s books, or Alicia silverstones kind diet–a lot of people have been picking that up. I also want to read the new book by the housewife from real housewives of new jersey? Maybe?

  5. January 20, 2010 6:36 pm

    Hey, Ameena!
    First, thanks for answering my comment! That was so sweet of you. And, even more, you tried to comment on my blog. I mean, how cool is that?!
    Haha. I mean, really. I think you´re a writing genious. I love reading your posts! You´re always yourself. No matter how hard it is to say the truth, you go and say it. And this is so cool, really 🙂
    About the “L.A. Candy” book… I had never heard about it before. Looks interesting to me.. and maybe worth reading. It´s a pity I live in Brazil. Oh, well :S
    But I´ll try searching it while I´m in the US (I hope I will, hehe).
    So.. Thanks again!
    XOXO,
    Gabriela

  6. January 20, 2010 6:48 pm

    lol– this is about what I suspected with LA Candy. I, like you, stopped watching the Hills after Lauren’s departure. I really like her, so I was hoping that maybe I was wrong in my suspicions and that the book would be good, or even just passable. Guess not!

  7. January 20, 2010 7:02 pm

    Cool ameena….i saw this but wasnt willing to buy it…thanks for the review though…great job.
    I cannot twitter…cause I dont do that stuff…ha…
    but I would like to see you review that book that i think u said your sister or someone gave to u for christmas….i cannot recall the name…but i hear its good. 🙂

  8. Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce permalink
    January 20, 2010 7:04 pm

    your review was entertaining, probably way more entertaining than the book could be!

  9. January 20, 2010 8:49 pm

    What a bummer! Well you at least saved me the $9.99.
    I am not sure what book should review next -I read a whole lot out of occupatioanl therapy text books – I hope you NEVER review any of them.
    I really enjoy being surprised and sometimes inspired to read a random book when I click on your blog.
    PS I do not want to win the book. I am taking your word on how bad it was 🙂

  10. January 20, 2010 10:52 pm

    Well, I definitely will not be expecting professional, good writing there…but it’s always interesting to get an inside view into the celebrity’s life. I’d like to take a read!

  11. January 21, 2010 3:02 am

    i always wondered if that book was worth reading! thank you for the review! I had no idea it was a fictional book with fake charcters, i always thought it was about her life and her experience (which I guess it is) but I thought it was from ‘laurens’ point of view. Anyways, thank you for the honest review!! it may be some great vacation, beach reading material 🙂

  12. January 21, 2010 6:27 am

    It sucks the book wasn’t good, I had it on my wish list . . . Have you read the Tori Spelling books? I wouldn’t mind a review of those before I commit to reading them.

  13. January 21, 2010 7:21 am

    From your review, this book seems to be just what I thought it would. I’ve never actually watched The Hills, but the characters are everywhere… and from the looks of things, none of them seem to be particularly intellectually adept…

    Good review though… sorry that you had to suffer through it!

  14. traynharder23 permalink
    January 21, 2010 7:33 am

    hahhaha i’m sure you got an awesome ass too! just gotta show it off! i’m not at where i wanna be (totally perfectionist) but hey, i’m getting there!

    and yes, this rain is driving me wild.
    i saw this book in target and totally was like WHA? she writes?

  15. January 21, 2010 7:33 am

    Didn’t realise you were on twitter, Im following you know. 😀

  16. January 21, 2010 9:03 am

    what a cool review. To be honest Ive never seen the show. But I was really curious about this book when I heard that Lauren Conrad was writing it. I guess out of all of them she is the most respectable. I give her props for actually getting out of the limelight and working. Im with ya on Hiedi and Spencer though. I could definitely go without hearing about them ever again! lol. I dont even know why they are famous! Aahh well. To each his own I guess. Anyways lovely review sweetie! Thanks! Have a wonderful day!

  17. January 21, 2010 10:35 am

    Lol, “it’s too late for me but you can save your 9.99” – that cracks me up. I too like Lauren Conrad and not just because we share the same initials.

  18. January 21, 2010 3:53 pm

    So I used to watch The Hills too. I stopped watching before Lauren left because it just got ridiculous. I had no idea they continued without her… wow, I can’t imagine what that must be like.
    I’ve been curious about the book though. I must admit I’m not DYING to read it now though lol

    How about The Time Traveler’s Wife?

    • Brittnie permalink
      February 11, 2010 8:01 pm

      The time travelers wife was a very good book wayyy better then the movie!!!:)

  19. January 21, 2010 5:32 pm

    Oh I’m so glad someone reviewed this, I’ve been morbidly curious about it.

    I would love for you to review Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

    I’m following you on twitter — I’m @spiceaholic80 — and I’ve tweeted like you said! 🙂

  20. January 21, 2010 5:32 pm

    sorry, had issues posting the comment.

    Oh I’m so glad someone reviewed this, I’ve been morbidly curious about it.

    I would love for you to review Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

    I’m following you on twitter — I’m @spiceaholic80 — and I’ve tweeted like you said! 🙂

  21. January 21, 2010 8:02 pm

    Hahaha, I love that you are giving the book away! Now that I’ve read your review, I’m not so sure I need to read it 🙂 I’m getting ready to start reading the sequel to the “Nannie Diaries”. Have you read it?

  22. DiningAndDishing permalink
    January 22, 2010 10:56 am

    I have to admit, I was curious about this book! I liked Lauren a lot when she was on The Hills – hope she does something new soon.

    – Beth @ http://www.DiningAndDishing.com

  23. January 22, 2010 11:20 am

    Hey Chick!
    I love book reviews, and have a couple myself on my site – I just did one 2 posts ago actually :)…I appreciate your honesty , that’s how I was with mine as well. I’d enter the giveaway – but I already have the book here!…but haven’t read it yet…I figured it was totally young teens.

    Isn’t it funny how “stars” – can we even call her that??!! write book deals..even Miley Cyrus put one out when she was like 15!! What?!!

    But yeah, I love to write and often blog about how I would love to write books full-time for a living but it’s so hard to get taken seriously or have the time when you have to work and other commitments…

    and then I read work like that and think – hey, anyone can do it!!!! If she can write that and get published…then really?? BUT of course she has contacts, publicity, etc…uggghhh such a messed-up world.

    Oh well – all the better to her if she can make it happen I guess…

    Cheers!

  24. louisianagrown permalink
    January 22, 2010 12:01 pm

    I often read books like this to see what all of the fuss is about. I have a feeling a lot of people do that, and that’s how the writers end up making their money.

    I would love to see you do a review of an older, classic book. Jane Eyre? Wuthering Heights?

  25. Aileen permalink
    January 23, 2010 4:43 am

    I will confess to a secret Hills addiction. I’d totally be interested in the book.

  26. Aileen permalink
    January 23, 2010 4:44 am

    Oh, and I forgot! I’d love to see a review of some of the food books that have been super popular lately. I love to hear people’s takes on Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, especially

  27. January 23, 2010 2:51 pm

    Hmm, a book to review next . . . that’s tough! There are so many good books out there. Maybe The Geography of Bliss? Or The China Study?

  28. March 17, 2010 4:44 pm

    Cast both books by Lauren Conrad here: http://bit.ly/Cast_LaurenConrad – we are ready for YOU to post your cast. Storycasting.com is the best place to “fantasy cast” , we have thousands of books plus all the actor photos. Fun, free, and non-spamming.

  29. March 22, 2010 8:22 am

    I agree with louisianagrown, I would love to see a review of Wuthering Heights. I just read it a few months ago for the first time and it is now my allllll time favorite book. I could talk about it for hours!

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