Some of my feeling towards Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy aren’t so sweet.
L.A. Candy follows two best friends, Jane and Scarlett, as they move on from their lives after high school to live in the city of Los Angeles. Jane wants to make her mark on the party planning industry, but first she must intern for the most demanding party planner in the city. On the other hand, Scarlett starts college at UCLA. Jane and Scarlett are quickly discovered by a TV producer who wants them to star in a new reality show. Soon, the shows drama starts spilling off the screen and into their friendship.
Coming from one of reality television’s biggest stars, I knew Lauren Conrad’s novel would offer a realistic view of reality television. However, I thought I would end up liking this novel more than I actually did. Even though L.A. Candy offered the brutal truth behind reality television, it failed to produce any likeable main characters or a unique story line.
I think my biggest problem with L.A. Candy was the characters… I didn’t like any of them! The two main characters in the book, Jane and Scarlett are cardboard cutouts of a “good girl” and a “bad girl.” Jane is so naive, readers will be left wondering how she actually is surviving in such a cut throat city. Her willingness to believe anyone and anything, even when the truth is obvious, was extremely annoying and unbelievable. On the other hand, Scarlett’s constant negativity also made it difficult to sympathize with her. Any time Scarlett addresses Jane or readers found themselves in her head, nothing she had to say was positive. It made me wonder why she even chose to move to Los Angeles in the first place.
Another issue I had with L.A. Candy was the predictability. I’ve read a few novels centering around young characters thrust in the reality television spotlight. Unfortunately, Conrad’s novel brought nothing unique to the table. This slightly disappointed me considering how much her background played into the novel. The romance and the twists in the story line are frequent throughout similar stories. As a result, nothing about this novel particularly stands out against books with similar story lines.
Despite some problems with this book, there were other aspects that I did enjoy. I’m not sure how much help, if any, Lauren Conrad received while writing this book. However, compared to book by other celebrities that I’ve read, L.A. Candy is well-written and easy to read. I liked how Lauren Conrad not only gave the perspectives of the two main characters, but other influential characters throughout the novel. This gave a more well-rounded view of reality television and introduced more layers to the plot.
Another aspect of L.A. Candy that I enjoyed was that even though it is typically labeled as young adult novel, it featured new adult aged characters. Even though contemporary young adult books are my favorite type of books to read, sometimes I struggle to identify with the characters and their issues. Since the characters in L.A. Candy were closer to my age, I could better relate to their struggles and aspects of their daily lives.
Overall, L.A. Candy is a fun book to read, but not particularly memorable. While I liked Conrad’s writing and realistic portrayal of reality television, I found myself waiting for something that set this novel apart. I give L.A. Candy three out of four stars.