In the spirit of Lauren Conrad and her new online venture with thebeautydepartment.com, I decided to read her L.A. Candy series. I’ve seen it on bookshelves for ages and concluded that it was time to give the books a chance. Today, I have the mother of all book reviews, because I decided to read the entire series and do one whole review once I was finished. Yesterday, I turned the last page of the third book, Sugar and Spice, so here goes!
When you decide to read the L.A. Candy series, know that you are not sitting down for an intensely emotional or thought-provoking experience. The books are a bit cheesy and campy, but a lot of fun. They are a mindless read, but in the best way. Loosely based off of Lauren Conrad’s personal life, the first of the series, L.A. Candy, follows main character Jane to Los Angeles. She and her best friend/roommate, Scarlett, are noticed by PopTV producer, Trevor Lord, and are enticed into starring in their own reality show. Trevor chooses two other girls, Madison and Gaby, to join the show, but sees Jane as the star, as she is more relatable to audiences with her down-to-earth personality and style. Cat-fights, romance/boy drama, conflict, and the problems with fame catch up with Jane and Scarlett, making for a deliciously entertaining story.
The following two books, Sweet Little Lies and Sugar and Spice, are much of the same, but as the character’s fame grows, so do the story lines. From the reader’s perspective, you start to feel like you are getting a good behind-the-scenes look at how reality shows are done. You start to hate the paparazzi with Jane, you loath Madison as she does anything and everything to claim the star position, and you feel like you get a clear picture of how “reality” is just a production. The writing isn’t overly intelligent, but there is true character development, the intertwining stories are easy to follow, and the changing point of view is an insightful and well-used element. I was actually quite surprised by the constant entertainment value of these books.
Conrad’s own history in the “reality” limelight made for clever entertainment in the L.A. Candy series. If you’ve just come out of an intense reading experience and need something light and fun, I definitely recommend these books. Call me biased because I think Lauren is fabulous, but I truly enjoyed each and every moment of these books. And watch out, because she’s not done yet – apparently she’s signed on to write a spin-off series following her Madison Parker character.