Sugar and Spice

I started reading the L.A. Candy series right after The Hills ended its six-season run several years ago, and I’m pretty sure I have to stop. The author, Lauren Conrad, although classy and beautiful, is not the strongest of young adult novel writers.

Main character Jane Roberts is basically Lauren — she was “discovered” at L.A. nightclub Les Deux (where she and her Hills pals filmed, like, all the time) by a “PopTV” (read: MTV) executive who wanted to turn her seemingly ordinary life into a fabulous new reality TV show. The first two books in the series, L.A. Candy and Sweet Little Lies, are all about Jane’s world turning upside down due to PopTV filming her “life” and adding a whole lot of drama in the form of new “friends” and “love interests”. In this third and final book in the series, she realizes her reality show isn’t real at all — gasp! — and rebels, once and for all. (Which is what I bet Lauren wishes she did after two seasons.)

The thing is, the whole time I was reading each book I was thinking, “Oh so that’s Heidi, right? And that’s Audrina because that’s exactly what she did in that one episode that one time? Whoa that’s def Ste-phen because he is so much like him”. But every character in the book was essentially a mish-mosh of multiple “real” people, and that made me mad because I wanted the dirt on what really went down behind the scenes of this “reality” show. Kristin Cavallari has since come out and said much of The Hills was completely scripted and made up by the MTV producers, which is what I think Lauren was hinting at in her own subtle way by writing these books. (I am, however, quite proud of myself for picking up on how they filmed and re-filmed scenes via outfit and hair changes long before reading about it in these books.)

LC also wrote a spin-off series focusing on one of the other characters, whom I think is a Heidi-Audrina hybrid, but I will not read it. I was planning to, but immediately after finishing this one I took it off my Goodreads to-read list because I must move on from this type of book. (That doesn’t mean I won’t re-watch any and every episode of The Hills whenever they’re on, though!)


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