Book Review: Unwrapping L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad

How many licks does it take to get to the end of L.A. Candy? Or should we say hair flips? The Hills star's first novel follows the convertible BMW ride of Jane Roberts—from innocent California girl to reality show star. After moving to Los Angeles for a prestigious internship, the blond-haired, blue-eyed Jane lands herself a TV gig, along with her jaded BFF Scarlett Harp. Sound familiar?

It's impossible not to compare Jane's rise to fame (and her new circle of friends and frenemies) with Lauren Conrad's. Is scheming bleach-blonde Madison really Heidi in disguise? Could skeptical U.S.C. student Scarlett be Lauren's BFF Lo? And Brody (a k a Jesse Edwards) appears to get the unfortunate, but appropriate title of "celebuspawn" in this story. Then there's Jane's crush Braden, a struggling actor who refuses to sign a release to appear on L.A. Candy, the name of the reality show. Hmm, wonder who Lauren's off-air boyfriend was?

This made-for-the-beach novel oozes with Mean Girls-esque backstabbing, brand name labels and celebrity run-ins, much like an episode of The Hills (minus the aerial shots of L.A.). You can almost feel those infamous blank stares and reaction shots after each chapter. Trying not to bite the hand that feeds her, Lauren also gives us glimpses of MTV's (um, PopTV's) manipulative editing ways. But are we really supposed to pity the author, who has parlayed her television stint into a mini empire of clothing lines, makeup contracts and book deals? Maybe that'll happen in season two... I mean volume two. Stay tuned.

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