Wednesday, 7 December 2011

I want candy! ★★★


Now, don't go running away thinking "Oh I thought she had more class then to read Lauren Conrad! What twaddle!" Hear me out for a second because you might be a little bit surprised.
For people who know me in 'real life', i.e. not the internet, this might be a little bit of a shock, but I rather enjoy one reality television series of shows. It is the only, I repeat the ONLY, reality television that I really enjoy, and it is Laguna Beach/The Hills/The City. 
My mother is to blame, like, totally.

You see they started repeating these shows in the afternoons, when my mum would get home from work and put the kettle on and sit and chill before she had to make dinner or anything, and on days when I wasn't trekking back and forth to Sheffield or at work I would join her in watching, and I came to love them. 
They have the drama, which you know isn't real, but they make it just real enough that it is interesting. Plus there are all the parties and pretty clothes and makeup and things. We know (or at least if you follow my beauty blog you know) that i love pretty clothes and makeup.
Specifically my love for Lauren Conrad (or LC) came from watching these shows and seeing how she dealt with it all, I love her humour, and I hate Heidi so it was a given I would be team Lauren.

When I was bookselling I looked down my nose at her books, but having watched the show I decided I really wanted to read them as they are basically a behind the scenes look and Lauren's side of the story for the making of the Hills and Laguna Beach. I could definitely justify this with bookseller speak too, after all these books were New York Times best sellers!

The three books, L.A. Candy, Sweet Little Lies and Sugar and Spice, tell the story of two girls, best friends Jane and Scarlet, who move to the city and are approached by television producers to star in a new show 'L.A. Candy'. The girls share the stage with two other girls, both not nearly as down to earth as the two heroines and the four girls are then manipulated and their lives made a mess of through the producers need to create good television and the stars themselves being desperate for a cut of the limelight.

They were never going to be amazing literature, but they were some of those I-can't-put-this-down-dammit-where's-the-next-one-I-need-it-now books which I admit to loving. They give you an insight into the land of Hollyweird, which if you find the fake surface horribly cheesy and it grates on your senses you might find interesting for its seediness, and it allows you to look past the polished exterior of a show like The Hills and see how it can be truly damaging. The crazy events which occur help to illustrate the trappings of the high life and show readers that life in L.A. isn't just as sunny as its weather. The heroines themselves also help to highlight the importance of education and hard work as they continue to hold down steady jobs and go to university during all the happenings.

It also might help (to some extent, obviously she isn't a saint herself) to put the author, Lauren Conrad in a better position in your mind as it becomes clear she isnt as superficial as portrayed on the show. She really is a half decent role model for young women as her business sense is clearly strong. She has become very successful in turning the manipulation of the showbiz world she was thrust into on its head and taken control, something which we see the beginning of in the books.

Much like I expected, these books are great quick reads, a series that a teenager would love for the drama and their parents might actually like to consider for the message the series provides, that money and possessions really aren't worth the sacrifice. Anyone else might also find these interesting for the inner workings of reality television, but more then that they are inspirational. The books take a superficial character in a superficial world and add in the technical knowledge, the grit, and the determination to succeed which turns the heroine in these books into a well rounded character, and one to look up to.

Well done Miss Conrad  ★★★

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