Friday, November 5, 2010

another piece of reality tv masquerading as a novel from lauren conrad

This is the third book in Lauren Conrad’s LA Candy series based, rather obviously, on her own experiences in the reality TV show, The Hills.
While it’s plastered with the bold “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author” blurb, you just know that Conrad has sold so many books simply because of her pseudo-celebrity.
The story is boring, conventional and teenaged; there’s the nasty girl who get’s her comeuppence, the apparently genuine boy who only wants to be on TV, the clueless but kind bimbo who is easily led astray and the “ordinary-girl-caught-up-in-things-beyond-her-control”, who is obviously Conrad herself.
While I’m sure Conrad, and her publishers, have never claimed that these books are literature, it offends my educated sensibilities that rubbish like Sugar and Spice – not even the title is original – manages to sell so many copies. 
It’s like the horrible success of the terribly written pap that is Twilight; there are so many better books out there that get left on the shelves because their authors haven’t been on TV / are Mormon moms with great publicists.
Sorry ... this rant has little to do with the actual book I’m supposed to be reviewing, but I just had to have a say.
Back to Sugar and Spice. The “plot” follows the continuing “adventures” of Jane (Conrad’s alter-ego), Scarlett, various boyfriends, Madison, Gaby, the PR company they work for (I know, I know, even the job is borrowed) and new addition Sophia.
Madison manages to get a job at Jane’s company ensuring the TV crew have lots of shots of simmering hatred between the two, and the machinations and bitch-fights ensue.
And that’s about it. Eventually Madison gets her comeuppence and Jane and BFF Scarlett escape the clutches of big bad LA TV-land.
While nothing new happens, Sugar and Spice is not totally horrible. It’s written slightly better than the Twilight series for example, and it clearly shows that being on a reality TV show isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Not that, that stopped most of the cast of The Hills moving to The City in New York and doing it all over again.
Oh well ... there’s got to be some sort of TV show for all those hopeful country kids who don’t get picked for America’s Next Top Model, So You Think You Can Dance, X-Factor or American Idol.
After all, on shows like The Hills and The City, you don’t have to have any sort of talent at all to become famous – just look at Jersey Shore.

Sugar and Spice by Lauren Conrad is published by HarperCollins and is available from good book stores and online. 


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