A Girl Who Reads: L.A. Candy

Title: L.A. Candy

Author: Lauren Conrad

Publication: 2009

Major Characters: Jane Roberts, Scarlett Harp

Main Plot: Jane Roberts and her best friend, Scarlett Harp, moved to Los Angeles just a few weeks ago, and they have already been thrust into the spotlight of reality television. Of course, said spotlight includes luxuries that they could only dream of yet never afford before. But it also comes with price -  a price they can now afford but just might be unwilling to pay.

Favorite Line(s):

"The only way to belong is to act like you belong. Or not give a s#!+ whether you belong or not."

So while trying to decide which book I was going to read next, I plucked this novel from my bookshelf and began reading it just because I wanted to read something. That isn't to say that I had absolutely no interest in reading it, because I did purchase it and put it on my bookshelf after all. I really like Lauren Conrad and her writing style, and I read her blog daily. So I thought to get the first novel in her series, L.A. Candy, for when I was in the mood for easy flowing chic-lit. But a week ago, it just wasn't something jumping off my shelves, screaming "read me" and so it wasn't really a contender. You can imagine my surprise when I found myself 150 pages into the story after one night of reading!

My Rating: 3.0 - 3.5

So if you love L.C. and you enjoy her writing style, why give it only 3 stars? The characters! I wasn't necessarily so jazzed about the plot either (which seemed at least partly based on L.C's personal story which we already know from Laguna Beach and The Hills), but I think that the book went totally awry for me regarding many of the characters, specifically the main protagonist. Jane Roberts is a blonde hair, blue-eyed pretty girl next door. She's fresh out of high school, a bit naive, and seems eager to please pretty much anyone. Quite frankly, she's a bit annoying, and although I think L.C. meant for her to be relatable, her "innocence" actually made her quite unrelatable. I didn't hate her, but I'm pretty sure it's never a good sign when a reader isn't invested in the protagonist of the novel. What somewhat saved the book were the characters of Scarlett and Braden (both of whom I really liked). I wanted to know what happened to them, and because both of their stories intertwined somewhat with Jane's, I became somewhat interested in her. Yet, I still found myself plowing through chapters waiting for mention of either Scarlett or Braden and merely tolerating the rest. 

Overall, I don't feel let down at all (I know this is her first novel), but I suppose because of how much I adore L.C., the novel fell short of my expectations. It seems as though she was pushing the story in a particular direction instead of developing it and the characters fully, so there were gaps and jumps that sometimes seemed out of place. That's not to say I won't read the rest of the series in hopes that the next few books are better with lots more of Braden and Scarlett (I'm a sucker for a series), but I'm not running out to buy them.