L.A. Candy
by Conrad, Lauren

When nineteen-year-old Jane Roberts is cast in a new reality show, she discovers that the fame and fortune of her new life come at a high price to herself and her friendships.

If you watch talk shows, you've seen Conrad (star of MTV's reality show The Hills) pushing her book, which is about a reality show like The Hills. Here the main characters are lifelong friends Jane and Scarlett, who've come to L.A. from Santa Barbara-tough, gorgeous Scar to be a student at USC and girl-next-door Jane to intern with an event planner. Almost immediately, they are spotted by the high-powered producer who's trying to cast a show about girls who've come to the big city to try their luck. Naturally, Scarlett and Jane are perfect, and before they know it, they're being miked and followed by camera people as they work, play, drink, date, and interact with the other two pieces of candy-crafty Madison and dum-dum Gaby. With characterizations more developed than in many chick-lit books (and, blessedly, with fewer brand-name droppings) this is quite readable. Add the Conrad connection, and rest assured it will be gobbled up by teens. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.

Everyday girls find their lives are everyone else's business when they're picked to star in a Sex and the City-style reality show. Too-cool-for-school Scarlett and plain Jane have just moved to Los Angeles, where Scarlett will start as a freshman at USC and Jane will work for a demanding high-profile event planner. At a club, they're discovered by reality TV producer Trent Lord. As the show begins production and publicity, Jane is cast in the role of narrator and protagonist, much to the dismay of her pampered, two-faced castmate, Madison. The Hills "reality" show star Conrad uses an omniscient point of view to get inside the thoughts of major Hollywood players and the stars they shape. Despite an up-close view of their thoughts, all the characters except Jane are regrettably flat. Scarlett is smart and sarcastic, but those are her only defining personality traits. With little conflict until near the end of the book, there is not much here to keep readers interested unless they are fascinated by the minutiae of clothes and the hottest L.A. clubs. Completely unremarkable, with an unresolved ending. (Fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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