By Paige Ferrari
Earlier today, Teen Vogue released an excerpt from Lauren Conrad's debut novel, "L.A. Candy."
The story is about a young girl named "Jane Roberts," who moves to L.A., gets a bogus internship, and stars in a reality show where she's never quite sure what -- or who -- is real. Sound familiar?
It seems L.C. has really taken the advice to "write what you know" to heart. So let's turn to the text to see if "L.A. Candy" holds up as great "Hills"-based literature.
"Jane" encounters workplace drama:
Jane felt her blood freeze. Fiona never called Jane into her office unless she was in trouble. It was always something like, "Jane, the last time I checked, ivory and eggshell weren't the same color," or "Jane, is this message from Jeffrey with a J or Geoffrey with a G?" What had she done this time? Either way, she preferred that her humiliating lectures take place in private -- just her and Fiona behind closed doors. Guess not today. She frowned at the cameras, which were supposed to be capturing "an average workday." Well, now, the "L.A. Candy" viewers are going to see my average butt getting yelled at, Jane thought.
Analysis: Here, Lauren perfectly captures the fear and loathing inherent to the fake internship experience.
All that is missing is the presence of a cow-eyed Whitney Port character who says things like, "Oh my god." and "Is everything okay?" and "What happened at H-Wood last night?" But, hey this is just an excerpt. So she'll probably appear with a name like "Stromley Mort."
Then, of course, there is the appearance of the strangely aggressive, preening pretty-boy type who asks "Jane" on a date. Almost as if he had signed release forms prior to their first encounter:
Paolo smiled at her. He had the cutest smile. "Hey, this may be a little forward, but ... could I call you sometime? Maybe we could go out for coffee or something? I just moved here from San Francisco, and I don't know too many people in town."
Jane was taken aback by his boldness. They had met all of 60 seconds ago. Still, he did kinda look like a young Brad Pitt. Besides, when was the last time she'd been on a date? Braden didn't count. She had met him for drinks again at Cabo Cantina over the weekend, to celebrate her being on the show and moving in to a new apartment. It had been his idea. But that wasn't a date. It never was with him.
Analysis: Here, Lauren shows us that she -- aka "Jane" -- is not without self-awareness. It's like, she totally knows she's on camera. And she knows that Paolo knows that's he's on camera with her. And they both know that without these cameras, the chances of this encounter occurring holistically are basically nil. And yet, if the spoils of being on a reality show are coffee dates with wannabe models who will one day go on to court Paris Hilton, what's the harm in that?
And going to a Mexican food non-date? That is so like Brody, er, Braden, right?
Conclusion: We want to read on. If only for Lauren's veiled references to Audrina's personal habits, Kelly Cutrone's hard-assness and Heidi's Barbie-doll hair extensions. And, you know, once you pull back the cover of a Lauren Conrad novel you can totally convince people you're reading something respectable ... like, uh, "Mommywood."
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