Because I love you all so very much, I sometimes take it upon myself to do things are gross, repugnant, and totally weird simply for the purpose of entertaining you. Case in point, my reviews of the Twilight saga. What’s that? You think I liked Twilight? Ok, yeah maybe I enjoyed reading those books a little but that doesn’t make them any less stupid! And doing Twilight background research led me to undies with Edwards’s face on the interior of the crotch, which I will never be able to erase from my mind!!!!! And I did it…for you. ::blows kisses to readers who all look skinny and well-rested today::
This time, some of my favorite loyal readers suggested that I read the debut novel by Lauren Conrad, of The Hills and some other show before that, neither of which have I ever seen. I think there’s a law that women above the age of 35 aren’t allowed to watch MTV shows like that. My remote would probably administer a low-grade electric shock if I tried. Anyway, I read Lauren’s little book, despite not knowing a damn thing about her. I was expecting a puerile, vapid little book and I was not disappointed!
Lets start with the cast of characters:
Jane: The wholesome girl next door and protagonist. Moved to LA to intern for an event planner and wanders her new city with stars in her little eyes. She is prettier than she thinks she is and has no dreams of stardom whatsoever. A babe in the woods. A lamb among wolves. A veal ready for the slaughter. A lame stereotype.
Scarlett: Jane’s BFF (a phrase little Lauren uses on the second page, making me wonder if this book had to be transcribed from text-message abbreviations by an editor). Exotically beautiful but also? Brilliant and going to USC while rooming with Jane. At the beginning there’s a lot of discussion about her penchant for one-night stands but she never actually has any. She can be bitchy. This makes me like her way more than I liked Jane.
Braden: A guy Jane has the hots for. And no identifiable personality
Trevor: A producer who finds Jane and Scarlett in a bar and offers them roles on his new reality show. We’re supposed to believe he is entirely without scruples but since his character is never actually developed in any meaningful way, it’s kind of hard to figure out his motives. Wealth and power on the backs of naïve reality show starlets maybe? Whatever. I didn’t care much about him.
Madison: Another reality show cast member. Rich bitch. Ostensibly Jane’s antagonist but she never does any antagonizing until the last three chapters.
Gaby: Final reality show cast mate. The dumb one. There is no other information given about her. I don’t know why she was even a character.
Jesse: Braden’s roommate who dates Jane when it becomes apparent that Braden has a girlfriend. A notorious Hollywood playboy type. Clearly based on Brody Jenner. Or maybe that evil guy who dated Paris Hilton during her feud with Lindsey Lohan. One of those rich drunk jerks. Only we’re supposed to believe he’s kind of sincere under all of the bluster and Jane can see into his soul. Or something.
Diego: Token gay friend.
Victoria: Editor of a gossip magazine (titled, cleverly, “Gossip”) and Diego’s boss. Accomplice when Madison plots to bring Jane to her knees.
Now, the first thing I should tell you is that none of these characters are interesting. I would not want to have lunch with any of them unless I was allowed to dunk their heads in their soup. I kind of wanted to like Scarlett because she was supposed to be the smart one but a smart character written by an author who is not, herself, all that smart, comes across as forced. Though, mysteriously, Scarlett, and all the other characters, got more substantial as the book went on. The whole plot got substantial as the book went on. Almost as if it were started by one author and continued by someone else, someone more…substantial. Hmmmm. Could it be that little Lauren didn’t write this whole book? I wonder…
That reminds me, I should tell you about the plot. Um, yeah. Two girls from Not LA move to LA, get offered a reality show, meet other girls and some guys, and get really famous all of a sudden. Not everyone around them has their best interests at heart, including people who pose as their friends. One loves the attention, one hates it. And the climax comes when tabloids get photos of Jane, the sweet one, hooking up with Braden, her crush-with-girlfriend, after dumping Jesse, the lothario. Little does Jane know that Madison, the rich bitch, hired the photographer and sold the photos to “Gossip” in order to bring Jane down so she could seize stardom on their reality show. Muahahahahahaha!!!! Then Jane runs away to Mexico with Madison to get away from it all and…the book is over.
That’s right. The book ends. I believe there is a second book that picks up where this one left off. Am I going to read the second book? No. Unlike Twilight, with its vampire-crack-plot, a series about the lives of vapid reality show stars is not compelling enough to have me clicking madly across Amazon to get the next installment. In fact, I’m pretty sure I need to to read something really serious, like a biography if Winston Churchill to wash the mental taste of Lauren Conrad out of my brain.
I would recommend that you skip Lauren’s book and check out Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster which just came out in paperback. I blasted through it over the weekend, snickering all the way. Because Jen is smart, funny, and an idol of mine. In other words, nothing like Lauren Conrad.
Ha ha. Sorry. I didn’t realize it was going to be SOOOO bad. I mean I expected it not to be the book of the year.
I love Jen Lancaster and she’s from Chicago, holla!
I don’t know how you made it through the book – just the synopsis made me decide it was worse than mustard.
So this was fiction? Not even a memoir? I’m confused.
Also, I am so sorry you had to read this. It sounds really bad.
Be glad no one asked you to read Pamela Anderson’s novel, “Star.” It was passed around my field school a few years ago, and I didn’t even make it through the first chapter. From what I could tell, it was about a young, gorgeous but naive girl who is taken advantage of by all the sleazy men in her life as she becomes a Hollywood sex symbol, but she has lots of hot lesbian scenes. Thinly veiled autobiography? *shrug* I don’t really care enough to find out.
Okay, at first I was shocked that it was a fiction book, as I’d assumed it would be an autobiography, and was somewhat impressed that she was able to write a novel. Then I read your summary, and realized it’s actually an autobiography. A boring, delusional autobiography. And I’m so excited about the Jen Lancaster book – I just can’t wait for it to hit my used book store.
I am so glad you did this review. I HATE those fake “reality” mtv shows with a passion. And I was totally expecting a autobio as well. Although, this isn’t exactly fiction either… hmmm. Can’t say I’m surprised by your review, but I am definitely entertained. So thank you 🙂
Hey! I was feeling a little frumpy in this outfit today, so thanks for the pick me up. Oh, and I don’t know about well-rested, I probably just did a good job with the concealer this morning. 🙂
For kicks & giggles, I looked up “novel” at m-w.com
1 : an invented prose narrative that is usually long and complex and deals especially with human experience through a usually connected sequence of events
Pretty sure ol’ LC should get thrown out on account of the “complex”, but I like the fact that it says “usually connected sequence”… like they knew I was coming.
Oh my gosh you are a brave woman for reading this book. The Hills was my guilty pleasure when Lauren was still on the show, so I picked up the book when I was in Barnes and Noble and read the first chapter. Wait, make that TRIED to read the first chapter. Not only is the plot and character develop total garbage, the writing is virtually unreadable. I do not know how so many people bought this book and got it to be a bestseller. Moreover, I don’t know how you forced your way to the finish. You deserve an award or something.
So sorry that you had to waste brain cells reading this one.
You are doing a real public service here! Next up, Nicole Richie’s “novel!”
wow. no, really, that’s all. anyone up for the last stieg larsson?
Really appreciate you” taking one for the team!” If there is ever
anything I can do for you, just let me know!
I’ve not watched any of those shows and probably couldn’t pick Lauren Conrad out of a line-up [is she the one who had all the plastic surgery?], so I’d probably be as interested as you about reading this “novel”. Thanks for taking one for the team – it sounds ridiculous. I couldn’t even keep the pseudonyms straight when you listed them.
All I can say is all those character names are perfect for a book like this. Trevor, Braden, Madison. And is Diego the token gay AND the token latino?