Monday, May 3, 2010

63. Sweet Little Lies by Lauren Conrad

You can refer to this post and this post to understand why I picked Sweet Little Lies as book number 63. On to the plot summary!

Jane Roberts was the average girl next door until she and her best friend, Scarlett Harp, landed their own reality show, L.A. Candy. Now the girls have an all-access pass to Hollywood's hottest everything. But there's more to life on camera than just parties and shopping... When racy photos of Jane are leaked to the press, she finds herself at the center of a tabloid scandal. She turn to co-star Madison Parker for help, unaware that Madison is scheming behind the scenes. She might be Jane's shoulder to cry on, but does Madison really have Jane's back? Scarlett's working on a scandal of her own. She's fallen for someone who is strictly off-limits -- which means Scarlett has a big secret to keep... from the L.A. Candy cameras, the paparazzi staking out her apartment, even from her best friend. Of course, nothing stays secret for long for the stars of the newest hit TV series, and all this drama couldn't be better for ratings. But can Jane survive another season in the spotlight?

Lifted from the Harper Collins website.

While Sweet Little Lies was total cotton candy fun, it's still solidly written, well paced and by no means a vanity project. I'm biased because I have loved Lauren on her reality shows, but I really think she's a good writer and she definitely knows her source material and target audience to a tee.

As I mentioned in my post about L.A. Candy, the events are more "inspired by" Lauren's experiences than a behind-the-scenes tell-all but you still get tons of insidery details on the production of this kind of show. Lauren delves a little deeper into this world, revealing how the stars of reality shows court the tabloid press instead of the other way around. Jane discovers that her sympathetic co-worker was hired by the show producers to encourage her to date someone and talk about it on camera. And at one point, Jane finds herself confused over whether her ideas were her own or driven by producers' suggestions. And I wonder how long it took Lauren to break this code that's explained in the book:

BFF = best friend forever
BFFN = best friend for now
BFFC = best friend for cameras
It's always fun for me to try and figure out who inspired the different characters, and what that might mean about Lauren's relationship with them. For example, I don't think she and Audrina are too close these days; the character of Gaby is clearly based on her and there are some choice words about Miss Gaby:

At one party, Gaby was "wasting her time with some emo loser. That girl had such foul taste in men." Yeah, that's definitely payback for Audrina accusing Lauren slept with Justin Bobby on The Hills.
Ooh, and at a different party "Gaby wasn't very good at about checking her cell or following Dana's directions, not because she was stubborn and rebellious (like Scarlett), but because her tiny brain really couldn't process too many thoughts at the same time." That comes from the Heidi Montag-inspired character's point of view, but STILL! The gloves are off now!

There's some mystery surrounding that Heidi-inspired character, Madison, and I love it. The clues are blended into the storyline with skill, and not all is revealed by the end -- so I'll just have to read the next one, too. (Yay!) And I have to mention the female friendship aspect of the story. Jane and Scarlett are fighting and growing apart for the first time in their life-long friendship, and neither are handling it very well. This comes across very genuinely, for Lauren knows that which of she speaks, and I think a lot of women will find this to be relatable. At one point, Scarlett thinks to herself that "It was like she was watching their relationship change and she couldn't do anything about it." and guess what? Been there, done that. It's sad. And Lauren writes about it really well.

If this is your type of thing, please read Sweet Little Lies. It's so good! You won't be sorry.

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