Recap: The second novel in Lauren Conrad’s L.A. Candy series, Sweet Little Lies tells the story of Jane Roberts coming to terms with her relationships. At the end of L.A. Candy, indecent photos of her and her non-boyfriend, Braden, have been published in the tabloids. In Lies, Roberts relies on her new BFF, Madison, to get her life back on track. But her close bond with Madison pushes her away from longtime BFF, Scarlett. Scarlett moves on with a new man and unexpected friendship with Gaby (the “reality” show’s 4th lead girl). But Jane continues to spiral, making all the wrong decisions. She resumes her relationship with ex-boyfriend and celebrity manwhore, Jesse, and continues to confide in Madison – though she’s the one leaking all of her personal information to the gossip world. Ultimately, the sweet little lies come out.
Analysis: This novel serves its purpose: it’s a light and fluffy book that more or less gives tweens a look into Lauren Conrad’s life on The Hills. Though the plots are fictional, the series is semi-autobiographical, telling the story of two girls who move to L.A. and magically get picked to star in a new reality show.
The novel does a good job of showing how unrealistic “reality” TV is. For instance, when the show’s producer learns his “star” and boyfriend have broken up via text message, he begins piecing together a “breakup scene,” so the viewers will “understand what happened.” We also get further insight into the producer’s edits, with Scarlett picking her scenes apart word for word.
Aside from the obvious platform on the current state of “reality” TV, this book is about relationships, between both lovers and friends. Friends become lovers (Scarlett and Liam). Friends grow apart (Scarlett and Jane). Girls become friends with each other too quickly (Jane and Madison). And someone you never thought you’d become friends with is suddenly your confidante (Scarlett and Gaby). Relationships are never easy, and that’s what Jane learns here. At points, she doesn’t know who to trust. Her boyfriend is abusive, her truest friend is out of her life, and her current friend is using her.
Jane’s a damsel in distress and annoying. But as readers, we relate to her for the same reasons the viewers of her show relate to her. We’ve all been there. We’ve all had friendships that have died, been revived, or grown. And when it comes down to it, we all know who will be there for us in the end.
MVP: Diego Nieri aka D. D’s a minor character, but he saves the day and shows Jane how naïve she’s been. D’s a little sidekick; a friend of Jane and Scarlett, who pops up a few times throughout the novel. But when he does, it’s always with flavor. He’s gay and fabulous, but most importantly reliable. In a city where Jane learns she has no one to trust, D is her rock. He protects his girls. And scenes with D always make me laugh. (Think Anthony Marentino in Sex and the City.)