A couple weeks ago, I picked up Lauren Conrad’s (from The Hills) new – and first – book, L.A. Candy, from my local library. After reading about individual taxation and capital gains & losses all day, I occasionally like to lose myself in a mind-numbing chick-lit book, and I knew L.A. Candy would be perfect for the job.
If you’re a fan of The Hills, you’ll probably like this book. However, if you are also a personal finance nerd and/or blogger, then this book will be like fingernails on a chalk board for you. More on that later…
In case you haven’t heard, the book is based on a new “reality show star” who “recently moved to L.A.” with one of her “gal pals” to “live the Hollywood dream”. What that really means is that the story is about Lauren Conrad’s road to reality stardom, just with a different name attached to the character.
So, did it satisfy my chick-lit craving? Yes. Did it drive me so crazy that I wanted to reach into the book and smack the leading lady? Double yes.
But, here’s where it ties to personal finance: these girls do not pay for anything. Well…in the book, they didn’t pay for anything, and I’m assuming the same holds true for the actual reality-show stars.
Here’s a few scrumptious tidbits about their freebies (spoiler alert!):
- When Jane (the main character) and her friend move to L.A., they’re originally holed up in a crappy apartment with a bad view. However, when they sign on to film for the reality show, the network they are working for has them move to a swanky new apartment in a nicer area that they don’t have to pay for…at all. No rent, no utilities, no anything. Score!
- Since the network needs good footage for the show, they often set them up with the royal treatment at the hippest nightclubs in L.A. They get the best table, complimentary bottle service, free entry, etc. Remind you of all those times that Lauren & Heidi ruled the roost at places like Area and Le Deux on The Hills?
- Jane goes on a couple dates and she never pays. I didn’t notice if it said her date or the show paid for the dates…but, I’m assuming the show did.
- Once Jane and her friends become “stars”, they start getting all sorts of free clothes in the mail so that designers can get free advertising and the girls can look fabulous on-screen. Ever wondered how Lauren always looked so polished on The Hills (aside from the fact that her parents are loaded)? She was probably get tons of free clothes from designers.
If you like chick-lit and want an easy, fun read to curl up to this winter, this book will do the trick (although the writing is first-grade level, so it will only take you a couple days to get through).
I’m glad I read this book, though. Sometimes it’s easy to be envious of girls that seem to get everything handed to them on a silver platter like those reality show starlets – especially when you’re working so hard to financially support yourself. But, their fame is short-lived, and once they have to fin for themselves, they’re going to regret ever being on a reality show. They won’t know anything about real-life and how to handle their money and they’ll still be waiting for someone to pay their rent every month.
I’ll take my simple, budgeted life over their “reality” life any day, thankyouverymuch.