Top critical review
Sugar & Spice & everything nice...
on 1 May 2011
Sugar and Spice is the third - and final - book in LC's LA Candy series and picks up pretty much where Sweet Little Lies left off. In fact all three books must only span a few months in total as Sweet Little Lies picked up where LA Candy left off, and Sugar and Spice does exactly the same. It's very clever, I must admit, to have the books so close time-wise. Season One of LA Candy has ended and Season Two is just about to air, and all the girls, Jane, Scarlett, Gaby and Madison, are at a party to celebrate the premiere of Season Two. Jane and Madison are still feuding after the goings-on of the first two books, while Scarlett is still not entirely happy about being on the show and Gaby is just Gaby. I thought it was nice to pick up with the girls again although I found it took me a while to fully get into the book.
The plot is hugely enjoyable, and has definitely taken elements from LC's experience as a reality star (and I use the term "reality" loosely because if the LA Candy trilogy is anything to go by, reality shows aren't so big on the reality). I loved all of the insider gossip and goings on of what really happens when it comes to reality shows and if there's ever anyone able to pull off the plot it had to be LC. Not only do we have the whole reality TV drama to live off, but we also have Jane's boy dramas (she's a boy-magnet!), the fact that Scarlett is dating someone, Liam, who can't actually be filmed for the show, Madison is being blackmailed and Gaby is feeling left out. Put all those elements together and it's a hugely enjoyable book. Yup, it took a bit for me to get into it but once I got into it, I was hooked and I raced to the end!
We're three books in and I still love all of the characters. Jane is a fantastic lead character, sweet, naive and incredibly likeable. Her boy dramas can be a bit much at times, but I thought they were all handled very well. Scarlett is probably my favourite character, she's feisty and says what she likes and doesn't let anyone call the shots for her and she's just plain awesome. Madison is the only character I've ever questioned. I didn't like her in LA Candy and Sweet Little Lies, and for the most part of Sugar and Spice I didn't like her, but she's finally grown on me. She makes a good bad girl (ha, oxymoron much?) but we learn more about her during the book and it turns out, she ain't so bad, not really. Gaby is just Gaby, a bit of an airhead, but her heart's in the right place. As for the boys in the book, none of them really appealed. I didn't much like Jesse or Caleb and even Braden wasn't what I expected during the book. The only boy I liked was Liam, Scarlett's boyfriend. He was the only one who seemed at all decent.
The book is written in third-person, following Scarlett, Jane and Madison and I think Conrad has done a fantastic job writing the novel. I'm not 100% sure if she wrote the book herself, but any author taking on the third-person perspective should be given kudos as it must be a difficult perspective to write from. For me, Sugar and Spice wasn't as good as the first two books, as it took me a little while to get into it but once I had persevered and got into the first 75 pages, I was well away and back into the world of the LA Candy girls. I thought the ending was very satisfactory and if the whispers are true, and Lauren is working on a new series focused on Madison, then I can't wait to see what she comes up with as Madison's story is definitely far from over. As for Jane and Scarlett, who knows if this is the end. As I said, the ending worked for me, but I'd definitely love to catch up with them again if Lauren ever decided to go down that route.