Lauren Conrad quickly emerged as the girl next door on MTV's "Laguna Beach" when it premiered in 2004. She was nice enough that girls liked her and cute enough that guys wanted to date her. And once she left home for "The Hills," Conrad quickly became a shining star on the hit reality-TV series spin-off, letting fans watch her fall in and out of love for five seasons. We also saw LC try her hand at a fashion career and navigate some of the most memorable friendships ever captured on television.

So when Lauren left "The Hills" last year to pursue other interests, many wondered whether LC could live up to high expectations and match the success she'd enjoyed as a "Hills" castmember. But LC more than lived up to the hype, proving she could become a powerhouse mogul.

Shortly after leaving "The Hills," the first of Conrad's three novels, "L.A. Candy," was released and skyrocketed to the top of The New York Times best-seller list. Conrad explained at the time that while the book might seem very much like nonfiction, it was purely a work of her imagination.

"I didn't take anything specifically that happened to me. The only thing that I did was ... it was a way to show not necessarily me, but just the other side of being on a show like ours," Conrad told MTV News. "For everyone that's done it, I think you see one side and you don't see the other. It's kind of an interesting story to tell."

As if that wasn't enough, the follow-up to "L.A. Candy," "Sweet Little Lies," also topped the NYT best-seller list, and word soon came that both titles, plus the third in Conrad's series — "Sugar and Spice," set to be released later this year — "would be made into a film to be produced by the same brains behind "Twilight." It was a prospect that LC embraced with open arms, excited about the chance to tell the story of what it's really like in Hollywood.

"I told them one thing I wanted to capture was that moment when you're inside a swarm of 20 paparazzi and you can't move and you don't know what to do and it's terrifying," she said. "And I don't think anyone's ever illustrated that before."

When she wasn't busy writing novels, LC also managed to design a clothing line, LC Lauren Conrad, exclusively for Kohl's.

"It's very much a California brand," Conrad told us in March. "It's all about incorporating new trends and putting our own twist on it — relaxed cool without trying too hard," she explained about the line.

And how does she manage to do it all? "It's all about fitting it into your schedule," she shared. "I don't sleep much."

Fans will certainly be tuning in to MTV on Tuesday, when LC returns for a final farewell and reunites with her "Hills" pals on the live aftershow, following the series finale of "The Hills."

How awesome is that going to be?

Show creator Adam DiVello teased, "It will be a big party."

Are you excited that LC's coming back for one last time on "The Hills"? What do you think of her books? Let us know in the comments!

Join MTV News all week as we look back at the best of "The Hills" and celebrate the series finale with the cast on Tuesday, July 13.