Book Review: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody

Summary: 
Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteen birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

Release Date: July 3, 2012
Age Group: YA
Source: Review copy from publisher

Review:
This book was such a surprise for me.  I was not expecting to like it nearly as much as I did.  For the first half of the book, I could not stand Lexington.  She's your typical heiress: spoiled, self-righteous, and bratty.  Not to mention totally unaware of how the world works or how most people (what she calls 'the other half') really live.  Feeling any empathy for her was like me feeling sorry for Paris Hilton.  Sorry, but just not going to happen.

Lexington felt like her life was so unfair, when in fact, she had everything she could have ever asked for and didn't appreciate any of it.  Things change, though, when she drives drunk and crashes her brand-new $500,000 Mercedes into a convenience store.  Her father decides to place limitations on her, instead of receiving her $25 million trust fund on the day she turns 18, as all of her older brothers have, she has to work 52 different jobs for a whole year to get a better understanding of how the world works.  Lexington, unsurprisingly, goes ballistic at this decree and throws several temper tantrums.  However, the thought of losing her trust fund is more distressing than the 52 different jobs so she gives in to her father's demand.

What follows is a lot of positive change and character growth.  That was my favorite part of the book: watching Lexington slowly evolve into a better person.  One who has compassion for others, and treats people like people, no matter how lowly their job is.  My other favorite part is how Brody handled the reconciliation between Lexi and her father.  Instead of your typical hug-it-out-and-everything-is-magically-better ending, Lexi and her dad start repairing their relationship with baby steps.  Steps that I could imagine actually happening in the real world between a previously estranged father and daughter.

While I did feel like the love story was predictable, I still enjoyed it.  I also enjoyed reading the transcripts of Lexi's video status updates reporting what happened at each of her jobs.  They were funny, quirky, and added a lot of insight into her character (which was deeper than it first appeared).

I enjoyed 52 Reasons to Hate My Father and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a light-hearted, fun read.  




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