Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Review: 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
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. ~ Goodreads
52 Reasons to Hate My Father totally took me by surprise. I was looking for a quick summer read and I expected this book to be light hearted, a little romantic, funny and maybe even a little silly. It was all those things but so much more.
Lexington Larrabee is a Paris Hilton type. Jet setting around the world, buying whatever she wants and partying until the crack of dawn with no consequences. Until one night she gets drunk and crashes her Mercedes into a convenience store bringing a lot of bad press down on her father, Richard Larabee, business mogul and head of Larabee Media. Her father is in the middle of a big business deal and can't afford any bad publicity that may put the transaction in jeopardy.
Lexi has been counting on receiving a big fat trust fund check for $25 million dollars from her dad once she turns 18. Instead her father gives her an ultimatum. Start acting responsibly and work a different job every week for the next year. If Lexi doesn't follow through then she forfeits all the money. Add in the career driven (but maybe a little cute) intern Luke Carver to keep her in line and Lexi's social life comes to a screeching halt.
Lexi is a pretty darn unlikable character right from the start. She's spoiled with a HUGE sense of entitlement. It's a testament to Brody's writing that I loved Lexi anyway. Behind all her public antics, in private she's a normal girl who's lonely after the death of her mom and neglected by her father. Lexi has been raised by the help and all of her actions are guided by her father's publicity team. He's never around except when he needs to present the perfect family picture in public.
"My father is going to kill me.
Actually, on second thought, he probably doesn't have time to kill me. But he is going to send someone to do it for him. He's really good at that. Sending people. He's done that for every major even in my life."
The 52 jobs range from housekeeping to a grocery clerk, fast food worker and even a gravedigger. Luke drives her back and forth to each job and she has to send a report to him each week summarizing what she learned from each job.
Lexi pretty much goes kicking and screaming into the workforce. She tries tricking Luke and bribing her bosses but eventually, grudgingly accepts her fate. With a little persuasion from Luke she decides to prove everyone wrong about her and jumps into the 52 weeks with relish. Sure it may be for the wrong reasons at first (she still wants that money!) but she starts to takes pride in doing each job right.
What I loved is that Lexi doesn't lose her "Lexi-ness" during the process. For example, during her housekeeping job she realizes she doesn't know how to use a vacuum and Google's it. She does start to learn her lesson but in an unexpected and thankfully non "movie of the week", clichéd filled way. There was actually very little focus on each job which surprised me.
My favorite thing about 52 Reasons to Hate My Father is the message it sends to young women no matter what their social stature or circumstance. There is a little touch of romance. Both a boy from Lexi's past as well as Luke have great influence over the changes she makes in her life. However, 52 Reasons to Hate My Father is about Lexi standing up for what's right for her future regardless of any man. Whether the pressure is coming from an ex-boyfriend, potential boyfriend or even her father, she manages to put them in their place a time or two!
Rating: 4 out of 4 This is one of those books that you can take as much or as little away from it as you want. It's fun but there are great messages about love, family and second chances if you let yourself delve a little deeper.
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Source: ARC provided by Farrar Straus Giroux for my honest review
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