{Review} 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER by Jessica Brody

O P E N I N G   H O O K:

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.  

(Page 3, US ARC Edition)

When it comes to contemporary YA fiction, I really enjoy Jessica Brody.  Her books are light and fun.  I reviewed both THE KARMA CLUB and MY LIFE UNDECIDED.

Brody's new novel, 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER, doesn't break new boundaries, but it follows an expected path and is a straight-through read.  It also falls into that mysterious "New Adult" category that's been buzzed about lately, not quite teen, but not yet adult, either.  The story is tame enough to still be read by teens, while the character is old enough to be embraced by "New Adults" as well.

The book centers around Lexington Larrabee, a spoiled heiress with too much money to burn.  She's a spoiled brat.  She knows this, but she doesn't care.  She's always in the tabloids for her antics, and her famous dad is constantly paying hush money to get her out of trouble.  As the novel begins, Lexi has finally gone too far, crashing her brand-new, custom-made car into a convenience store.  About to turn eighteen and receive her inheritance, her father decides to take charge and teach Lexi a life lesson.  She has to wait a year to receive her 25 million dollars and prove that she's responsible by working a different low-wage job every week for 52 weeks.  If she doesn't, he'll cut her off completely.  Lexi is forced to work as a maid, as a grocery store employee, as a fast food clerk, and various other odd jobs.  At first she hates it and tries everything to get out of trouble, but once she starts embracing the positive aspects of her situation and emphasizing with the way others live, she begins to become a better, kinder person.

At first, I really disliked Lexi--and I was supposed to!  Brody was a pro at building up a dislikable character, then humanizing her by revealing the past that created her.  She fleshed out events that occurred with Lexi's parents and showcased just how uncaring Lexi's father is when not in front of a camera.  It became easy to sympathize with Lexi and root for her as she began embracing her situation and having fun.  I especially loved seeing her change when she worked as a flower delivery girl.  While her job "baby-sitter," twenty-year-old intern Luke Carver, isn't as fleshed out as he could be, his presence helps to humanize Lexi and help her get through her punishment.  Her friends Jia and T, as well as her ex-boyfriend Mendi, are even less fleshed out, though the story doesn't center around them and Lexi doesn't have as much time for her club-going friends when she has to work and sleep at more reasonable hours, so this didn't really impact the story.

If you're a fan of warm, funny novels full of transformation and character growth, check out 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER when it launches next week.
C O V E R   D E S I G N:

I love the title / author treatment for this cover!  It's very grungy, which gives it a harder feel, and I can't stop looking at the way the paint is splashing off the 52, further emphasizing it.  

The model is perfect for representing Lexington Larrabee as she steps into the spotlight, wearing closes that I would completely envision Lexi in.  While she would never wear a uniform hat in front of the paparazzi, preferring to keep her punishment a secret, the addition of the accessory on top of such an elaborate outfit will surely have readers grabbing the book to see what's going on in the picture, which is always the goal of a book cover in the first place!
O F F I C I A L   I N F O:

Author: Jessica Brody
Release Date: Out July 03, 2012
Publisher: Macmillan / Farrar Straus & Giroux
Received: ARC from publisher for Review


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.


  1. Yay for New Adult! :D Yeah, Lexi was pretty bratty at the start but at the same time I enjoyed her snarky voice, LOL. I think the author did a good job of giving her a past that at least partially explained how she came to be so self-centered. Totally agree that some of the side characters, including Luke, weren't very fleshed-out. I wish Luke in particular had been more so because I think that could have helped give the romance more pizzazz!

  2. Yay. You got so many awesome titles. I managed to score print ARC's of Black City and Fallen Kingdoms at BEA. Great haul. Such a diverse selection of books.


  3. Book sounds awesome! Great review! Thanks so much for posting! I look forward to reading more reviews from you! Have a great upcoming week!
    -Elizabeth Barbarick


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