Sunday, March 10, 2013

Review: 52 REASONS WHY I HATE MY FATHER by Jessica Brody

Author: Jessica Brody

Publication date: July 3, 2012

Publisher: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux (Macmillian)

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.


Lexington Larrabee is the youngest of five, the only girl, and the only one still under eighteen in the Larrabee clan. Her father is a business mogul and not at all around for his children. Since her mother died when Lexi was young, she actually can't remember a time when they were a family and has been told the same thing about her mother, that she was "loving, maternal, etc." but nothing else. When Lexi crashes her car into a store, her father lays down the law. Lexi has to take on a new minimum-wage job every week for the next year if she wants to get her multi-million trust fund. 

Do you know what I loved most about this story? The humour. Jessica Brody writes Lexi's narrative in such a hilarious way, I couldn't stop smiling. Her writing throughout all of this captured my attention and I had to store this book in the WHY Didn't I Read This Sooner?! pile of books. 

One of the reasons why I liked Lexi so much was that while she was trying to overcome her problems and she was a spoiled heiress at first, she learned. She grew. She matured. Most of all, she had dry humour, wit, and sarcasm on her side. Her humour isn't over the top or a joke, it's real and entertains me. MCs who successfully bring in the humour and snark/sarcasm/genius lines capture my heart pretty quickly. 

But the RIGHT kind of unhappy. 
Then Jessica Brody tackles the daddy-daughter issue. Parents are frequently played as a major part of the YA MC's problems. In lots (if not all) of Sarah Dessen's novels, the MC has pretty awful parents. In 52 Reasons, Lexi has a dead mother who she knows nothing about (and whatever she might know about her, she has doubts whether they are real) and a workaholic father who has a stone for a heart. 

Starving for those empty, one-word appraisals that I would hungrily gobble up and store in my cheeks like a chipmunk who didn't know when it would be able to eat again.

After years of knowing she would never get a real conversation out of her father, she avoids him. She even admits that she has spent more time with Bruce, her father's personal lawyer. Throughout the course of the story, she tells and explains some pretty sad things about her life. Playing with hired help, talking to her father's portrait, waiting for her father to pop in the house for a couple minutes. As a girl who loves her father and being close to him, the thought of anyone (fictional or not) with this relationship made me want to hug her. However, I did not feel as if Lexi was going all WAH WAH on me, complaining/whining about everything. 

Plus, Jessica Brody does not make it like everyone else's parent sob story. Some elements will always be the same and it needs to be that way, but she makes Lexi's story her own. She makes the Larrabee story interesting and fresh. Lexi goes from spoiled to hard-working and I loved seeing her work her way through the process. 

The video updates were other nice touches through the whole book. We didn't see her at every job so to make up for it, Lexi paints a vivid picture in each update for each of her jobs. We see her transform in that way too and making positive comments instead of complaining ones. It made me want to go get those kinds of jobs. (I wondered if the flower delivery job was really that uplifting. It seemed nice.)

The romance was not a central part in the story, but I was glad that it wasn't. Luke wasn't swoon-worthy, but he was lovable. The only issue I had with this was my confusion. Something happened with Luke and I wish it was explained or concluded later. (No spoilers here!) 

From the first line:  

My father is going to kill me.

To the next line and the lines after that until we reach the final end, I was entertained. I loved the elements to it and was thoroughly enjoying myself. After many "eh" books, I finally was back in stride. 

In the end, all I have to say is: BRAVO! 

Verdict: A humorous, entertaining novel that made me craving for more of the author's novels.


  1. So glad you enjoyed this one too! :) This book made Jessica Brody one of my favorite authors, I really loved the humor, how Lexi grew, and the hilarious video transcripts too! Oh, and I thought it was fun she wore different wigs! I hope Jessica keeps the humor in Unremembered. I also really love all the gifs you included!

    Alice @ Alice in Readerland

    1. Oh, yes! I forgot about the different wigs. I definitely hope so too. Thank you :)

  2. I'm glad this one is as good as you say it is! I had sort of mentally written it off, thinking the main character might be annoying and her relationship with her father might be repetitive, but now that you have told me otherwise, I'll have to read it. The synopsis and your review certainly make it sound humorous and totally fun, and I can finally see that with my suspicions invalidated.

    1. I did too at first! I wasn't quite sure about the title and I thought, ugh, she'll annoy me. But I started reading it and I loved her character! Hope you enjoy it :)

  3. I want to check this one out it sounds like fun!

  4. So glad to hear this! I've been wanting to check out this author's work since she is coming to town in May. Great review! :)

  5. Oh, I know I would love Lexi! And that's so important to me. I have to get my hands on this. Great review!

  6. Lexi seems like a super main character, and I am glad the humor is well written. I need to get around to this one soon.

    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  7. I hadn't heard of this one before! So thanks for putting it on my radar! It sounds very interesting, and I've heard great things about Jessica Brody.

    I love books that are choc-a-block with humour, so I would definitely enjoy this one. Thank you so much for sharing your brilliant review with us, Sunny. And I also loved the Scrubs pic. :D

    Jessica @ Booked Up!

    1. Yes, you'll definitely enjoy this one then if you love humour :) Thank you!

  8. This one sounds like so much fun! I seeing positive reviews so I must add it to my list. Great review!

  9. I have Unremembered, but I haven't gotten to it yet. Your review of 52 Reasons makes me want to pick it up ASAP. :) I love a book with a lot of humor.