Melanie McCullough's Reviews > 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
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's review
Dec 27, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: my-favorites
Read from July 07 to 11, 2012

Okay, two things right off the bat:

1) This is the first book I've ever purchased based on the book trailer. Normally, I abhor book trailers, but the one for 52 Reasons to Hate My Father was like watching a preview for a really cute teen chick flick and I was all, "OMG, I so want to see this movie," and then "Wait, it's a book! I can buy it right now and read it while I wait for some Hollywood producers to snap it up."

2) This book was absolutely freaking adorable

In the beginning, Lexi can seem almost unbearably obnoxious, but if you avoid judging her and think about the fact that she was raised differently than most people, I think you'll love her as much as I do. She's spoiled, but funny, and even though I'm nowhere near as wealthy as she is, I could totally sympathize with her situation. She's being forced to work for the first time in her life. And not just work, but work menial jobs that until that point she'd just overlooked. I think everyone can remember their first job. I do. I was a teenager working in a McDonald's restaurant. I can remember the first time I was told to clean the bathroom. It was my first and last day on the job. I knew immediately that that kind of work just wasn't for me. Lexi knows it too, but she has little choice. She has to perform each of 52 jobs (1 for each week of the year) to her father's satisfaction or she loses her trust fund. A twenty-five million dollar trust fund.

On the surface, 52 Reasons looks like a fairytale in reverse. A fluff-filled riches to rags story ala Material Girls starring Hilary Duff (did anyone but me actually watch that movie?). But at its heart, it is so much more. It's a story about a daughter and her relationship with her absent father. It's about the pain of loneliness. For all her faults, Lexi has a reason to be angry. A reason to be hurt. Her mother is dead. Her father is never home. Their entire relationship is manufactured by his PR people and played out in front of the press. I'd be angry too. I might even crave attention. Even bad attention if that's all I could get, because at least he'd be forced to notice me.

Lexi's growth is heart-warming and often humorous. As is her relationship with Luke, the liaison hired by her father to make sure she sticks to the agreement. I adored Luke. He is the opposite of Lexi in every way. He grew up poor, worked hard to get into college on a scholarship. But he's also very analytical and controlling and doesn't know how to let loose. And while it may be easy to assume that Luke will be the one teaching Lexi about real life, Lexi helps Luke to grow as well.

Her reactions to the occupations she is forced to endure are so accurate and relatable. And while I know how to use a vacuum and Lexi has to Google it, for the most part I found myself OMGing along with her. The monthly status video reports had me laughing until there were tears in my eyes.

In the end, I think readers will be pulling for Lexi. She's a strong, resilient character. She's likable despite the circumstances. She's funny. She's smart. And she will remind you that while the life of the rich and famous may appear glamorous from afar, the grass isn't necessarily greener just because you can afford to pay a landscaper.
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07/07/2012 page 121

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