Mitch's Reviews > 52 Reasons to Hate My Father

52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody
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's review
Jul 16, 2012

liked it
Read from July 16 to 17, 2012

Really, there's only one reason to read 52 Reasons to Hate My Father. Who doesn't get a kick out of reading about a spoiled heiress brought low and forced to do menial labor? Especially when she's, as expected, completely incompetent? A barrel of laughs I say. But beyond that, this book hits all the spoiled rich girl stereotypes, the cold, distant father, the shallow, moneyed friends, the raised by the driver, butler, and maid excuses for bad behavior. All in all, Lexie's character development just ended up a bit too predictable for me.

The first couple of chapters, setting up Lexie's car crash, Lexie's father getting fed up with her behavior, and then the deal for Lexie to work 52 jobs in return for her inheritance, are serviceable, I guess. Maybe a little too long, considering I got all of that from the summary already, but Lexie makes it entertaining enough while putting all the blame on her emotionally distant father. And then the jobs begin. The first couple are hilarious - yeah, it's everything you'd expect from someone who literally can't do anything, lots of fun moments being a maid, a fast food worker, a mortician's assistant, among other jobs. I actually laughed. And there's a lot of heart to it as well, I can definitely see Lexie's transformation from her first job to her second to her tenth, becoming a little less spoiled, making something more of herself after each one. Plus, the side plot with Lexie coming to terms with her mother’s death is really good, and the exact reason Lexie's father picked those 52 jobs is a really nice touch too. So I actually liked how Lexie progressed, didn't have a problem with it at all.

What I do have a problem with is how calculated certain parts of this book felt to me. Her first job's as a maid, and then, after she decides she wants to succeed, she's a florist or a telemarketer. Really? Nice coincidence having her do the more physically demanding job early so she gets to complain a lot and then giving her jobs she'd actually be able to do after she decides she wants to succeed. She should've been a sanitation worker. Or a sewer cleaner. That'd have impressed me. But more than that, her father is just way over the top as this stereotypical cold withdrawn unemotional father. Yes, there's a reason for it, yes, there's a happy ending to it, but everything from his mantra of love and marriage is nothing but a business transaction to how he goes around with his new wife, it all screams cliched heartless businessman way too much.

But my biggest complaint is that the ending seems to be a massive rush job. There's a point near the end of the story when Lexie has to decide whether she wants to continue being the spoiled socialite or make something of herself, and that scene was for me the highlight of the book, because things start going downhill from there. (view spoiler) Instead of doing what's in the spoiler, to save time, there's this weird plot twist that lets Lexie reconcile with her father and give a nice, tidy happily ever after to both their characters, he’s a better father, she’s a better daughter. The entire thing's a little too silly for me and really weakens the emotional punch of all the character development, pushing this book from light but with something serious to say to yeah, I cannot believe that’s how the whole thing’s resolved and now I’m left with this massive sugary aftertaste.

I guess the ending just ruined the impact of the climax, made everything a little too neat and tidy, and pushed this book into the light fluff category for me. I still like it, but I’m not impressed by how it's resolved. 3.5 stars.
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Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

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message 1: by Katy (new)

Katy I guess I'm reading this one by myself then. :(

Mitch I only read a little before work. Do you want me to read it with you tonight?

message 3: by Katy (new)

Katy Can't tonight. :( But you don't have to. :)

message 4: by Rogier (new)

Rogier not that good?

Mitch No, it's pretty good. I like it, but it's the kind of light fluff I wouldn't read more than once.

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