52 Reasons to Hate My Father: Jessica Brody

Sometimes it’s interesting to see how the other half lives especially when they….well, lose everything.

General Summary: Lexi Larabee is your typical spoiled rich girl.  After having her picture in US one too many times her father decides to issue her an ultimatum: either complete the fifty-two jobs he’s assigned her or say bye-bye to her twenty-five million dollar trust fund.

Review: I’m in a bit of a paranormal burnout so I’ve been reading a lot of realistic fiction lately.  Grant it, 52 Reasons to Hate my Father  is hardly realistic considering that most of the population aren’t trust fund babies but still… I have to say overall I was surprised.  I thought this book would merely be cotton candy filler for me, due to how predictable the summary sounded but I actually liked it quite a lot.  And okay, it wasn’t that innovative.  I basically predicted what was going to happen throughout the book, but it was executed  so perfectly I had to like it.

This book shows that sometimes something that seems so predictable (like vanilla ice cream) can be outstanding.

Let’s talk about characters.  I think Brody did a good job with all of the characters in the book.  First of all, she makes Lexi a likable heroine which is easier said than done.  And the supporting cast is also handled quite well too.  For example, I really liked how fleshed out both Luke and Lexi’s father were.  I thought the backstory for both of these characters was handled appropriately and I liked how some of the choices they made were obviously effected by their backgrounds.

For the most part, I thought the plot and the pacing of this book were handled well.  However, I did find that the end of the book was rushed a little bit.  Plus, one of the plot points towards the end of the book seemed a little rushed and disjointed to me.  I get why Brody did it, but still maybe some more build up for that little point….Still though, for the most part I was impressed.  Writing a book like 52 Reasons to Hate My Father is a challenge.  It doesn’t really involve any tricky research or world building, but since the plot itself is so simple execution has to be done right otherwise the book could very easily flop.  Fortunately, Brody was talented enough to pull it off with very little plot holes.

Best Feature: Lexi.  It’s hard having a spoiled little rich girl for a main character without having your audience hating the character.  Brody succeeds in making Lexi very likable are there times she’s annoying….yes, but overall Lexi is likable enough.  I think part of this is because her reactions to what is happening to her are so spot on.  And, of course, that Brody showed that there was more to her character than being a Paris Hilton wannabe.

Worst Feature: Predictability.  While I really liked this book it was pretty predictable.  And that’s not a bad thing.  While I do like books that grab you by surprise, sometimes something that is simple and predictable works like it does here.  I think if anything reinforces the idea that originality isn’t everything to a book’s success.  Predictable books can be enjoyable if they’re executed properly like it is here.

Appropriateness: For the most part I do think this book is pretty clean.  However, there is some teenage drinking and partying in the book.  I do like how Brody handles the drinking though, showing (not in an overly preachy way) that there’s usually a reason why people turn to alcohol and how it can end up destroying everything.

Blockbuster Worthy: Yeah, I could see this as a cute ABC Family movie of the week here’s who I’d cast:

Lexi: Lea Michele.  I really wanted to pick the girl in the book trailer because I think she did an excellent job, but I think this would be a good role for Lea even if she’s borderline too old.

Luke: William Moseley maybe…Honestly, this is a tough one.

Overall Rating: Eight out of ten stars.  I really liked this book, despite it’s predictability.  Jessica Brody has a great voice and I do think she’s an author to watch in the genre.  Also, thank God for realistic fiction.  After have read a slew of paranormals lately, it’s so nice to read a realistic fiction in YA that is well written.

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