Lexington Larrabee is one of America’s most famous teen heiresses, and she’s never had to do any work as a result. On her 18th birthday, Lexington is set to receive her millions until her father decides she needs to build character and needs some consequences to her recent actions. In order to receive her money, Lexington will have to work a new minimum-wage job every week for an entire year. Things get worse when she’s assigned a handler in the form of an annoying college intern working for her father. But as Lexington begins to experience life for the other 99%, she starts to figure out who she is, too.
Jessica Brody’s riches-to-rags story doesn’t provide the reader any reason to hate it, but it also doesn’t allow for much love, either. The story is so transparent in its formula that it’s difficult to muster any sort of feelings for the book, one way or another. While it will certainly engage readers looking for silly, light fun, the book isn’t memorable in any way.
Virtually nothing about the story surprises. Everything happens exactly as you’d expect it to: Lexington whines and complains until she learns a valuable lesson about hard work. She begins to change with the help of Luke, the intern hired to watch her progress. The two have a bland, predictable romance. I try to stay awake as a result. There’s nothing new here, and that’s disappointing.
The characters are all flat and lifeless. Not a single person in the story seems to exist in an authentic way. Instead, readers are treated to every possible stereotype, and that’s all. Although Brody’s writing is competent, especially in the case of Lexington’s voice, it’s not enough to save this novel from mediocrity.
Might be fun for readers looking for fluffy summer escapism, but it doesn’t even do that well. It’s kind of like the short-lived Paris Hilton reality show “The Simple Life” in that it presents a lot of the same concepts with about as much creativity.
52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody. Farrar, Straus & Giroux: 2012. Library copy.