Being America's favorite heiress is a dirty job…but someone's gotta do it.
Lexington Larrabee has never had 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 Boulevard either.
Which is why, on Lexi's eighteenth 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 Jessica Brody's 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 fifty-two reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.
About the Author
Jessica Brody is the author of THE KARMA CLUB, MY LIFE UNDECIDED and the forthcoming UNREMEMBERED trilogy, as well as two novels for adults. She splits her time between California and Colorado.
Jessica Brody knew from a young age that she wanted to be a writer. She started "self-publishing" her own books when she was seven years old, binding the pages together with cardboard, wallpaper samples and electrical tape. Brody graduated from Smith College in 2001 with a double major in Economics and French and a minor in Japanese. She went to work for MGM Studios as a Manager of Acquisitions and Business Development, and then, in 2005, she quit her job to follow her dream of becoming a published author. Brody is the author of two novels for adults--The Fidelity Files and Love Under Cover--and the young adult novels The Karma Club and My Life Undecided. Jessica's books are published in over ten foreign countries including the U.K., France, Germany, Czech Republic, Russia, Brazil, China, Portugal, and Taiwan. She now works full time as a writer and producer, and currently splits her time between Los Angeles and Colorado.
Read an Excerpt
52 Reasons to Hate My Father
By Jessica Brody
Farrar, Straus and GirouxCopyright © 2012 Jessica Brody
All rights reserved.
THE CRASH WITHOUT THE BURN
My father is going to kill me.
Actually, on second thought, he probably doesn't have time to kill me. But he is going to send someone to do it for him. He's really good at that. Sending people. He's done it for every major event in my life. First day of school, first date, sweet sixteen party, birthdays, dance recitals, even my high school graduation last week. All of them faithfully attended and video documented by one of my father's minions. He's got loads of them. So many I can hardly remember any of their names anymore. But without fail, anytime something significant happens, one of them always manages to show up in my father's place to perform the requisite parental duty. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he sent someone to walk me down the aisle on my wedding day. Although I'm sure his publicity team would never allow him to miss out on such a great opportunity for positive media exposure.
This, on the other hand, falls into that other category of media exposure. The kind that makes my father, his company, and everyone associated with our family look bad. The kind that is quickly hushed up and excused by cleverly concocted scapegoats and promises of rehab. Not that I'll ever go. Not that I've ever gone. But it's the thought that makes people feel better — or more important — that makes the tabloids shift their focus. Because once you're shipped off to rehab the story is over. In the media's eyes, you're as good as cured.
Well, until you screw up again.
Until you do something like this.
I'm convinced my father has spies working all over the world. They've infiltrated national and foreign governments, they've weaseled their way into law enforcement offices, they've set up shop in the streets. They're like elves. Santa's helpers. Magically stealing through the night, doing his bidding, protecting the company name. The family name. Because really, there's no other explanation for how fast things happen. How quickly they're able to get to the site of the "disturbance." Like tonight, for instance. My father has "people" on the scene even before all the emergency vehicles have arrived. Dressed smartly in their dark suits and designer shoes, even though it's three o'clock in the morning. As if they simply go to bed that way.
Magic elves, I tell you.
Although following that analogy would mean my father would have to be Santa Claus. And trust me, besides the part about being elusive, never seen, and only staying in your living room for a total of two minutes before disappearing into the night, he's definitely no Santa Claus.
The first thing they do when they arrive is tell me not to speak. Then I'm ushered away from the limelight and flashes of paparazzi bulbs and hastily stowed inside a black limousine with windows tinted so darkly I can barely see out. There's a woman seated across from me. She speaks with a diluted French accent, expertly fielding a flutter of phone calls and e-mails with a cell phone in each hand. She pauses her current conversation long enough to assure me that everything is being taken care of.
But I don't need to be assured. Everything is always taken care of. When my father's name is involved, charges are mysteriously dropped, lawsuits are inexplicably settled out of court, and angry business owners threatening revenge are suddenly sending Christmas cards with photos of their family on a two-week cruise in the Greek Isles.
I'm never quite sure how it's done but you can be sure money changes hands. Lots and lots of money. Probably in the form of large, unmarked bills. Contracts are most likely signed, threats are almost certainly made, and secrets are most definitely leveraged.
It's the mafia without the strip clubs and the cheap New York accents. And instead of guns and cement shoes, all the members have BlackBerrys and Harvard MBAs.
It's no wonder that my father has entire law offices working exclusively for him.
Through the tinted glass I can just make out the arrival of two more news vans. The woman sitting across from me notices them too and hurriedly presses a single button on one of her phones before bringing it to her ear.
"Are we clear?" There's a moment of silence as she waits for a response. "Tell them she has no comment." And then into the other phone, "Good, we're leaving."
With a chilling sharpness, she clicks off both phones, taps on the glass behind her with the back side of her knuckles, and, like a fluid, well-oiled machine that has performed the same routine thousands of times, for hundreds of years, the message is communicated and the car is off.
The woman is already on another call before we've even pulled away from the curb. "What's the situation at the Nest?"
I can make out a hint of a grimace on her tightly pulled face, and without saying another word, she turns on the flat screen and flips to CNN. My vision is cloudy and my memory is still a bit fuzzy from the accident but I eventually recognize the street corner that the breaking news reporter is standing on. It's the same one we just left. And the demolished convenience store behind her still has my car parked smack-dab in the center aisle, next to the aspirin.
Should have grabbed one of those before I left, I think to myself. My head feels like it's being pounded by a jackhammer.
I collapse back against the seat with my hand covering my eyes.
"Change of plans," I hear the French woman tell the driver after lowering the glass half an inch. "We're going to the Landing Pad."
The driver nods and I feel the long black car yank into an abrupt U-turn that almost makes me lose the contents of my stomach. Not that there's much in there to lose. Except vodka. Lots and lots of vodka. With maybe a few drops of water from the ice.
"No!" I protest, struggling to sit upright. "Why are we going there? None of my stuff is there. I want to go home!"
But then I catch sight of the TV again and the answer is suddenly very clear to me. The breaking news story has moved locations and now a second reporter is standing outside of my house along with every other news outlet on earth.
"Don't worry," the woman says to me, getting back on the phone again. "We have people on their way to your house to pick up some of your belongings."
"Fine." I surrender with an exaggerated sigh, falling over onto my side and curling into a ball on the bench seat. "But make sure they get Holly. She can't sleep by herself."
The woman nods and switches to the second phone. "Bring the dog."
Although the volume is turned down low, I can still hear the reporter's pretentious voice emanating from the TV, spelling out my tragic life story as if she were reciting her fifth-grade book report.
"For those of you just tuning in, we're live in Bel Air, California, at the famed estate of Larrabee Media CEO, Richard Larrabee, only minutes after his seventeen-year-old daughter, Lexington Larrabee, crashed her Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren convertible, valued at over $500,000, into a convenience store on Sunset Boulevard. The well-known socialite was returning from an exclusive Hollywood nightclub where several eyewitnesses claim they saw her drinking heavily with friends before getting behind the wheel. Although spokespeople for the Larrabee family have denied early allegations that Lexington was under the influence of alcohol, the police are still investigating the matter closely. This devastation to the Larrabee family comes only a few days after reports started circulating that Lexington's rocky two-year relationship with wealthy European heir Mendi Milos was once again on the verge of a split.
"The famous on-again-off-again couple broke up at the end of last year after which Lexington spent two weeks at a mental health facility in Palm Springs where she was admitted for 'depression and anxiety.' The decision to send his daughter for help was made by Richard Larrabee himself after Lexington was found passed out in a Beverly Hills gas station bathroom and was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where she was treated for minor alcohol poisoning. Richard Larrabee expressed his genuine concern for his only daughter —"
"Oh, God, shut it off!" I growl, groaning and pulling my hair over my face.
Silence fills the limo in a matter of seconds and I close my eyes.
Freaking Mendi. This is all his fault. If he had just gone back to Europe like he promised, none of this would have happened. We could have continued with our plan to take a short break away from each other, reunited in Europe in a couple of weeks, and everything would have been fine. But nooo. He had to show up at the club and start dancing with some floozy wannabe tramp right in front of me. Now it's definitely over. After the things we said to each other tonight, there's no way we can get back together.
God, my head hurts.
I can make out flashes of light on the backs of my eyelids and I pry them open to see that the TV is still on but the volume has been muted. CNN is back at the intersection as a tow truck pulls my car from the wreckage. It looks like crap. The whole front end is smashed in and there's nothing but a few shards of glass where the windshield used to be.
Damn. I really liked that car.
I just got it too. And it was custom made at the plant in Germany. Now I'll have to wait for them to make a brand-new one to replace it. And who knows how long that will take.
The whole thing is really starting to bum me out and I don't want to watch it anymore. "I said. Shut. It. Off," I repeat. "I don't need to see it. I freaking lived it, all right?"
The woman is already on another call. This one, apparently, in French. "Oui, oui, je comprends," she says, pointing the remote at the television and zapping the screen to black. Her eyes dart toward me for a second and then she mumbles into the phone, "Je te le dis, elle est un enfant gâtée."
I can feel my face grow hot with rage. Did she really call me a spoiled brat?
"Excuse me," I demand.
"Un moment," she says to the caller, then takes a deep breath, pulls the phone away from her mouth, and plasters on an artificial smile. "Yes?"
"What exactly do you do for my father?"
She is clearly annoyed by my interruption but fights to hide it. "I am his new head publicist."
"Well," I begin, before smoothly transitioning into flawless French to say, "Maybe if you had done all your research, you would have known that this 'spoiled brat' spent half of her childhood in France."
Then I shut my eyes to her stunned expression, pull my hair back over my face, and grumble, "Just wake me up when we get there, okay?"CHAPTER 2
ALL IN THE FAMILY
My father has a permanent suite at the Beverly Wilshire hotel. Supposedly it's so he has a place to entertain business associates when they come to LA. But I know that's total crap. The suite is so he doesn't have to sleep at the house. Everyone knows sleeping over somewhere requires a certain level of intimacy. I don't care whether you're in a romantic relationship or a family relationship, sleeping is an intimate act. Waking up in the morning is personal. Sharing breakfast is for families. And regardless of what the newspapers might call us, the Larrabees are certainly not a family.
In my father's mind, making brief, fleeting appearances at our primary home in Bel Air is just enough to call himself a resident. But, of course, it's never long enough to actually get involved in any aspect of my life. Back when I was a kid, I was still naïve enough to try to get the most out of his rare visits, racing to the front door with drawings I had made in art class or dressed in my latest ballet ensemble ready to bust out whatever new dance move I had learned. I was always desperate for his approval. 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.
Now I know better. I don't waste my time. And when my dad is "scheduled" for a visit (yes, they're almost always scheduled), I try to make myself as scarce as possible.
"Your father is on his way from New York," I'm informed by a familiar male voice as soon as I walk into the suite and collapse onto the silk-wrapped chaise longue in the living room.
Like I said, almost always scheduled.
"Thanks for the warning," I reply snidely.
"Don't take that tone with me," Bruce snarls, stalking over from the table in the dining room and looking down at me with a menacing stare. "You really screwed up this time, Lexi. Do you realize you could have killed someone? Including yourself."
I roll onto my side so I don't have to look at him. "Oh, come off it, Bruce. I've been through hell tonight. Can't you let up for one second?"
Bruce is my father's personal lawyer. As opposed to one of his corporate goons. He handles all of my father's estates, income, wills, trust funds, and, most important, family business (that would be me right now). The truth is, ever since my mother died when I was five, I've spent more time with Bruce than with my own father. The unfortunate result being that he often tries to treat me like a daughter. Meaning, he seems to get some kind of perverse pleasure out of reprimanding me. As though it's not really in his job description but he's inwardly congratulating himself for going above and beyond the call of duty.
"You crashed your car into a convenience store, Lexi!" he bellows. "Need I remind you of the significance of such an event?"
"You mean, do you need to remind me of how my mother died?" I ask disdainfully. "No, I think I've got that covered, thanks."
He lowers his voice to an angry hiss. "You put this family in serious jeopardy tonight."
I groan and roll my eyes. "You say that like you're part of this family."
"I am!" he shoots back indignantly. "I look out for the family's best interests. At all times. Your father, your brothers, and you. I am personally vested in this family's well-being. And that, Lexington Larrabee, is more than I can say for you."
I spin back around to face him so fast that the room doesn't stop rotating right away. But I'm too busy screaming to even notice. "You have absolutely no idea what it's like to be part of this family!" The boiling anger inside me is exacerbating my headache at an alarming rate but I don't care. The emotion has taken over now and once that happens, there's nothing I can do to stop it. "You have no idea what it's like to be tucked into bed and kissed goodnight every night by someone who's being paid to do it. You can't even imagine what it feels like to receive your high school diploma, look out into the crowd, and see Larrabee Media's latest Harvard recruit in the front row fumbling to get a brand-new camcorder out of the box so that he can record a video that your father will never even watch. And until you pass out in a gas station bathroom and wake up in a hospital room with a stranger hired to hold your hand and tell you that everything is going to be fine, I don't want to ever hear you claim to be part of this family."
I can see in his eyes that he's lost the battle. Or at least he's decided to hoist up the white flag and leave it be for now. I turn back around and press my face into the fabric of the chaise, finding minor relief in the feel of its cool, satiny surface against my skin.
* * *
The doorbell of the suite hasn't stopped ringing since I got here. There's a flurry of activity, mostly relating to the cover-up that's in the works for tonight's "incident." That's how the minions have started referring to it. And as much as I hate all the noise and commotion, I don't complain, in fear that they might pack up and move their base camp to a conference room downstairs and then I'll be left alone in this giant suite.
At half past three in the morning, the door opens and a bellhop enters pushing a cart stacked with suitcases and boxes of my stuff from home. Holly, my brown and white papillon, is perched contentedly on top of my Louis Vuitton train case, enjoying her chauffeured ride through the lavish, gold-trimmed hallways of the hotel. Upon seeing me, her little tail starts wagging and she lets out a cheerful bark and leaps from the cart directly into my lap.
I hold her tightly and coo into her tall, butterfly-shaped ears, rubbing my nose in the soft fur of her neck. I rescued Holly from a busted puppy mill three years ago. She was a mess when I first got her, refusing to come anywhere near me for almost six months. But now we're inseparable. And despite what you might see or read in the tabloids, she's not just another fashion accessory for me. She's my world. My lifeline.
Excerpted from 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody. Copyright © 2012 Jessica Brody. Excerpted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
The Crash Without the Burn,
All in the Family,
Come and Gone,
Keeping Up with the Larrabees,
Lexington's Last Stand,
That's What Friends Are For,
Adventures in Babysitting,
Housecleaning for Dummies,
The Ultimate Disguise,
Mood De-hancing Substances,
Never Underestimate a Larrabee,
The Stage Is Set,
Mr. Carver, in the Billiard Room, with the Pool Cue,
I Get That a Lot,
The Art of Negotiation,
Off with His Head!,
Let the Games Begin,
How the Other Half Laughs,
No Place Like Home,
The Pursuit of Awesomeness,
Underneath It All,
The Family Man,
I See Dead People,
Let There Not Be Light,
Drive-Thru Confession Booth,
The Tin Man,
Fly Away with Me,
The Other List,
On the Safe Side,
Like Mother, Like Daughter,
Return to Sender,
A Week of Mondays: Chapter 1-9,
Also by Jessica Brody,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
With the Karma Club as her final and most popular book, here comes 52 Reasons To Hate My Father, a true masterpiece of writing and awesome creativity about a snobby airess and her journey get her fathers trust fund. Abosolute great book! I love it, and the first chapter is the best of them all! I definalty amazing read! Just read, a must-have for all teen (girls) across the USA!
I couldnt put down this book for days!!! It will touch ur heart and make u laugh.
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 adorableIn 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.
Not a very long/hard book, but it was cute and a good read. Would definitely recommend
This seems like from prada to nada
Everything a book should have.....romance, suspence, and trust me you can get very frustrated at the characters too! I highly recommend it!
Nothing too intellectual here but some interesting situations and characters I enjoyed reading it - great beach read.
Rating: 3 The Low Down: She’s so close to 18, she can almost taste it. Lexington Larrabee, notorious socialite and daughter of a media mogul, will inherit her trust fund as soon as her next birthday. She’s sure that even though she wrecked her brand-new custom Mercedes, her father’s “people” will take care of it all like they always do. After all, that’s what Daddy has been doing her whole life; having his employees follow her around with a dust pan, making sure as little as possible about her antics get in the news. Lexi and her two best friends have planned their summer already, and as soon as her check gets handed to her, she’s going to live the life she knows she has coming to her. Much to her surprise, however, cold reality comes in the form of an ultimatum: work one week at each of 52 different jobs for the duration of one year without quitting, whining or slacking, and the money’s hers. Enter Luke Carver, her father’s latest intern. Like many, he admires Richard Larrabee for his tenacity and success. But Lexi? It’s hard to feel sorry for a girl who has everything with an appreciation of nothing. And lucky him - he is assigned to be Lexi’s babysitter. What happens when you see how the rest of the world lives? What if the life you think you deserve isn’t the one you should choose? Maybe, for both Lexi and Luke, seeing how the other half lives might be the best thing for them both. Well?: What a fun read. Of course, I enjoyed it when she got her comeuppance, was not “noticed” because she was the help, and when she freaked out. Fun times. Having Lexi be a one-dimensional character would have been so boring (much like the real thing *ahem*), so she had to be redeemed. I like, too that Luke had to realize that he had to understand that his idol was fallible, too. The Bottom Line: If you find yourself wanting those poor little rich girls to have a dose of reality, you will love this book. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father by Jessica Brody was published July 3, 2012 by Farrar Straus Giroux. Ink and Page won this book in a giveaway, so no one had a choice about whether it was reviewed. Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction Romance Ages: 13 and up You Might Want to Know: Nothing of note
A great beach book, this tale will keep you laughing, with and at, notorious heiress Lexington Larrabee. This supremely spoiled, yet lovely inside (way deep down where it is safe) and out, protagonist has a knack for fulfilling everyone's expectations of her. Too bad she can't see that and start defining and fulfilling her own expectations. At least not right away. This book reads as if it was ripped directly from headlines around the world - from publications known for spending more money to get the picture or headline than for actually doing any fact-checking on those same items. However unlike real life, this book does have a happy ending - for at least one person. Read it to find out who ends up getting just what they deserve and who ends up with their happily ever after.
It took a while to get into, but 52 Reasons to Hate My Father turned out to be an amazing read. Jessica Brody knows how to end a book with a bang. Lexington Larrabee is a spoiled, selfish, heiress who wouldn't know work if it hit her over the head. She knows how to drink, drive, and have a good time, but earning the money she spends is foreign to her. Starting 52 Reasons to Hate My Father took some time. I wasn't a fan of Lexi's and her personality was off-putting, but expected of an eighteen year old who has never earned one thing she owns. I pushed through my negative feeling toward her and found a heartwarming surprise half-way through. Lexi's journey pulls her from her self-absorbed world into a world where she learns how those less fortunate live. That everything isn't just handed to everyone. She sees their hardships and begins to become the person her father would be proud of. I loved reading 52 Reasons to Hate My Father because you get to see such an extreme change in attitude. The people Lexi meets leave an impression and she becomes more worldly and less selfish. I loved seeing her evolve. 52 Reasons to Hate My Father was an exceptionally well written novel that shows how much a person can change in such a short period of time. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a coming of age novel that leaves you happily surprised in the end.
Kiss your hand 3 times repost this on 3 different times then look under your pillow.