AUTHOR: Jessica Brody
PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus & Giroux
PUBLICATION DATE: July 3, 2012
SOURCE: my library
GENRE: romance/chick lit
GIVE IT TO: girls, grades 7+
SUMMARY: After crashing her car into a convenient store’s front window, nearly-18 year old heiress Lexi Larrabee must perform 52 low-wage jobs over the course of a year in order to receive her $25 million trust fund.
REVIEW: After seeing the book trailer at a “What’s New in YA Literature” seminar, I knew I had to read 52 Reasons as soon as I could get my hands on it. I knew I could show the trailer to my students and have them snatching it up in no time, but the 18-year old protagonist made me want to read it before I put it on my middle school library shelves. As soon as it came in, I got started reading.
I just adored this book! The Lexi in the trailer is as funny as the Lexi in the book. There is no content that concerns me for my middle schoolers, although the underage drinking parties featured in the first half of the story may raise some eyebrows. I personally think the drinking makes the story more realistic; plenty of teen socialites drink in our society, so this is not news for our students. Lexi’s character grows as she learns the value of hard work, and her drinking and partying habits stop.
I didn’t think Luke was nearly as interesting or well-developed as Lexi. I would preferred her love interest to have been the boy from the taco restaurant, but I still loved the story and how Lexi actually found herself enjoying some of the jobs.
THE BOTTOM LINE: A great pick for middle and high school girls! Be sure to show the book trailer (see below), and watch it fly off the shelves.
STATUS IN MY LIBRARY: We have two copies and a growing hold list. Now that I have read it, I have no reservations about showing the trailer to my 7th and 8th grade girls. 52 Reasons is a great choice for those girls who can read well but choose not to.
READALIKES: Ten Things We Did (And Probably Shouldn’t Have) (Mlynowski); Perfect Chemistry series (Elkeles)
- Overall: 4/5
- Creativity: 4/5
- Characters: 4/5
- Engrossing: 5/5
- Writing: 5/5
- Appeal to teens: 5/5
- Appropriate length to tell the story: 5/5
- Language: none (one humorous “[expletive]” that is funnier without using the actual word–awesome!)
- Sexuality: mild; some kissing and pectoral-lust
- Violence: none
- Drugs/Alcohol: medium-high; mostly early in the story; Lexi is drunk when she crashes her car, drinks and parties often