Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.
Lexington Larrabee has never 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 Blvd 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 a 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 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.
Hello Jessica! Always a pleasure to have you on YA Fresh! Please tell us what your new novel is about?
Jessica: 52 REASONS TO HATE MY FATHER is about Lexington Larrabee, a spoiled teen heiress, famous for her party-girl antics and tabloid headlines, who is forced by her ever-absent mogul father to take on a different low-wage job every week for a year, if she wants any hope of receiving her trust fund.
Sounds entertaining! Where did you get the idea to write this book?
Jessica: Actually it’s kind of a funny story. I was sitting in my car, watching a meter maid write someone a parking ticket and I thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to be a meter maid? But only for like a week. Just to see what it was like.” Then I start to brainstorm all these other jobs I’d like to do for one week. And I decided, “Well, I’m too busy writing novels to actually do all these jobs, so I guess I’ll just have to write a book about someone else who does them.” And then I tried to think of the funniest character to put in that kind of situation and the answer was instant: a spoiled heiress who has never had to work a day in her life. And alas, Lexington Larrabee was born. But really the joke’s on me, because in researching the story, I actually did take on some of the jobs that are in the book! My favorite was working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. Those head-sets you have to wear are like something out of Star Trek!
This book sounds like it would make a great movie! Is there any talk of turning it into a film?
Jessica: Actually yes! The book has been optioned for film by producer Jane Startz, who also produced Ella Enchanted, The Indian in the Cupboard, and Tuck Everlasting (among others.) She’s a powerhouse and I love her! She’s developing the movie now. There’s still no guarantee that it will actually be a movie, but it’s one step closer, and that’s all I can ask for! Plus, I just recently heard that Victoria Justice (from the hit show Victorious on Nickelodeon) has expressed early interest in starring in the film. Nothing official has been decided yet but it's still pretty freaking exciting! I'm a HUGE fan of Victoria!
That's awesome! 52 Reasons to Hate My Father is your fifth novel to be released. Does writing a novel get easier the more you write?
Jessica: You would think so, wouldn’t you?! But actually I don’t think it does. It gets only easier only in the sense that you’re prepared for all the stuff that comes with writing a novel: the self-doubt, agony, pacing the room, screaming in frustration, chocolate binges, mad sprees on the delete key, throwing up your hands and threatening to quit and run away to live on an island where no one can find you. You kind of expect those things. So when they come, you can almost manage to convince yourself it’s all part of the process. But I think with every book comes a new challenge that you weren’t expecting. No one can predict what part of a story will cause you the most trouble. And I’m constantly challenging myself to write better, tighter, more complicated stories. Otherwise, I’d get bored.
Thanks again for sharing with us, Jessica! What’s up next for you?
Jessica: Last year I signed a four book deal with my publisher, Macmillan Children’s, and I just turned in the first of those books! It’s the first installment in a new YA sci-fi/thriller trilogy called UNREMEMBERED. It’s about a sixteen-year-old girl who wakes up among the wreckage of a devastating plane crash. She’s the only survivor but she has no memories and identity. The only clue to her past is a mysterious boy who claims they were in love and that she was part of a top secret science experiment. It’s kind of like a Bourne Identity for teens. I’m really excited about it because the genre is totally new to me and writing the first book was so much fun! Plus, it’s my first crack at writing a series so that presents a whole new set of fun challenges. The first book is set to release in early 2013.
Jessica Brody is the bestselling author of The Karma Club and My Life Undecided, as well as two books for adults: The Fidelity Files and Love Under Cover. In researching this book, she took on several minimum wage jobs, her favorite of which was working the drive-thru at a fast food restaurant. She splits her time between California and Colorado. Visit her online at: www.jessicabrody.com