Author: Jessica Brody
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012
Lexington Larrabee has grown up with everything she could possibly want: custom-made cars, private jets, mansions across the United States and Europe, designer clothing, the works. She just hasn't had much of a father, since her dad is the CEO and founder of Larrabee Media, one of the biggest media corporations in the world. She is counting down the days until her 18th birthday, when she will be given access to the $25 million trust fund in her name, allowing her to have her freedom from her father's estate and rules. But after a particularly bad car crash into a convenience store, Lexi's father decides she needs a bit more time and effort to earn her trust fund. He picks out 52 jobs for her, one per week for a year, before she can get that check. Jobs like being a maid, digging graves, working in a fast-food restaurant, and working at a caterer's. Lexi is horrified, and things are only made worse when one of her father's interns, Luke, has been assigned as her "liaison," or as Lexi calls it, her babysitter. She's going to have to figure out how to get through this next year without having things done for her or handed to her without question, and without going crazy.
This whole premise reminded me a little bit of that "reality" show with Nicole Richie and Paris Hilton, The Simple Life (remember that?). Except there are no cameras, no script, just Lexi, Luke, and each job. Along with each supervisor who has signed a NDA too, of course. Basically Lexi needs to let go of her pride and get down to the dirty work, most of the time literally. So, think The Simple Life crossed with Dirty Jobs.
Not only was this book really fun, I enjoyed watching Lexi's character develop throughout the novel. It's predictable that Lexi will change over the course of the book, otherwise there would be no real point, but it was still nice to see the gradual change. I especially liked how she reacted to her friend Rolando and his living situation, and what she took from that experience.
This would be a good read for people who enjoy living vicariously through books like Gossip Girl, without the shallowness. There is depth and growth in the characters, as well as some great dialogue and a plot with both humor and a bit of suspense. It's true there is some name dropping going on in here as well, which I usually can't stand, but fortunately the names being dropped are from more timeless designers and are much less likely to be dated in a few years.
I wholeheartedly recommend this book to people who are looking for a quick, fun read and who enjoy reading about glamourous lifestyles, without having to sacrifice on the quality of the story.
If you're still not convinced, take a look at this book trailer.
And if you're wondering, I'm pretty sure this will be made into a movie sometime soon, if Brody's acknowledgments at the back of the book are anything to go by. Get excited.
Disclosure: I got this book from the library.