Lizzie Summers, Carina Jurgensen, and Hudson Jones are the daughters of celebrities. They are in their freshman year of high school, trying to juggle school, disagreements with their parents, crushes, and unwanted but inherited fame. Lizzie is the daughter of a supermodel but she did not get her mother's conventional good looks. She feels awkward and uncomfortable whenever her picture is taken, until a YouTube video of her gains popularity and she is noticed by a photographer who thinks Lizzie is the new face of beauty. Lizzie is hesitant to do any modeling, but with the encouragement of Carina and Hudson, she decides to give it a try. She is also trying to figure out the mixed messages coming from Todd Piedmont, her former neighbor who moved away when they were ten years old after he kissed her at his family's going away party. He is back in New York from London and is going to the girls' school. Lizzie is thrilled but hesitant to get too close to him, especially after he starts dating one of the popular girls. Carina is the daughter of a billionaire who does not understand her or even try to relate to her. Since she is the only heir to her father's company, he demands that she work for him and give up the other activities that she loves like surfing. Needless to say, she is furious and plots her revenge. Hudson is the daughter of a pop icon and plans to follow in her mother's footsteps by recording her own album. However, she and her mother do not agree on Hudson's sound. Hudson struggles to stand up to her mother in the studio while Hudson is also developing a crush on her much older producer. Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson were born with fame, but what should they do with it?
The Daughters is an upbeat, stylish, fun read. It feels authentic and the dialogue fits the characters really well. The story is told in third person but focuses mostly on Lizzie as she navigates the modeling world and rekindles a friendship with Todd. Lizzie and Todd definitely steal the book but, at the same time, their will they/won't they back and forth does not dominate the book. Their scenes together are perfectly written and will have readers feeling nostalgic about their first high school crush. The friendship between Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson is very genuine. From the first page to the last, readers will be rooting for these girls. They have such a tight bond, demonstrating the true meaning of friendship even at their young ages. Everyone will wish they had friends like Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson in high school. This is definitely a great book for those who are still in middle school and high school. It celebrates individuality and has important lessons for any teenager.
This is Joanna Philbin's debut novel. There are currently two more books in The Daughters series. The Daughters Break the Rules was published in November and The Daughters Take the Stage comes out in May. Philbin is the daughter of television host Regis Philbin. She grew up in New York City and currently lives in Santa Barbara, CA.
Reviewer's Note: I am always skeptical of celebrities or relatives of celebrities who publish books because I wonder if they got published because of their talent or because of their name and connections. I have to say that Joanna Philbin has true writing talent. I absolutely loved this book and I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I highly recommend The Daughters.
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Read the first chapter of The Daughters here. (This links to a PDF courtesy of Poppy, an imprint of Little, Brown and Company of Hachette Book Group.)
Watch Joanna Philbin introduce The Daughters in the video below.