Book Review: Joanna Philbin’s The Daughters

Posted January 6, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Joanna Philbin’s The Daughters

The Daughters


Joanna Philbin

chick lit that was published by Poppy on May 1, 2010 and has 288 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include The Daughters Take the Stage

First in the Daughters young adult lifestyle series revolving around best friends Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson.

In 2012, The Daughters was nominated for the Buckeye Children’s Book Award for 6–8.

My Take

It’s all teen angst over how their parents don’t understand them and how will Lizzie get the boy she loves set in the upper stratosphere of society. Money is no object and top designers’ names are flung about like a spilled box of full popcorn. Yet Philbin has created some very real people who share family issues just like our own.

The Daughters has all sorts of warm fuzzies to it, if only because Lizzie has such great parents. They encourage her to spread her wings while carefully holding the lines of safety. They are concerned about her mistakes, but only so that she learns from them and doesn’t get in too deep.

I enjoyed this story very much and am looking forward to reading the next in the series, The Daughters Break the Rules, 2.

The Story

It’s not easy being the daughter of a celebrity. Fortunately Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson have each other to moan about the difficulties. Lizzie loves her mom but just hates being out in public with her. It’s always “over here, Katia”, “just a couple, Katia”. But she really hates it when her mom insists on Lizzie being in the pictures as well. No one can be as beautiful as her mother, and it just hurts when the photographers yell out that they just want her mom.

But this year, school at Chadwick is gonna rock ’cause Todd Piedmont is back, and he seems to be interested in her. And her writing. When Todd has a party at his place, he even invites her over before everyone else, and then Lizzie blows it, running out on Todd, and leaving him to the greedy Ava Elting.

It truly was an emergency — even if Lizzie is grateful for the reprieve. Carina’s dad insists that she give up all outside interests — including her friends!! — and spend all that extra free time working for her dad’s company. After all, she will inherit it all one day. The fact that Carina would much prefer something in sports simply doesn’t matter. Then there’s poor Hudson. She has an amazing voice just perfect for torch songs, and there’s a record producer who wants to produce an album with her. BUT. Her mother insists on getting all up in her face and telling her and her producer how to and what to record. None of it suited to Hudson’s voice!

Unfortunately, Todd’s party isn’t Lizzie’s only screw-up. She slagged on her mom’s new business venture in public, went against Natasha’s command to avoid Andrea, and skipped school to play model with Martin Meloy.

When her parents find out…

The Characters

Lizzie Summers is the ugly “daughter of super-model Katia Summers“; her father is Bernard Summers, a brilliant journalist.

Her best friends are Carina Jurgensen, the sports-minded “daughter of billionaire Karl Jurgensen, and Hudson Jones, the talented “daughter of chart-topping pop icon Holla Jones.

Todd Piedmont is so-o-o-o hot, and he’s just moved back to New York City with his dad. A dad who turns out to be in very big trouble. Lizzie had this mad passion for him before; now…wow…she’s still in love. His brother Jack is a freshman at NYU living near the campus. Ava Elting is “at the top of the NYC private school food chain” and bitchy as hell. What she wants, she takes. And she wants Todd. Hillary Crumple is a wanna-be always following Hudson around bugging her until she sells Hudson out. Mr. Barlow is Lizzie’s English teacher and very supportive of her interest in writing.

Natasha is her mom’s publicist. Andrea Sidwell is a photographer interested in Lizzie as a model, a real-person model. Martin Meloy is the designer. To work with him is to have your career carved in stone.

The Cover and Title

It’s a white background with the cartoon outline of buildings. Each wears their signature outfit as Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson stroll, their arms around each other’s waists, down this narrow street huddled under their red umbrella.

Hey, the title is what it’s all about, The Daughters of celebrities — their differences and their similarities.