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The Daughters Join the Party

Review

The Daughters Join the Party

Joanna Philbin adds a fourth and final book to her series, The Daughters, which was first released in the summer of 2010. While some authors may have difficulties holding a quick succession of stories together due to overlapping promotions and storylines, Philbin manages to maintain a solid foundation in her story about four young girls who happen to be friends and have been born into wealthy and famous families. “They didn’t ask for fame. They were born with it” goes the catchy subtitle phrase repeated for each of the four books.

"Bravo to Philbin for writing a real girl thrust into a tricky spot who handles it the only way she knows how: honestly."

In THE DAUGHTERS JOIN THE PARTY, Philbin introduces a new daughter, adding to the previous trio of Lizzie Summers, Carina Jurgensen and Hudson Jones. Emma Conway doesn’t start out like the others. She’s a normal, rebellious, purple-haired teenage girl with a pet snake who gets thrown out of boarding school on the eve of her dad’s big plans. Well, he plans to break the news soon, but his plucky little girl decides to stir the pot in a different direction once she is let in on the secret. It’s supposed to be a secret, but somehow Emma doesn’t get the memo.

Of the four daughters, Emma is by far the most average. She isn’t raised by nannies or record company producers. She hasn’t spent hours, days or years in the shadow of her famous parents. While her father, Adam Conway, is a prominent and promising democratic senator from New York State, Emma’s 15 years have been pretty run-of-the-mill --- until the party decides that he would make a good candidate for a run at being the next leader of the free world. Emma is going about having her regular life at boarding school when she is thrust into the national limelight as the unlikely but endearing spokesperson for her dad’s campaign. But she doesn’t know how to follow the rules. In fact, breaking the rules is her trademark until it lets the cat out of the bag and sends the exploratory committee into a damage control tizzy.

Few children are found seriously engaged in the world of politics. That is exactly what makes THE DAUGHTERS JOIN THE PARTY a fun fantasy about the lives of a politician’s children (Emma has an older brother). The pressure is unmistakable and not easily handled by unprepared offspring. Philbin turns some wonderful phrases in this book: “But why do I have to pretend to be America’s Perfect Daughter so my dad can get elected? It just feels dishonest,” says Emma to Lizzie. And if there’s one thing about Emma, she’s honest. How often does that mix well with affairs of state? Bravo to Philbin for writing a real girl thrust into a tricky spot who handles it the only way she knows how: honestly.

Reviewed by Joy Held on December 18, 2011

The Daughters Join the Party
by Joanna Philbin

  • Publication Date: May 8, 2012
  • Genres: Fiction, Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy
  • ISBN-10: 0316179612
  • ISBN-13: 9780316179614