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The Daughters Break the Rules


The Daughters Break the Rules

Actress and comedienne Lucille Ball and Carina Jurgensen could have been twins. Except for hair color (Lucy was a gorgeous redhead and Carina is a sun-drenched blonde,) the two have a similar gift for landing in stinky stuff as the result of their own dubious choices. Like the lovable Lucy, however, Carina manages through gift, ingenuity or brazenness to come out smelling like a rose. For a 15-year-old on her own for the most part in the wilds of Manhattan, Carina juggles life in the celebrity fast lane while earnestly trying to be a normal teenager --- as in getting a boyfriend and staying two steps ahead of her dad.

Media mogul Karl Jurgensen doesn’t have “time” to be the father Carina thinks he’s supposed to be. But that’s alright with her because she has the run of the penthouse and the city, as well as access to unlimited funds for buying designer clothes and baubles. When her dad, known to Carina and friends Lizzie and Hudson as “the Jurg,” decides his only offspring needs a part-time internship at his office so she can get to know the business she will inherit someday, Carina’s life and social schedule are turned upside down. It feels like extraordinary punishment to spend three days a week at the copier in her dad’s office, and she doesn’t take the dictate lightly. Her plans to hook campus cutie Carter McLean are in serious jeopardy, and she decides to get back at her dad for interrupting her social life with his nepotistic boundaries.

What Carina does to her father is immature to say the least, and it also is very, very public. Millions of people get misinformed courtesy of Carina’s bratty behavior. If she thought her life was tough as an office intern, it’s nothing compared to what happens once her father gets bombarded by the paparazzi over what his daughter leaked to the Internet about his finances. Carina isn’t grounded. That’s too obvious. The Jurg is more creative than that. What Carina consequently learns about herself, money and the privileged life of the wealthy ends up helping her grow into some of the worthwhile qualities she wasn’t aware she possessed. She doesn’t notice much until Lizzie and Hudson point it out.

“You’ve changed, C,” Hudson said, putting books in her locker. “You can’t see it, but we can. You’re calmer. More mature. Not so impulsive anymore.”

And then the girls do what all good friends do from time to time: they have a fight. Will Carina’s recent personality changes help her out of a real money jam she’s gotten into? And will she be able to salvage a lifelong relationship with Lizzie and Hudson that’s being threatened by Carina’s bad decisions in spite of her friend’s advice? What’s great about this second book in Joanna Philbin’s Daughters series is the lack of teenage angst and how she handles the drama these kids experience with grace and intellectualism. At the end of the day, they may be rich kids, but they’re good kids.

Reviewed by Joy Held on November 2, 2010

The Daughters Break the Rules
by Joanna Philbin

  • Publication Date: April 5, 2011
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Poppy
  • ISBN-10: 0316049050
  • ISBN-13: 9780316049054