Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Daughters Join the Party

The Daughters Join the Party is the fourth and final book in the YA contemporary series by Joanna Philbin.

I personally recommend reading the Daughters books in order, if you can, to save you from spoilers. They go: The Daughters, The Daughters Break the Rules, and then The Daughters Take the Stage.

We have long been introduced and become invested in Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson - best friends that share a common understanding of having famous parents. Now we meet fifteen-year-old Emma Conway - she's a bit of a rebel and has spent the last year at a boarding school - breaking rules.

Being the daughter of a New York senator tends to give her less-than-perfect ways some leeway - but once her dad tells her that he is getting a campaign for President together - that leeway is gone. The things her parents already didn't like - such as her vibrant hair colors and modern fashion choices - are now becoming verboten.

And when she accidentally lets it slip on network TV that her dad is running - the lease is even tighter. Between her dad's intelligent charisma, her mom's lawyer past, and her brother being an ideal son in pretty much every way - Emma has gotten used to being the disappointment of the family. But now it's more public.

Fortunately, she's now enrolled at a New York school where she meets Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson. They know exactly what it's like to be in the spotlight against your will - and maybe screw it up. Emma hopes that they can help her deal with her sudden new life and scary future...

I have loved the previous Daughters books. I wasn't sure what I thought about being introduced to a new daughter, since I would've been happy with just more stories about the three we love already - but Joanna Philbin has done it again!

The Daughters Join the Party, like the others in the series, has an easy, smooth, engaging manner that presents us with realistic, complicated issues of parental and sibling issues - as well as things like self-esteem and self-worth. It doesn't take long to realize that Emma may be putting up a facade of toughness.

Despite the trouble she gets in, Emma is very likable - she's an animal lover, that's clear. Plus she has dyslexia, making her unique in YA, as well as more relatable. Joanna Philbin is excellent as portraying the hidden hurts in those who pretend to be unaffected - the fear in the "fearless".

The Daughters Join the Party is subtly poignant and insightful. We are shown the struggle to feel wanted, needed, and competent - and it's executed simply and intimately. This final book manages to be fun, addictive, and satisfying just like the others! Plus, we always get a good, hearty dash of romance in there, too!

Though it's a great way to end the series, I don't think I'll ever accept that we can't rejoin these characters in the future. Their lives are fascinating and foreign to us, yet they are just like any other teen when it comes to growing up and realizing the need to mature.

Read the series from start to finish, and you'll see what I mean!

*I received a review copy of The Daughters Join the Party from Hachette Book Group. Their generosity in no way influenced, nor sought to influence, my opinion of the novel.

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