The Daughters Break the Rules by Joanna Philbin
Daughters Rule Number Six: Never talk to the press about your parents.
After leaking a story about the family business, impetuous high school freshman Carina Jurgensen is cut off by her billionaire father. Always resourceful, she fibs her way into a job as a party planner for New York's annual Silver Snowflake Ball. But when Carina finds out that the party committee expects favors and freebies from her dad's A-list connections, a choice must be made: Does she get real about her downgraded status, or pretend she's still the ultimate heiress?
Best friends and fellow daughters of celebrities Lizzie Summers, Carina Jurgensen and Hudson Jones are back in Joanna Philbin's second stylish and heartfelt Daughters novel. (courtesy of Goodreads)
Joanna Philbin's Daughters series gives me just about everything I want as a reader. I love books about wealthy teenagers who have fancy clothes, fancy houses, and famous families. But the main characters in most of the books are falling apart - drowning their sorrows in alcohol, drugs, and sex. You get the idea that you can't be fabulously wealthy and also be a normal, nice person. The Daughters books feature three girls (Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson) from extreme privilege who are people that I would consider myself lucky to have as friends. I can relate to them even if their material wealth is foreign to me.
The second book in the Daughters series features Carina. She is the daughter of a billionaire media mogul. She has unlimited credit cards (which she puts to frequent use) and a carefree life. Her main frustration in life is that her father ignores her and seemingly doesn't know or care about her at all. He's determined to have her succeed him in his business, something she would rather eat nails than do. Carina is bold, outgoing, and tends to jump to conclusions. Her subconscious sense of entitlement would make her an easy character to hate. But instead she seems relateable. If I had endless money growing up, watched everyone around me spend a fortune on clothes and toys, and had no one to guide me, I'm sure I'd spend money just as thoughtlessly as Carina. Overall, Carina is a nice girl, a loyal friend, and a fun person to spend time with as a reader.
Thanks to Carina's father, Carina is forced to quickly grow up. After she does something really stupid and short-sighted at the end of the last novel, her father cuts her off completely. She is forced to live on $20 a week. She takes on a job planning a ditzy charity party (plastic surgery for the underprivileged) to earn money for a winter ski trip. With help from sudden poverty, new friends, and Carina's innate ingenuity, she travels a bumpy road to thriftiness.
I love seeing how Carina grows throughout this book. I liked her at the beginning, but I really loved her by the end of the book. The reader knows immediately that by cutting her off, her father is really doing her a great favor. It is wonderful to see Carina realize this as the book goes on. I also loved seeing her relationship with her father change.
I still love Lizzie and Hudson. Carina doesn't always treat them that well in this book - not out of intentional meanness, but out of thoughtlessness. After being in Lizzie's head in the last novel, I miss her, but it's clear that she has grown into a much more confident girl. Hudson is still horribly shy and afraid to defy her mother. I can't wait to read her story in the next novel. I also love Alex, the young DJ that Carina befriends. I learned more about DJing than I'd ever known. I loved the way he introduced Carina in to a more normal life.
The Daughters Break The Rules has a predictable plot. You basically know how Carina is going to grow throughout the book, but there are also a few little surprises. The predictability doesn't bother me at all. I got exactly the book I wanted: sweet girls, uplifting story, and cool clothes.
I highly recommend Joanna Philbin's Daughters series.