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The Daughters (Daughters Series #1)

The Daughters (Daughters Series #1)

4.4 196
by Joanna Philbin

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The only daughter of supermodel Katia Summers, witty and thoughtful Lizzie Summers likes to stick to the sidelines.

The sole heir to Metronome Media and daughter of billionaire Karl Jurgensen, outspoken Carina Jurgensen would rather climb mountains than social ladders.

Daughter of chart-topping pop icon Holla


The only daughter of supermodel Katia Summers, witty and thoughtful Lizzie Summers likes to stick to the sidelines.

The sole heir to Metronome Media and daughter of billionaire Karl Jurgensen, outspoken Carina Jurgensen would rather climb mountains than social ladders.

Daughter of chart-topping pop icon Holla Jones, stylish and sensitive Hudson Jones is on the brink of her own music breakthrough.

By the time freshman year begins, unconventional-looking Lizzie Summers has come to expect fawning photographers and adoring fans to surround her gorgeous supermodel mother. But when Lizzie is approached by a fashion photographer that believes she's "the new face of beauty," Lizzie surprises herself and her family by becoming the newest Summers woman to capture the media's spotlight.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The daughter of talk show host Regis Philbin tackles a topic that’s close to home in her predictably glam (think paparazzi chases, designer apparel, and Fashion Week appearances) but thoroughly enjoyable debut. This first book in a series about growing up with celebrity parents follows 14-year-old Lizzie (daughter of a supermodel), Hudson (daughter of a pop icon), and Carina (daughter of a media tycoon)—best friends who feel doomed to live in the oppressive shadow of their superstar parents. The other girls’ struggles are barely touched on (presumably to be explored in later books), as Lizzie’s adventures in “ugly modeling” (“using people who aren’t traditionally beautiful to sell products”) and the unanticipated side effects of her newfound popularity take center stage. Despite the potential for a contrived story, Philbin’s portrayal of the girls as down-to-earth overachievers who crave normalcy keeps the book in believable territory. Lizzie’s physical insecurities (given that her gorgeous mother has been called “walking proof of God”) and growth make her particularly relatable. Who knew? Stars’ daughters—they’re just like us. Ages 12-up. (May)
Cecily von Ziegesar
Ever wonder what it's really like to grow up in Manhattan with a famous mom or dad? Well, Joanna Philbin is going to tell you. The Daughters is authentic and well-told. Gossip Girl herself would love this new series.
Jen Calonita
I was drawn to the tantalizing story immediately, but my heart was stolen by the fierce friendship between three besties living life inside the celebrity fishbowl. I can't wait to read the next book!
Children's Literature - Stephanie R. Pearmain
Lizzie Summers is the fourteen-year-old daughter of supermodel Katia Summers. Unlike her mother, Lizzie is not a picture perfect beauty. Her reddish-orange hair is frizzie, her nose is quite imperfect, and her overall look is a little bizarre. Hudson Jones is the fourteen-year-old daughter of pop singer icon Holla Jones. Fourteen-year-old Carina Jurgensen's father is billionaire Karl Jurgensen, who loves power and all that money can buy. Carina, on the other hand, wants nothing more than waves to surf and mountains to climb. The three teenagers are "the daughters"—best friends who are always looking out for each other and helping one another maneuver through life as a daughter of super star parents. The book begins with Lizzie accompanying her mother to Fall Fashion week, where the paparazzi are out in huge numbers. Lizzie gets away from the spotlight as quickly as she can, rushing off to meet her two best friends. As the girls leave a cafe, they run into Todd Piedmont. Lizzie and Todd grew up in the same apartment building and were childhood friends. The night before he left two years ago, he kissed Lizzie and that was the last she heard from him. Now Todd has returned, and he has grown into quite a hot fourteen-year-old who, like Lizzie, loves to read the classics (coincidently they both favor The Great Gatsby). They are both aspiring writers as well and the best part isthat Todd seems to be interested in Lizzie. Lizzie is soon contacted by Andrea, a hip, young photographer whose specialty is "ugly modeling"—taking photos of and capturing the natural beauty of ordinary people. As Lizzie dives into modeling (her photos are adored, and she is suddenly sought after) without her mother's knowledge.Carina's big issue comes when her dad decides it is time she learn the ropes of the business since she is the sole heir to his empire. Carina is angry and resentful. While working she discovers her father has been stealing millions of dollars. She tells her best friend that she wants to expose him. In the end, Lizzie discovers high end modeling is not a world she's interested in and chooses to remain true to herself. Todd reveals that he has loved her since they were young. To find out what happens next, we must read the next "daughters" book"—The Daughters Break the Rules. Lizzie is the main character in this book and she is quite likeable. She has layers of depth with her love of literature, desire to be a writer, and a general distaste for the world of modeling that her mother exists in. This is a fun read and great beginning to a series that will probably be widely read within its genre. Reviewer: Stephanie R. Pearmain
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson are fiercely loyal 14-year-old BFFs in trendy New York. They have something in common—wealthy celebrity parents who don't always share their daughters' values. The novel is narrated by Lizzie, whose mother is the über-famous model Katia Summers, whom designers have named "walking proof of God." It's a tough act to follow, especially for gawky Lizzie, who has a large nose and frizzy hair. Knowing that she can never measure up, she hates it when they're forced to pose together at events. But when famous "ugly-model" photographer Andrea asks Lizzie to pose due to her unique, real-life look (the "New Pretty"), she defiantly ignores her publicist's commands and goes for it, and for the first time in her life, recognizes her own beauty. In the process, she begins a relationship with a boy she thought was out of her league. This fun, quick read will be enjoyed by girls who subscribe to magazines like Seventeen and love trendy designer clothing and accessories. While the writing is a bit formulaic, readers will be intrigued by the well-drawn characters and their growth over the course of several months. Tweens and young teens will eagerly look forward to the next installment.—Susan Riley, Mount Kisco Public Library, NY

Product Details

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Daughters Series , #1
Sold by:
Hachette Digital, Inc.
Sales rank:
File size:
892 KB
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Read an Excerpt

The Daughters

By Philbin, Joanna


Copyright © 2010 Philbin, Joanna
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316049009

chapter 1



“Over here!”

“Over here!”

Lizzie Summers stood where she usually did when she was out with her mother—off to the side, hidden in the crowd, safely out of frame—and watched the world’s most famous supermodel drive the paparazzi crazy.


“Over here!”

With her shoulders thrown back, her back slightly arched, and one manicured hand placed jauntily on her hip, Lizzie’s mother pivoted left and right, her multimillion-dollar smile so bright it could blind people. Today it was even brighter than usual, because Plenty magazine had decided to kick off Fall Fashion Week with a luncheon in her honor. But like most Fashion Week events, there were about fifteen minutes of frantic picture-taking before anything really got started.

“Katia!” someone yelled.

“You’re beautiful!” someone screamed.

Lizzie looked out the window of the Mandarin Oriental’s private dining room, down at the green domes of trees in Central Park and beyond, at the elegant and crowded skyline of Fifth Avenue, and sighed. Um, yeah, she thought. She’s beautiful. Understatement of the century.

Her mother, Katia Summers, wasn’t just beautiful. One fashion designer (Galliano? Gaultier? Lizzie couldn’t remember) had called Katia “walking proof of God.” And if her mother’s twenty-year career as a supermodel was any indication, everyone else thought so, too.

As Katia’s only child, Lizzie had logged more hours of her life looking at her mother in person than just about anyone, and even she had to agree: her mom was Seriously, Jaw-Droppingly, Is-That-Humanly-Possible Gorgeous. Day or night. Made-up or fresh-faced. Bedhead or updo. No matter how few hours of sleep she’d had or how annoyed Lizzie was with her, Katia Summers was never not breathtaking. And if beauty was really the sum of a person’s parts, then each of Katia’s parts was almost perfect. There were the eyes that famously changed color, from turquoise to green to an exotic indigo-purple, depending on her mood; the glacial cheekbones that made the lower half of her face a perfect V; her naturally pillowy lips and the trademark pout, caused by a small overbite her parents had never fixed. There was the thick, extension-free blond hair that fell in waves to the middle of her back, and her lean but voluptuous body. Yes, Lizzie would think, as she looked at her mom across the breakfast table or in the elevator—perfect.

Katia was so perfect that at thirty-seven, when most other models had already hung up their Manolos, she was still in peak demand. She starred in the ad campaigns of at least one A-list designer each season, did spreads in the biggest issues of Harper’s Bazaar, W, and every country’s edition of Vogue, served as the face of L’Ete cosmetics, and once a year graced the cover of GQ or Details, covered by nothing but a macramé bikini bottom and her own strategically placed hands. And now she was about to make the career leap that only a precious few supermodels could even attempt, let alone pull off. She would go from supermodel to super-mogul. Clothes, perfume, housewares—Katia would design it all. Katia Coquette—a “French-inspired” (read: extra-sexy) lingerie line—was just the beginning. And from the sight of the press clamoring to take her photo and the fashionistas watching Katia with approval, Katia Coquette looked like it was going to be a huge hit.

Checking her watch, Lizzie walked over to the open bar.

It was already past noon, and she’d told her best friends, Carina and Hudson, that she’d meet them by one. School started tomorrow, which meant that today they would grab something from Pinkberry, stroll through the West Village, and catch up on their summers—their last-day-of-summer ritual. Since nursery school, Hudson and Carina had been her best friends. Lizzie thought of them as the Brita filters for her life. If something happened to her, good or bad, she passed it through them, and when it came out the other side, she would almost always feel better. Lizzie thought it was because the three of them had one huge thing in common: they each knew what it was like to have a life divided up into two parts: public, and private. They’d even made up their own rules for how to deal with it.

She leaned on the edge of the bar and slipped one throbbing foot out of her mom’s four-inch Christian Louboutin gold peep-toes. She knew that Louboutins were supposedly the best shoes in the world, but they pinched her feet and crunched her toes. She much preferred her thick-soled, extremely-comfortable, eighty-five-dollar Steve Madden platforms, but Katia had vetoed them for these kinds of events.

“Ahhh,” she said, stretching her toes. Nearby a bartender sliced lemons on a cutting board.

“Feet hurt?” he asked. He looked like he was in his early twenties, and had one of those little patches of hair on his chin.

“I don’t know how people wear these things,” she said.

The bartender nodded but his gaze traveled over to where Katia was still surrounded by cameras.

“She’s gorgeous,” he said, almost slicing off a finger. “She’s even hotter in person.”

Lizzie looked over at her mom, still posing. She couldn’t resist. “That’s my mom,” she said.

The bartender’s mouth opened as he looked back. “That’s your mom?” he asked in disbelief.

Lizzie smiled. Nobody ever believed her. “Yep,” she said.

“Really?” the bartender asked. “It’s just you guys don’t really look anything…”

Before he could finish his sentence, Lizzie heard her mother’s voice calling from across the room.

“Lizzie! Honey! Come take a picture!”

Lizzie turned around. Her mother was waving one golden, perfectly toned arm in what looked to be her direction.

“Come on!” Katia yelled. “Take a picture!”

Here we go again, Lizzie thought. Every time she went to an official function with her mom, she wound up getting roped into a photo session. Couldn’t Katia have mercy on her, just once?

“Come on, Lizzie!” Katia mouthed over the din of the clicking cameras. “Just a couple!”

The crowd of skinny, pale fashion editors craned their heads to get a look at Lizzie. There was no getting out of this. She slipped her foot back in the shoe and hobbled over to her mom, wishing that her father, Bernard, could have been Katia’s date to this instead. But somehow he always seemed to be on deadline for his column for the New York Times. It was kind of annoying.

When she reached her, Katia draped her slender arm around Lizzie’s waist, and pulled her in tight. “My daughter!” she announced to the crowd.

Lizzie faced the collection of black, vacant cameras lenses in front of her. For a long few seconds, nothing happened. Finally, there was one weak flash. Then another. And then another.

And then…

“Can we have just a few more with you, Katia?” someone yelled. “Just you?”

“Yes, Katia, just you!”

“Hey, Mom,” Lizzie whispered into her mother’s ear. “Can I go meet my friends now?”

Katia squeezed Lizzie’s waist and removed her arm. “Of course,” she whispered.

“Congratulations,” Lizzie whispered back.

Her mom patted her on the back and turned back to the cameras. Lizzie was free.

As she walked out of the room, she felt her shoulders relax and her breath come back. Being at these kinds of things always made her tense. In a few minutes, she’d be on the subway, hurtling downtown toward her friends, and she could forget all of this. But the same question gnawed at her, for what was probably the billionth time, as her heels clicked on the smooth marble floor of the hotel lobby and the mortification of the photo op slowly wore off: Did her mom really not know what her own daughter looked like?

There was a time when the paparazzi had wanted to take Lizzie’s picture, back when she and her mother had been the Sexy Supermodel and her Adorable Kid. When Lizzie was little, the photographers had followed her and her mom everywhere: to nursery school, to the park, to FAO Schwarz.

But then Lizzie got older. And Lizzie changed from the Adorable Kid to the Awkward Teenager. While Katia stayed the Sexy Supermodel.

Actually, awkward was putting it kindly. She was Different. Unusual. Odd.

Or, as Hudson and Carina liked to put it: striking.

“Like what Uma Thurman probably looked like, until she got pretty,” Hudson would say.

But Uma Thurman didn’t have hazel eyes that were so enormous they seemed to bug out of her face. Or a long, meandering nose that faked left and went right. Or straight, thick eyebrows that were as flat and furry as a Sesame Street character’s, even when they were plucked. And Uma Thurman certainly didn’t have bright, curly red hair that was the texture of Brillo and turned into a bush anytime the temperature went above eighty degrees.

And most importantly, Uma Thurman had not been expected to be beautiful. Who expected the daughters of Buddhism professors to turn into Hollywood actresses? But the only daughter of Katia Summers, otherwise known as “Walking Proof of God,” was expected to at least be cute. And that wasn’t quite what had happened.

Lizzie liked to think that her weird looks meant she could avoid the paparazzi. If she were out with her mom, and they got surrounded coming out of a café or Starbucks, clearly she could stay on the sidelines and none of the photographers would mind. But that wasn’t how Katia saw it. Every chance she got, she wanted Lizzie in the photo. Lizzie figured that she was either oblivious to the fact she had a weird-looking kid or trying to prove a point. But how could a supermodel think that looks didn’t matter? As she walked down into the stifling heat of the subway station, Lizzie decided that maybe her mom was just oblivious. Which was worse.

Lizzie swiped her MetroCard in the turnstile and dashed down the steps to the waiting train. As the doors closed, she found a seat and pulled The Great Gatsby from her bag. She wanted to finish it before tomorrow, even though Gatsby was summer reading for the tenth grade, not the ninth, at the Chadwick School. But her taste in books had always been a little advanced. She’d learned to read at three, tackled the first two Harry Potters by six, and begun writing stories at eight. She’d been writing ever since and this summer she’d attended the exclusive Barnstable Writer’s Workshop out on Cape Cod for six weeks. There a writer had kept talking about Fitzgerald, and Lizzie had been embarrassed that she’d never read him before. Now she didn’t want the book to end. There were paragraphs that were so beautiful that she read them over and over. One day, she hoped, she would be able to write a quarter as good as Fitzgerald. Or maybe a tenth.

At Bleecker Street, she got off the subway and limped up the steps to the sidewalk. Her aching feet wobbled in the Louboutins, and it was all she could do not to fall on her face as she walked past sienna-colored brownstones with flowerboxes in the windows, and plate-glass storefronts of bakeries and coffee shops. She loved the West Village—it always reminded her of an earlier New York, when the city was filled with artists and writers and before that, horses and carriages. Now the streets were dotted with fancy clothing boutiques and sushi joints, and filled with NYU students back from summer break, carrying shopping bags from Bed, Bath & Beyond. One day, when she was a famous writer she’d live down here, she thought, just as she turned the corner and saw the blue and green facade of the Promised Land. Otherwise known as Pinkberry.

She threw the glass door open and rushed inside, toward the table in the corner where two girls, one petite and blond, one taller and black-haired, sat waiting for her.

“Lizzie!” shrieked the blond girl as she leaped out of her chair. Carina Jurgensen threw her tan arms around Lizzie as if she hadn’t seen her in years. “Oh my God, hi!” she said, jumping up and down on her flip-flops, as her blond ponytail swung back and forth. “I missed you, Lizbutt!”

“I missed you, too, C,” she said, returning Carina’s frantic hug as best she could. “And you’re so tan.”

“And you’re so tall,” Carina said admiringly, letting her go. “Pretty soon I’m gonna feel like a midget around you, I swear.” Her cocoa-brown eyes were wide and electrically alive. Sometimes Lizzie thought Carina was more alive than anyone she’d ever met.

“Oh my God, that dress is to die for,” said Lizzie’s other best friend, Hudson Jones, as she stood up and hugged her, too. Wavy black curls framed her heart-shaped face, and her green eyes sparkled. “Is that Margiela?” she asked in her soft, gentle voice, looking at Lizzie’s dress.

“It’s my mom’s,” Lizzie said. “And it barely fits.”

“Then have some Pinkberry,” Carina said as they sat down. She pushed a tub of pomegranate yogurt with mochi across the table. “Here, got you your favorite.”

Carina Jurgensen had lived her entire life in New York, but at first glance she looked like a surfer girl from the north shore of Oahu. Petite but athletic, with sunstreaked hair that never faded and a sprinkling of freckles on her button nose, Carina actually did surf, and snowboard, and climb mountains, and anything else that allowed her to be outdoors. She was fearless. Ever since they’d been little, Carina had been the first of them to do anything scary—whether it was Rollerblading straight down a hill in Central Park on a crowded Sunday, or flirting with the guys at St. Brendan’s. Because she was unable to sit still for longer than a few minutes, Carina didn’t like to spend a lot of time in front of the mirror, and she was so pretty she didn’t need to. Her favorite season was summer, and her favorite summer look was what she wore today: shorts, a T-shirt with cut-off sleeves, and camouflage-patterned flip-flops. Guys tended to find Carina Jurgensen completely adorable, though she usually didn’t notice.

“I so need this,” Lizzie said, digging into her yogurt. “It’s a gazillion degrees outside.”

“Yeah, but Hudson’s still cold,” Carina joked, nodding at their friend.

“No I’m not,” Hudson argued, pulling her deconstructed fringed wrap closer around herself. “I’m just being sun-savvy.”

If Carina was the beach-blond surfer girl, then Hudson Jones was the sophisticated urban hippie-chick. She was beautiful, with French toast–colored skin and dazzling green eyes, courtesy of her mom’s Afro-Caribbean heritage and her dad’s French-Irish background, and she had the slender build and perfect posture of a girl who’d studied dance all of her life. Hudson was also incredibly stylish. Under her wrap, she wore a silk coral-colored tunic dotted with sequins, gladiator sandals with crisscross straps that traveled up to her knees, gigantic silver hoops, and a one-of-a-kind multicolored woven bag that she’d picked up in Buenos Aires. On Hudson, it all managed to look perfect.

“How was your mom’s thing?” Hudson asked, taking a small bite of her green tea yogurt with blueberries. Hudson was always going for the healthy option.

“Good, but she roped me into a photo op again. When is she gonna get that nobody—nobody—wants to take my picture?”

“Lizzie, stop,” Hudson said in a cautious voice. Lizzie’s looks were well-covered territory among the three of them and she knew that her friends were tired of talking about it.

“No, you guys know I don’t care, I just wish she saw it,” Lizzie said. “Anyway, Carina. How was Outward Bound?”

“So, so, so incredible,” Carina said, shaking her head as she wolfed down her yogurt. “Colorado is the most perfect place on earth. But I didn’t take a shower for almost a month. You guys shoulda seen me. I was covered in dirt. It was awesome.”

“What’d your dad say when he saw you covered in dirt?” Hudson asked.

Carina grinned. “That I’d wasted a summer. What’d you think?”

Carina’s father, Karl Jurgensen, was a workaholic. He was also one of the richest men in the world. Metronome Media, his empire of fat glossy lifestyle and fashion magazines, newspapers, cable news channels, and social-networking sites spanned continents and employed thousands of people. He was building what he hoped would be the biggest streamed-entertainment site in the world, with every television series, reality show, or movie available on one user-friendly website. Karl had so much money that he’d also become one of the country’s biggest philanthropists, donating millions to fight poverty and world hunger. With his charismatic personality and dashing looks, Karl was one of the most eligible bachelors in New York, if not the world. He’d divorced Carina’s mother when Carina was in the fifth grade and since then Carina had lived alone with him in a palatial penthouse on Fifty-Seventh Street.

Most of the time the two of them managed to get along. But Karl’s impatience with his free-spirited daughter could set off a violent explosion between the two of them, and by the end of the school year, Carina and the Jurg, as she called her dad, usually weren’t speaking. Which was why she spent every summer as far from him and New York as possible, climbing mountains in Colorado or learning how to scuba dive.

“How was your dad’s party this year?” Hudson asked.

Carina shrugged. “Pretty good, I guess,” she said. “He thinks he raised two million.” Every year around Labor Day, Karl, or the Jurg, turned his Montauk estate into an amusement park to raise money for charity. There were roller coasters, spinning teacups, fireworks displays, and even an underwater submarine ride in one of his lakes. A ticket to “Jurgensenland” cost a thousand dollars and a dinner table for the ball at the end of the evening cost ten thousand.

“And how was the end of the tour?” Lizzie asked Hudson.

“Crazy,” Hudson sighed. “Thirty cities in forty-five days. I don’t know how my mom does it. By the ninth day I was exhausted.”

“Any Holla drama?” Carina asked, getting right to the point.

Hudson rolled her eyes. “There was this guy from Rolling Stone on the tour with us, doing the usual article on ‘Holla Jones and her Unstoppable Career,’ and he asked me how old my mom was. I was so jet-lagged, I told him the truth: thirty-seven. And when it got back to my mom, she freaked out. As if three extra years were that big a deal.” Hudson stood up and placed her half-empty carton into the trash can. “Moral of the story? Don’t ever talk to the press. Even when they’re, like, living with you day and night.”

Hudson’s mother, Holla Jones, was a pop star. Her multi-octave voice and radio-friendly hits had made her a star at nineteen, and now she was an icon. Year after year, through a combination of touring, cutting-edge album production, and an iron will, she reached the top of the Billboard charts. But the iron will had lately become a problem. It related to everything: her daily, three-hour workouts with a personal trainer; her strictly organic vegetarian diet; and her relationships, which were usually over before they began. Hudson’s dad was a case in point. He’d been a backup dancer on one of Holla’s first tours—and then promptly disappeared the moment the tour ended, scared off by Holla’s fearsome discipline.

Hudson and Holla’s bond was fierce, almost sisterly, and Lizzie often admired it. But it also made her a little nervous. Hudson had inherited her mother’s voice, her looks, and her presence, and now was about to record her own album. But where Holla was all fast beats, flashy costumes, and high-energy pop, Hudson was soulful, slow, and a smoky torch. Unfortunately, Holla wasn’t so aware of the distinction.

“Any cute dancers?” Carina asked as they walked out onto the street.

“Uh, no,” Hudson said. “They were all on the other team.”

“Too bad,” Carina said, making a beeline for a jewelry stand set up on the street. “I was too stinky to even think of hooking up with anyone on that mountain, even though this one guy was really hot,” she said, holding up a pair of dangly coin earrings to her ears. “What do you guys think? Cheap or cool?”

“Cheap,” Lizzie said.

“And do you really need them?” asked Hudson.

“Whatever, they’re ten bucks,” Carina said, producing a bill from the back pocket of her shorts and handing it to the man in the Rastafarian cap behind the table. Despite her granola tendencies, Carina liked to spend money. And her dad gave her plenty.

“Speaking of hot guys,” Hudson murmured, staring at something up the street. “Look at him.”

Lizzie turned and followed Hudson’s gaze. Walking out of the southern end of Washington Square Park, fists in the pockets of his jeans, white iPod wires trailing from his ears, was a very hot guy. An alarmingly hot guy. He was so cute that Lizzie could only look at him in small, bite-sized glimpses. Large blue eyes. Chiseled face. Straight brown hair that was a little shaggy over his forehead. Full, pink lips.

“Wow,” Carina muttered. “Now that is a hot college guy.”

But Lizzie could tell he was younger than that. And then she realized there was something familiar about his walk. It was a loping, easy stroll, as if he was totally in his own world and in absolutely no hurry. “Oh my God,” Lizzie said when it hit her. “That’s Todd Piedmont.”

“What?” Carina asked, awestruck. “The guy from your building?”

“Didn’t he move to London?” Hudson asked. “Like, three years ago?”

“Maybe he’s back for a visit,” Lizzie replied.

“Is that what happens when people move to London?” Carina wondered. “They become total hotties?”

“Go say hi.” Hudson grabbed Lizzie’s arm and gave her a nudge.

“Yeah,” Carina seconded. “Before he gets back on a plane and never comes back.”

“Wait—by myself?”

“You guys were BFF,” Hudson pointed out.

“Yeah, when we were six.”

As she watched her old neighbor reach the curb, she tried to wrap her brain around the fact that this was the same boy she’d bossed around, played with, and once made cry. But whoever it was, she was just happy to be wearing a pretty dress and peep-toe heels, even if they did kill her feet.

As two kids the same age living three floors apart, she and Todd Piedmont had trick-or-treated together, sledded in Central Park, ran around the lobby on rainy days, or just rode the elevators for hours, pushing buttons for their tolerant neighbors. Todd’s parents, Jack and Julia, were almost as glamorous as her parents. Jack was the head of an investment bank and did triathlons on the weekends, and had a rugged self-confidence that made women giggly and other men very quiet. Julia was an elegant, dark-haired beauty who worked as a contributing editor at Vogue. They seemed completely in love.

But Todd could be a little moody. Sometimes he’d disappear into his room with a book for hours, even when Lizzie was at his house. He could also get his feelings hurt easily, like when Lizzie poured his favorite kind of grape juice down the garbage disposal and he burst into tears. (It didn’t help that she was at least half a foot taller than him.) In fifth grade Todd went to an all-boys school, St. Brendan’s, and started hanging out more with the boys in his class. And when he did see her, Todd acted weird. He’d ignore her in the lobby, or barely mumble a hello if she ran into him on the street.

“Todd!” his mother would say, in front of Lizzie and her mom. “What’s happened to your manners?” “Hi,” he’d sullenly say, and then make a beeline for the elevator.

The next year, when Lizzie and Todd were almost twelve, his family decided to move to London. Lizzie was relieved. No more awkward moments in the elevator. No more Todd weirdness.

But then Todd did something really strange.

It was at the Piedmonts’ going-away party. Todd and Lizzie were hanging out by themselves, as usual, in the kitchen, while the grown-ups mingled in the living room. They stood in the kitchen in awkward silence, eating red velvet cupcakes. Suddenly Todd grabbed her by the shoulders and pulled her to him. She felt his damp lips press against her mouth for an instant, and when it was over, her cupcake was on the tile floor, frosting-side down. Then her parents came in to say they were leaving, and that was the last time she ever saw him. His parting gift to her had been that quick, sloppy first kiss.

Now as she watched Todd come toward her, she wondered if that kiss had been so sloppy after all.

“Come on, you’re gonna miss him!” Hudson said, giving her a slight push. “Go!”

Lizzie took a wobbly step forward on her Louboutins. The good thing about looking like a Sesame Street character, she thought, was that people usually remembered you. She limped toward him, and was just a few feet away when Todd yanked the iPod wires out of his ears.

“Lizzie?” he asked, a smile curling around the edges of his mouth. “Lizzie Summers?”

She took a step and wobbled on a crack in the pavement. “Oh!” she cried, and before she knew it, tumbled right into his chest.

“Whoa, you okay?” he asked, catching her in his arms. With her nose pressed into his T-shirt, she got a whiff of Downy, Ivory soap, and boy-sweat. His arms felt strong around her, as if they had finally developed real muscles. “Here you go,” he said, propping her back on her feet. “You all right?”

“So, um, what’s up?” she asked breezily, trying to pretend that she had not just tripped and almost fallen on her face.

“Not much, how are you?” he asked, a faint English accent tweaking his r’s. He was taller than her now, and standing this close to him she was eye-level with his lips. They were definitely on the full side—had he had these before?

“Um, what are you doing here?” Her right leg started to shake like it did whenever she was nervous. “I thought you were in London.”

“We moved back,” he said. “Just a couple weeks ago.”

“You moved back?” she practically yelled.

“Yeah. My dad wanted to. And then my brother got into NYU,” he said, gesturing behind him toward the park, “so it seemed like the right time. And we’re actually back in the old building. You guys moved away, right?”

Lizzie had sensed a year ago that moving had been a terrible idea. Now she knew why. “Yeah, last year. To the west side. I think the building got annoyed, you know, with all the photographers.”

Todd smiled. “I’m sure I’ll still see you, though. Every day, probably.”

“You will?”

He flicked a piece of hair out of his eyes. “I’m going to Chadwick.”

Lizzie blinked. For a moment, she thought she might lose her balance again. Todd Piedmont was going to go to her school? He’d been gone for three years, become alarmingly hot, and now she was going to be seeing him again every day—all day long?

“That’s great,” she said casually, hoping that her pounding chest wasn’t a dead giveaway.

“Hey, you guys,” Todd said to her friends. Lizzie had been too distracted to notice that they had come to stand on either side of her.

“How’s merry old England?” Carina asked playfully.

“And how long are you here?” inquired Hudson.

“Todd’s moved back,” Lizzie announced. “And he’s going to Chadwick.” She looked over her shoulder to see their reaction. Carina looked flabbergasted, and Hudson was blushing.

“Actually, I gotta go,” he said to Lizzie, oblivious to her friends’ reactions. “I’m meeting my brother at his dorm. But maybe you can be my tour guide tomorrow?” he asked, smiling, as he stepped past her.

Lizzie nodded dumbly. “Sure.”

“Well, see ya.” He waved to Carina and Hudson, stuck the wires back in his ears, and set off down the street.

All three of them stared after him in silence.

“Holy mother of God,” Carina breathed when he was halfway down the block.

“He’s going to our school?” Hudson sputtered.


“You guys are gonna fall in love,” Hudson blurted.


“He asked you to be his tour guide,” Hudson said meaningfully.

“Because he doesn’t know anyone else.”

“Still. There were sparks. C, did you see the sparks?” Hudson asked.

“I almost caught on fire,” Carina said.

“This is fate,” Hudson announced.

“Oh my God, stop,” Lizzie groaned.

“It is,” Hudson argued. “Don’t you think, C? Don’t you think this is fate?” Hudson was way into astrology and destiny stuff. Way into it.

“Okay, let’s break it down,” Carina said, turning to face Lizzie. “He was your first kiss, he’s hotter than Christian Bale, and he’s going to school with you,” she said, counting out her points on her slender fingers. “Yep. I’d say a higher power could be involved.”

As Lizzie watched Todd turn the corner, she wondered whether Hudson was right. Unlike her best friend, she didn’t breathlessly check her horoscope every day, or take quiz after quiz on the Internet to learn the name of her soul mate, but maybe this was all happening for a reason. It all seemed too weird. Too… well… destined.

“When’s his birthday?” Hudson asked.


“Hmmm,” Hudson said, nodding. “Scorpio. That’s good with Taurus. A little intense, though. You might want to be careful.”

“You guys, nothing has even happened yet, ” she reminded them.

“Oh, but it will,” Carina said knowingly as she slipped on a pair of silver Oakleys. “It totally will.” Then she led the way down the street.


Excerpted from The Daughters by Philbin, Joanna Copyright © 2010 by Philbin, Joanna. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Joanna Philbin was born in Los Angeles and raised in New York City. She holds a B.A. from Brown University and a J.D. and M.F.A. from the University of Notre Dame. She is the author of The Daughters series, and lives and writes in Los Angeles. Visit her at joannaphilbin.com.

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The Daughters (Daughters Series) 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 196 reviews.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Three best friends know how hard life in the spotlight (or in your parent's shadow) can be - and the rules that can't be broken. Lizzie, daughter of the hottest supermodel, hates having her picture taken. She looks so incredibly awkward compared to her ultra-famous mother. Plus, she hates it when her mother makes them pose together, because Lizzie knows she's not beautiful, but she hates having other people acknowledge the fact. After a huge fight with her mother over an accidental slip-up that makes it onto YouTube, Lizzie finds herself at a crossroads. She meets a photographer who sees something uniquely beautiful about her face - a new type of pretty with a natural look. On a whim, Lizzie agrees to become her model. Now, Lizzie loves the camera and the modeling work, but she is too afraid to tell her mother the truth. Will her mom accept Lizzie's decision after their fight about posing for photos together? I devoured this book - it's an addicting read filled with drama and friendship. I liked the twist, having the parents as famous, not the daughters. Although the daughters will come into their own identities, they're struggling to find separation from their parents. I can't wait for the next book in the series, due out in November.
Janae More than 1 year ago
This book is not what I expected. I thought for sure it would be like one of those books where the girl is snobby abd rich. Instead she is anything but. Lizzie Summers is smart, likes to write and feels like she is stuck in her famous super model mom's shadow. She has two best friends who have famous or rich parents as well. These three girls are very down-to-earth and struggle with trying to be them self and sticking up for what they want to be. It also shows that everyone goes through the same feeling of not seeing yourself as pretty, even if everyone else does. This was a very fast and fun read. I am looking forward to reading the sequel in November. If you like this book than you'll also like Meg Cabot's books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
So beautifuly written by joanna philbin tells the story of, lizzy summers, a daughter in he rsuper model moms shado. She dosent know it but she just might be the new face of beauty. As lizzy goes through her journy through betrail, love, and true friendship! As the daughters of other famous people stand by her side. Only one word AMAZEING! A must read, cant be put down book of the daughters. Love, Bri
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I got this book thinking the girls would be snobby and preppy because they have rich & famous parents and all that. But I was completely wrong! The main character Lizzie loves to write and acts like a normal girl. She has lived in her mother's shadow her whole life because she is not as beautiful, hot, or pretty as her mother. I felt bad for her at times because other reporters or etc. call her ugly and she knows she isn't the prettiest person ever. But when she gets told by a photographer she is the new face of beauty, a huge oppurtunity opens up! This shows people that even when they think they can't do something, they might be doubting themselves! The only dislike I have is that Lizzie and her friends are only 14 year old freshmen but they act more mature than usual freshmen. I wish they were in a higher grade level, their actions would've fit better. Other than that one dislike, I recommend this book to young teens!! :)
flyingolive More than 1 year ago
i loved this book! icould not put it down.... its the perfect balance of life, love, familey, friends, fame, and reality... this is a MUST READ novel!!! you will not put it down... the characters are so realistic, and you will fall in love with Lizzie( main character) and all of her friends... and maybe even her cat too:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very good! :D i really loved it because of the awkward heroine and the unlikey twist in the story with lizzie getting to do "ugly modeling"! ;) also i loved todd he is the perfect "ideal" guy! He is kind and thoughtful yet real. Ialso love lizzies bffs! :D they are so kind! Hope this helped :]
lydschnid More than 1 year ago
I usually tend to shy away from what I call "Stupid Teenage Girl Books," because I HATE the Meg Cabot books because of how fake they are. But this books was actually pretty good, not what I expected at all. I am looking forward to reading the next one! I just NEED to know what happens next, and I think Lizzie and Todd would make such a cute couple!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was fine
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I want to be Lizzie :( hlw come she doesnt like Katia?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is not that common of a book but its so good that you are glued to it. I do have the paperback version so I dont know how well the version is. It does hae romance in it but it mes you feel like you were there and hooks you. Its a true freindship rooted book and i think it suits most readers. If you like this book I would suggest The Grimm Legacy. But this book is probaly 10 and up. Seriously. YOU SHOULD GET THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I hope thay make a move out of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing!! I was literally glued to this book!!! I hope you enjoy reading it....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is really intresting and very entertaining.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed the book. I am an older woman and the book is about 3 friends who are 14 and I thoroughly enjoyed the writing and the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soo to die for!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is soooo good
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