Books, Gardens, Dogs
The Daughters Join the Party - Joanna Philbin Emma is in hot water again after getting kicked out of boarding school, so she is returning to New York to attend her brother Remington's super ritzy private school. The school is filled with the rich elite where everyone's parents are someone. Remington is a legend at this school and Emma soon finds out a lot is expected from her and her recently dyed "Burgundy" hair color is the first that has to go since her father is about to declare his candidacy for president. Which Emma kind of tells everyone while she is covering for her brother during a speech. This small action propels her to the front of a campaign she doesn't really have her heart behind. Once again, she finds herself on the outside, but with three good friends now standing behind her, it makes things a bit easier.Things are getting really weird for her since her father has declared his candidacy and she finds herself struggling to retain her own personality while trying to fit in and help her father. I want to cheer her on every time she acts out by showing up in inappropriate clothes, hair color and makeup or speaking her mind. Emma is in such a tough place and on top of this, she finds her perfect brother has a few dark secrets of his own. Another strong plot point is how Emma deals with her own issue of being dyslexic and her use of humor as a coping mechanism. Emma trying to conform to the perfect first daughter to be is like putting a square peg in a round hole. She tries, but she can't do it since she has to be true to herself. I really loved when she ignores the speech writers and speaks straight from her heart on the campaign trail which, not surprisingly, have the most impact on people.This is one of my favorite series to recommend since it speaks so clearly to teens. It hits on several important issues like teenage drinking, body image, staying true to your friends and yourself. Sigh, I am going to miss Emma since she has such a spark and seems so real. This series is a bit like getting an inside take on the whole political - society world that you really only read about in tabloids. I guess I just hate to say good bye, but this is the last one in this series. Don't despair though, Philbin has a new book for next year!

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