Reviews for The someday daughter

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

The daughter of a famous self-help author struggles when she must join a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of her mother’s bestselling book, Letters to My Someday Daughter. Logical, driven, precise Audrey is everything Camilla St. Vrain, her yoga-practicing, emotionally distant, image-conscious mother, is not, but she still winds up accompanying her on a nationwide press tour. This means that Johns Hopkins–bound Audrey must give up a place in a prestigious summer program for pre-med students at UPenn that her similarly ambitious boyfriend is attending. Along for the tour is Sadie, the accomplished young doctor Camilla hired to introduce Audrey to medical professionals around the country. They’re also accompanied by three spontaneous interns, Cleo, Mick, and Silas. Audrey’s evolving relationships with each of them, but particularly with Silas, to whom she is quickly drawn, turn out to be the catalyst she needs to re-examine many of her thoughts about herself and her place in the world. Audrey’s transformation from non-emotive and somewhat flat to multidimensional is portrayed with convincing complexity and appealing measures of both humor and earnestness. Some readers may anticipate the twist toward the end, but it still adds an interesting layer to this contemporary drama. Most characters read white; Chloe is Japanese American. Sadie is married to a woman. There’s a brief, entertaining encounter with a character from O’Clover’s Seven Percent of Ro Devereux (2023). Poignant, heartfelt, and often funny. (Fiction. 13-18) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Audrey's mom, Camilla St. Vrain, wrote the self-help book Letters to My Someday Daughter that made her a household name; Audrey only wants to spend time with her boyfriend and work toward her own someday medical career. But Camilla has other plans, bringing Audrey on a tour to discuss the book Camilla wrote years ago. Pushed to answer invasive questions and constantly surrounded by her mother’s interns—including the irresistible Silas—at least Audrey gets a national tour of doctors out of the deal. But will her future even matter if she can’t make peace and connect with her mother? Full of themes around found family and forgiveness, O’Clover (Seven Percent of Ro Devereux, 2023) neatly layers the road-trip narrative over clever family drama and adds a surprise twist. Readers will find discussions of mental health, while immersive romantic relationship drama adds additional substance as Audrey navigates her complicated mother-daughter relationship. A solid addition to any contemporary young adult collection and no doubt resonant for teens growing up in front of their parents’ social media.

School Library Journal
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Gr 10 Up—Forced into a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of her mother's bestselling self-help book, Audrey finds her own summer upended when her mother refuses to pay her tuition at an elite pre-college intensive program. A boarding school nerd eyeing medical school, Audrey planned to spend the summer studying with boyfriend Ethan. They're focused that way, even if he's either too proper or preoccupied to consummate their relationship—which she would like. Once they're separated, Audrey crushes on Silas, a cute intern on the tour who's freer and more emotionally present. Without her books and an academic agenda, Audrey finds herself capable of loosening up with Silas and the rest of the tour's interns, and she likes it. The main characters are white, and one secondary character is gay. Silas sees himself as committed to Audrey, who describes their eventual sexual encounter—her first—like two magnets attracting. He's much more than a summer crush: Audrey feels seen by Silas, as a privileged daughter of a successful but remote woman, both wanting her mother's love and scared to reach for it. Risking all, her mother responds by sharing some personal history that her buttoned-up celebrity kept hidden for too long. VERDICT O'Clover's second novel captures the sweet revelations of young love. A good choice for all collections.—Georgia Christgau

Publishers Weekly
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Ambition strains a mother-daughter relationship in this sophisticated and evocatively wrought novel by O’Clover (Seven Percent of Ro Devereux). Eighteen-year-old Audrey St. Vrain planned on spending the summer at a pre-college biomedical science intensive with her boyfriend, not touring the country as “the flustered daughter of a woo-woo celebrity” to promote her mother’s self-help book, Letters to My Someday Daughter. The public expects Audrey, the eponymous someday daughter, to have an “idyllic, beatific bond” with her mother, but in reality, she’s been at boarding school since sixth grade, pursuing her academic goals while her mother built her wellness empire. As the tour shines an uncomfortable spotlight on the pair’s estrangement, Audrey tries to focus on studying with her doctor mentor Sadie Stone, but intense anxiety, growing closeness to Dr. Stone’s laid-back intern Silas Acheson, and a latent desire to connect with her mother challenge her plans for the future and understanding of the past. O’Clover employs dry humor to highlight the blurred lines between public and private life in celebrity-obsessed culture, and the messy honesty of Audrey’s relationships supports the slowly evolving character arcs that drive the novel. Main characters follow a white default. Ages 13–up. Agent: Katie Shea Boutillier, Donald Maass Literary. (Feb.)