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Three Girls and Their Brother

3.24  ·  Rating details ·  649 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Now that it’s all over, everybody is saying it was the picture–that stupid picture was behind every disaster. . . .

They may be the granddaughters of a famous literary critic, but what really starts it all is Daria, Polly, and Amelia Heller’s stunning red hair. Out of the blue one day, The New Yorker calls and says that they want to feature the girls in a glamorous spread s
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published April 8th 2008 by Shaye Areheart Books (first published January 1st 2008)
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Mar 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
This is a fun, sometimes poignant read about how their fifteen minutes of fame affects each of the three drop-dead gorgeous sisters and the subsequent jettisoning of the brother. The story works well as it is told from the four separate siblings, each in his/her own section that continues to advance the plot.This is a compulsive read that I just didn't want to put down till I had finished it. The cover of the copy that I have has a completely different image of a beautiful woman who has a deer-i ...more
Jun 23, 2008 rated it did not like it
I nearly didn't make it through this overpraised novel (by a decent playwright and television screenwriter), but had insomnia and nothing better to do than read it while lying on the sofa and cursing my existence. From the first chapter it is painfully clear that this book is exactly what the world does not need more of -- an examination of overindulged rich New York teenagers who think Holden Caulfield is the height of wit and authenticity. Let me tell you, A Catcher in the Rye wasn't that good ...more
Steve Lindahl
Dec 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was the right book to read in the month when Lindsay Lohan's Playboy pictorial came out. Daria, Polly, and Amelia Heller are, like Lohan, products of dysfunctional parents. Their mother has an out of control fascination with fame and their father, who has serious issues that are revealed later in the story, is an absentee parent with a new family.

Three Girls and Their Brother must have been inspired by the Hemingway sisters. Like Joan, Margaux, and Mariel, the Heller girls are the grandchil
Jan 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, alex-award-09
I devoured this one and can't wait to convincing readers who love books about fashion, models, paparazzi, and fame to read it too. I look forward to tricking them into reading an amazingly well-written, funny, sad, and tense story of three sisters who are transformed into "It Girls" and their brother who tries to protect them as they become commodities. The book gives each sibling a turn to narrate the roller coaster ride and I thought Rebeck did a fantastic job of giving them each their own voi ...more
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Karlan by: Booklist
Shelves: adult, ya
Playwright, Rebeck, knows how to tell a good story with lively dialog. Three beautiful red haired teenage girls discover that fame has real drawbacks after they become models. Although it was published for adults, it will please many teen readers.
May 23, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually, once you get into it, this is a very strong and compelling first novel by an experienced playwright. Think Catcher in the Rye meets Project Runway. The tale of alienated adolescence is told from the perspectives of four siblings, each in turn, as a commentary on the base manipulations and shallow self-absorption that seem to drive media fixations on which celebrity du jour is "IN" at the moment. The novel follows the chain of events as the three redheaded Heller girls—Daria, 18; Polly, ...more
Sep 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Another fantastic recommendation from my friend Patricia.

I wish that I had remembered to keep the book to refer back to for writing my review before I turned it back in at the library. In all honesty, when I started in on the book, I wasn't so sure that I liked it. But as I neared the end of the first chapter, I fell in complete and utter love. In this chapter, the brother is describing his sisters' first photo shoot and how he got pulled in for a few shots. He doesn't really enjoy himself and g
May 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone looking for a fantastic guilty pleasure read
Recommended to Chelsea by: Jean Winkler
I can't say enough about how much I loved this book. I really loved how there was a continuing perspective from each of the main characters point of view. The story line was catchy and had me immediately drawn in, and I felt like I was really reading a guilty pleasure based on the premise of the book. That in itself kept me reeled in for the entire novel.

The novel starts out from Phillip's point of view; the younger brother with an actual head on his shoulders. He pretty much seems to be the onl
Apr 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, my god, this was so much fun. Three sisters (aged 14 to 19) become "it" girls overnight, get embroiled in creepy celebrity craziness, and have to find their way back to being a family unit. Meanwhle, almost every person around them is out to exploit them in some way, including their mother, who has exiled their brother to his unloving dad's house because he was asking uncomfortable questions. (I guess that's a spoiler...sorry.) This is one of those books where you feel like you're on a fast- ...more
Apr 15, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kate was right, very entertaining.

I want to say, however, that I feel VERY strongly about the cover art on the book. It is terrible and awful. I was embarrassed to be seen with it and seriously considered making a book cover out of a paper grocery bag (okay, I admit, I kind of just wanted to do that for old times sake, especially for the decorating part). Anyway, this cover is so bad and I think it really misrepresents the book.

I liked the brother Philips voice the very best. I found him to be
Dec 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
This was pretty fantastic. I had heard such wonderful things about this book, but when it comes down to it how good can a book about three socialite models and their adventures in New York really be? Pretty great, it turns out.

Every one of the four voices this book is told in is distinctive and pitch perfect. I think Rebeck's use of Holden Caulfield-esque slang is beautiful here - it feels timeless and fresh and charming as hell. Not to mention, the story is shiny fun and I was never even a tiny
Jan 07, 2016 rated it it was ok
Man, what a bag of cliches this book is. I got halfway through the second part (Amelia's voice) and all I could think of was: who gives a damn about these vapid, self-centred, useless people? There are so many more really worthwhile books out there, so adios to Three Girls and Their Brother.
Tom DeMarco
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
The playwright Theresa Rebeck turns her talents loose on a novel. I couldn't get enough. BTW, if you love theater, take any opportunity to see any Rebeck on offer. EG, The Scene, The Seminar, The Understudy, Mauritius . . . They're all wonderful.
Feb 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Patricia by: Deborah
When this arrived at the library for me I had a moment of puzzlement as to why I would have requested this particular novel. The cover is a bit off-putting. But two paragraphs in, I was hooked. Goodreads tells me I heard about this book from Deborah. Thank goodness she is my friend on Goodreads. Now I'm curious as to what she had to say about it, but I'm going to write my review before I read hers.

The voices in this story make this book. Particularly, the voice of the brother, Phillip, aged fift
Ian Wood
This is the complete review of this novel as it appears on my blog. Any links in the blog reviews are not reprodiced here, nor will any changes or updates to the blog review be replicated here.

I rated this disaster WARTY!

No spoilers! This was already spoiled rotten before to it I'd gotten.

This novel sucked green wieners from the start. It turned out to be nothing like the book blurb had lead me, at least, to believe it would present. The cover should have told me all I needed to know. This is ab
Oct 25, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh man. Not sure why this book does not have a higher rating, it's really quite entertaining; in addition to being very sad. I think we all dream, if only for a few seconds, of what it would be like to be famous, but this book definitely highlights the negative side of it.

This book almost reads like a tv show, especially the ending, but I liked it for all it's semi-unbelievable drama and characters. I also liked the format of how this was written. Each sibling has a section of the book where the
Mar 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
April Helms
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: young adults (14+) and adults
Shelves: young-adult, fiction
When three attractive teens are photographed for the New Yorker, they become the next "It" girls, propelled into the dangerous world of fame and stardom. Things take a sudden turn when the youngest -- the most reluctant to accept the new-found celebrity -- finds herself in a position where she has the potential to eclipse her more ambitious sisters. The story itself is told from four different perspectives, dividing the book into four distinct parts. We see the action through the eyes of Daria, ...more
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: alex-award
I inhaled this adult novel. It's oh, so good! Three red-headed sisters are suddenly chosen to be photographed for The New Yorker. Next thing they know, they are the It Girls. They are modeling, partying, and running around doing whatever they want because their mother thinks it's cool. This tale is told from the three girls' point-of-view (and their brother) and it works. Amelia, the youngest, is only 14 and is forced to drop out of school. The paparazzi causes too much trouble at school. And th ...more
Feb 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
A completely fun high-class gossip type read. The New Yorker does a piece on the Hellers, grandchildren of a late literary critic who just happen to be ravishingly beautiful young redheads, and their modeling party girl careers are off to a careening start. Their brother, Philip, 15, narrates the first part, dubiously chronicling how their former Miss America mother blithely yanks the girls out of school (they are 18, 17 and 14) and throws them to the jackals of publicity. The youngest, Amelia, ...more
Jul 27, 2008 rated it it was ok
Although there were times I kind of liked the book, it got really old really fast to read 335 pages of adult-trying-to-write-as-teenager. (Also? I hate the cover. My copy has a different cover than the one showing up there, but it's even worse...) The book revolves around -- you guessed it -- three girls and their brother. The three girls, all gorgeous redheads, land a photo shoot in The New Yorker, because of their fabulous hair and the fact that their grandfather was a semi-famous literary cri ...more
Dec 26, 2013 rated it it was ok
The title is fairly indicative of the book. Three gorgeous, red-headed, teenage sisters (Daria, Polly and Amelia) have just become swept up in their first big modeling break with The New Yorker magazine, while their brother Philip is left on the sidelines, unsure of how to cope with the changes and how he fits in.

Each sibling narrates a part of the story; unfortunately, their voices all sound exactly the same, and I couldn't identify with any of them (nor did I find I wanted to, actually). The a
Sep 06, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who find it on the street and have nothing to read over dinner one night
Yet another book I found on the street. It was peculiar. On one hand it's supposed to be an over-the-top satire of NYC celebrity excess, but on the other, so many of the details are wrong that it's hard to buy either the over-the-top or satirical aspect. For example: would the New Yorker REALLY do a cover story-- a cover story!-- on three sexy teenage girls? And would a picture of them IN the New Yorker make them the new It Girls? I think the author really meant "Vanity Fair" or perhaps "Us Week ...more
Aug 02, 2011 rated it liked it
This book is about three gorgeous, red-headed, sisters and their quick rise to fame that makes everyone involved world spin out of control. This book takes you inside the view of fashion that they public does not get to see. The fame starts ripping this family apart. The brother is forced to go live with his detached father so that nothing is said about what his sisters are doing for fame, especially the younger. Over the course of the book trouble mounts and the brother comes to the rescue. Fam ...more
It took a little while for me to get into this, but then it was loads of fun, an inside look at the worlds of modeling and off-Broadway theater that also offered some thoughtful consideration of how fame attracts jackals and sharks, even if that fame belongs to young teens.

Three beautiful redheaded teenage sisters get discovered and become high-profile models very quickly. Their father is largely absent and awful, and their mother is a greedy, neglectful drunk. Amelia, the youngest sister, is 14
Apr 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On the one hand, this was a fast-paced, witty, razor-sharp look at fame (and its underbelly) and the lives of three sisters (and their brother, of course) caught up in it. The idea that the story unfolded chronologically, with each sibling taking a turn at narrating a good chunk of it, was a neat device, until I realized that each sibling had pretty much the same voice. Further, I get the sense that Ms. Rebeck had just finished The Catcher in the Rye before beginning this novel; the use of "crum ...more
Janet Morzynski
Mar 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
Finding yourself in todays world of techno everything, and instant gratification was a walk in the park for Daria, Polly, Amelia and of course their brother Phillip. Well, maybe not for Phillip. Somehow, or should I say by some enormous twist of good luck and gifted thinking, Phillip was able to connect the dots and not have his judgement clouded by such celebrity agent sharks such as, Maureen Piven. His love for his sisters, especially Amelia, was unwavering even when he was shipped off or shou ...more
May 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ok, I hate to write a negative reivew, but I just did not enjoy this story at all. None of the characters seemed real to me, at all. And none of them had any warmth. The only one that I even marginally liked was, Phillip, the neglected brother, but that's only because I felt sorry for him. The mother and the two older sisters were completely self-involved and I thought that the youngest one, Amelia, could have and should have stayed true to herself in enjoying school and not getting caught up in ...more
Feb 11, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cross-over-to-ya
Wow. Have to get past the continual use of f**k. Do young adults use that word all the time? Well, this is the story of a family of 4 children (teens). The girls are catapulted into stardom when a magazine recruits them for a photoshoot. The brother is left out of the stardom. He and the youngest girl (14) are best friends. Mom sends the brother to live with dad when she decides he stands in the way of super stardom. The older sisters deal with jealousy issues while the younger deals with not wa ...more
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Despite the fact that I was reading this book because of a good review I'd seen, I was weirdly surprised by how good I thought it was. It has just enough scandal and swearing and gossipy tone to make it a fun read, but it was very well-written, too. The title characters each get a shot at narrating, and the author does a good job of differentiating between their voices (particularly the youngest sister and the brother). It struck me as being a sort of updated Catcher in the Rye without having al ...more
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Theresa Rebeck is a playwright. She also works as a television writer. Her input went into popular shows such as Dream On, Brooklyn Bridge, L.A. Law, American Dreamer, Maximum Bob, First Wave, and Third Watch.
She also wrote and produced Canterbury’s Law, Smith, Law and Order: Criminal Intent and NYPD Blue.
Ms. Rebeck has an MFA in Playwrighting and a PhD. in Victorian Melodrama, from Brandeis Univ
More about Theresa Rebeck...

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