11 February 2014


{Review} The Tyrant's Daughter - J. C. Carleson

The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction / Contemporary
Release Date: Feb 11 / 2014
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
From a former CIA officer comes the riveting account of a royal Middle Eastern family exiled to the American suburbs.
When her father is killed in a coup, 15-year-old Laila flees from the war-torn middle east to a life of exile and anonymity in the U.S. Gradually she adjusts to a new school, new friends, and a new culture, but while Laila sees opportunity in her new life, her mother is focused on the past. She’s conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to regain the throne their family lost. Laila can’t bear to stand still as an international crisis takes shape around her, but how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?
J.C. Carleson delivers a fascinating account of a girl—and a country—on the brink, and a rare glimpse at the personal side of international politics.
*Bonus Backmatter includes a note about the author's CIA past, and a commentary by RAND researcher and president of ARCH International, Dr. Cheryl Benard. Recommendations for further reading are also included.

*A copy was provided by the publisher for review*
Thank you so much to Random House and Netgalley!

I was a bit skeptical picking this book up because I knew absolutely nothing about politics or what happens in the Middle East. I felt like I wasn't really the best person to read this type of book but I tried anyways. I just want to say that I've never read anything like The Tyrant's Daughter and we definitely need more of these books in YA. 

Laila, our main character, wasn't in the midst of war. Even in the US, her family held a lot of power and sway over what happened in the country. The story is purely fictional, but I really enjoyed reading about her story. Her father was just recently killed so she had to go hide out in the US. I really liked Laila's character. She didn't really know the real truth about her family so she had to go find out herself. She's a really kind-hearted person and she tried to help a lot of people.

My favourite character was probably Amir. He seemed mysterious and his hatred for Laila's family was intriguing. I liked hearing about his background story which was quite gruesome. There's just this feeling about him that I really liked. I wish there was more of him in the story though.

Laila's school life seemed like the extra stuff to the plot but she was at school (or interacting with school friends) most of the time. Seeing how she adjusts to school was really nice. In the beginning, I thought the story was a bit boring and slow, but before I had realized it, I was so immersed in the story that I could barely stop myself from reading the whole thing in one sitting. 

The Tyrant's Daughter is a refreshing story in the YA genre. I've never really touched the realistic fiction genre but I really enjoyed the story. I would really recommend everyone to try it out! It really touched my heart and I loved it.


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