Book Review: The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Publisher:  Knopf Books for Young Readers

Summary:   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. 

4 stars! I've had this in my e-book TBR pile for too long and decided to read it as one of my goals for 2015 is to pare those down. I'm very glad I read this and can say that I'm sorry I didn't read it sooner. Over the summer, my husband roped me in to watch the show Tyrant with him and that was somewhere in my mind when I decided I'd read this. Laila was an interesting character and I enjoyed her narration. I found myself bristling with her sometimes but then I'd remember all she'd been through and felt her action, in-action and reactions to things made sense. I won't spoil but I very much felt for her and at the end, I wanted more. I wanted to know what would become of her and if she & her family would be okay. I admit that I didn't quite get her plan with the bank accounts and I didn't have much hope for Amir's family under the same regime (ostensibly those who advised Laila's father would be the same advising & carrying out things for Bastien & Mother. Still, I felt it was a solid enough ending & that it left me wanting to know more, really ranks it highly for me. This is a quick read, I read it in a matter of hours in one day. I'd recommend this to anyone looking for a good story on the perspective of one recently displaced from their home country or new to America. It's not just a good YA book, it's a good book, so give it a read.

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