Sunday, February 16, 2014

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


Summary: 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? 

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**I received a copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review** 

Initial Thoughts: This book was definitely different from what I normally read. I don' t normally read about *modern* (it's fiction but a lot of the stuff are taken from the author's real life experience) problems/events in the world. As I said it was different but still good. The book showed what it was like coming to a new place with a completely different culture and ideas and how it was like to deal with this plus all of the conflict

The Characters: Laila came to the US with her mother and brother, obviously from the summary, her father (he was the dictator) was killed. I didn't like Laila in the beginning at all. She grew up like royalty so she was a bit authoritative, thinking she was higher than others, which I didn't like at all. But she grew as a character as she found out pieces of her life, her father, the conflicts going on around them. She still had some moments in the book where she, for lack of a better word, was mean - sometimes it was understandable - new culture and all and a bit hard knowing what to do, other times she thought her problems were worse than, for example, her friend's parents fighting and separating and not being there to comfort her. I didn't like her mother although she had some moments where you remembered she was a mother and not a cold, cunning person who is really good at manipulating people.

The Story:  As I said, Laila comes to the US. It's really hard for her to adjust because it really was a culture shock. It was great though being able to see what it was like for Laila though to go to the store and see fifty boxes of cereal, something plain and common, where to her it was special and almost like royal food. She went from having private tutors to school with ton so of people. She made a friend, she went to a school dance, the library etc. It was all different to her and at times she hated it. While Laila is struggling and adjusting she also discovers that her mom is up to something but she doesn't know what because her mom is working with the CIA and people from their country. The plot was really well played though because I didn't even know who to trust! There was a lot of mystery and as I was reading I wanted to know how everything was going to play out. The ending surprised me though, it was sad finding out what happened in this one event I can't tell you about because I would ruin it for you...But the very end left me a bit unsatisfied. I really wanted to know what happened after everything - what happen to whom, who went where, what's going to happen now etc.

End Thought: Besides wanting more of the story and characters being annoying sometimes, overall the story was really good. It was a great, different read. I'd say it's somewhere between 3.5-4 stars so I'll round up and say 4 stars.

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