Sunday, March 2, 2014

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

Author: J.C Carleson
Series: None
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction
Release Date: February 11, 2014
Source: Netgalley
My Rating: 4.5/5 stars
Summary From Goodreads: 
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? 

My Thoughts

So far in 2014, The Tyrant's Daughter is the book that has surprised me the most. When I saw it on Netgalley for review I was extremely close to passing on it due to the fact that I'm not a huge fan of contemporary/realistic novels. I'm glad I didn't though because The Tyrant's Daughter proved me wrong and completely exceeded all my expectations. I absolutely loved everything about it.

Laila is forced to flee her home in the Middle East after her father, the king, is murdered. As she moves to America with her younger brother and her mother, she struggles to assimilate to the alien society of America. However, her problems continue to haunt her as she uncovers truths about her family that makes her life even more complicated than it already is. 

I'm not really sure what to say about The Tyrant's Daughter because I just adored it. At first I wasn't fully on board with Laila and her personality, but a couple of chapters into the novel I understood where she was coming from and found her to be a genuinely intriguing character. She definitely had immense character development throughout the novel as it touches on real life issues such as social conformity. 

The plot of the novel was extremely fast paced and well written. I never quite knew what to expect from Laila's mother or what her motives were, so that definitely kept me on my toes. I liked how J.C Carleson incorporated a subtle romance in the characters as well which just added to my liking of the book that much more. Carleson's writing style is beautiful too. She draws true emotion from the reader as she spins the tale of Laila's life in a heartfelt, honest way. 

The only reason that I didn't give The Tyrant's Daughter five stars is because the ending was left too open ended for my liking. I wanted to know what happened to Laila and her family and Amir after everything and what her life would be like after moving back to the Middle East.

Overall, The Tyrant's Daughter is a must read for people of all ages with its lyrical prose that stays with the reader long after. Definitely one of my favorite books of 2014.


  1. Glad to see you enjoyed this one. I am reading some mixed reviews on it. Some reviewers don't think that some parts are realistic. Still I am sure it is informative.

  2. I really enjoyed this one too -- it was not the typical YA contemporary. Great review!
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics