The Tyrant's Daughter

The Tyrant's Daughter

eBook - 2014
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THERE: In an unnamed Middle Eastern country, fifteen-year-old Laila has always lived like royalty. Her father is a dictator of sorts, though she knows him as King--just as his father was, and just as her little brother Bastien will be one day. Then everything changes: Laila's father is killed in a coup. HERE: As war surges, Laila flees to a life of exile in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Overnight she becomes a nobody. Even as she adjusts to a new school and new friends, she is haunted by the past. Was her father really a dictator like the American newspapers say? What was the cost of her family's privilege? Far from feeling guilty, her mother is determined to regain their position of power. So she's engineering a power play--conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to gain a foothold to the throne. Laila can't bear to stand still as yet another international crisis takes shape around her. But how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?
Publisher: 2014
ISBN: 9780449810002
Branch Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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PinesandPrejudice Sep 26, 2017

Unfortunately this book was boring. Very little happened in the way of plot. The climax was a reveal and it wasn't well written. I struggled with Layla's voice and what was going on around it. I found the story dragging and unexciting. It was difficult to get to the end.

My one solace for this story is the perspective. I thought Layla's perspective of America, suburbia, white people, her country, her religion, travel, and her family was fascinating. That was well conveyed and interesting. I hadn't read a perspective like it before. I just wish the plot had lived up to the potential of the subject matter.

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TEENREVIEWBOARD
Aug 09, 2017

This book is unique, in the fact that it introduces a whole new way of living within the same world. Based in America, the book starts off by explaining who the characters used to be, and progresses to telling what they've lost, and how they still remain in the shadows of the past. As Laila explains perfectly, her life is divided between the Old Life, and the New Life. While Laila tries hard to fit in, the book describes the alien way that America seems, from cereal to high school dances. Even the ideas people have about Laila's life are seemingly upside down. The story made me question the ridiculousness of our society, and the detrimental way that Canada follows America's useless trends without question.
- @AelinBaggins of the Teen Review Board of the Hamilton Public Library

AL_KELSEY Mar 10, 2017

In general, this book has a really great premise, and the author keeps the background information ambiguous enough that it transfers to multiple possibilities of events around the globe and different periods of time. I think there might have been more than enough "fluff" and teenage angst, when the real issue is this one girl's struggle to fit in and help her family. Overall, this idea is a great one, and I feel like this story touches on different micro-aggressions we see in American society today.

I approached this book with a fair amount of uncertainty. I was unsure if an American author would be able to write from the point of view of a Middle Eastern teenager without patronizing her. But in the end, I think Carleson did a pretty good job. I really enjoyed this read and the main character is truly nuanced. However knowledgeable this author may be about that culture from her experience in the CIA, though, I can't shake the feeling that this story might fit into a long history of cultural appropriation on the part of European descendants (a great topic for book club!).
~Alexa

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thomqui
Apr 06, 2015

A dictator's family is taken into exile in the USA and the oldest child, a daughter is exposed to western influences for the first time. This book is ripped from the headlines and is well put together. There is no black and white, there is only gray. A provocative read, would be terrific for book clubs

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pudiimom
Jun 29, 2014

This book was interesting at first, as it described the cultural shock of moving to the US from the girl's perspective. But then the book quickly wrapped up with the mother's negotiating behind the scenes with various governments & agencies.

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stepha89
Jun 16, 2014

Middle Eastern dictatorships are a tricky subject when addressed to an American audience - especially if the subject is painted in shades of gray instead of black and white - but Carleson handles it effectively, using the daughter of a deceased fictional dictator as her narrator. Laila tackles guilt and shame as she learns about what her father did, as well as trying to reconcile these acts to the loving father she knew.

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xTashleyx
Dec 05, 2016

xTashleyx thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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stepha89
Jun 16, 2014

stepha89 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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stepha89
Jun 16, 2014

Violence: Several allusions to violent acts. Probably less graphic than what is in the news, but still enough to exercise caution.

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