Check out the Pride Celebration Treasure Hunt!
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson

The Tyrant's Daughter (edition 2014)

by J. C. Carleson (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2643364,897 (3.76)2
Title:The Tyrant's Daughter
Authors:J. C. Carleson (Author)
Info:Knopf Books for Young Readers (2014), 304 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
This book has such an interesting and timely premise--it follows a young girl fleeing from a unnamed middle eastern country following a coup against her dictatorial father, and then adjusting to her new life and freedoms afforded to her in America, but it just didn't grab me. I didn't really end up caring about any of the characters (with the possible exceptions of Bastien and Amie) and the plot was meandering and it didn't feel as though the book was building to anything or really exploring the complexities of Laila's inner life. I even tried listening to the audiobook, but it just wasn't an interesting book.
  Monica_P | Nov 22, 2018 |
The Tyrant’s Daughter is the story of 15-year-old Laila who has escaped to the United States with her mother and her six-year-old brother, Bastien. They have relocated from the Middle East because her father, the dictator of their country, has been killed in a government overthrow. Laila learns that the life of a teenage girl living in America is drastically different from life in her country. She has begun to adjust and enjoy the new life when she learns that everything that she thought is true about her new life and her former life is not what it seems.

This book is a nice change from the usual YA offerings. While there are currently many books offering stories about dystopian worlds, this book instead offers a look at a very real life situation. Carleson puts Laila in the United States and notes the differences in the cultures by how Laila responds and adjusts to her American life. This is a more familiar and inviting setting that would more likely entice the YA to read the book than if it were set in the Middle East. The dangers of Laila’s culture are also very well described, again, without changing the setting to another country. Additionally, the book cover should attract the reader because it not only looks mysterious but it is how Laila would have looked before she came to the United States. Carleson’s background as a former CIA officer adds credence to the book. This would be a nice addition to a YA collection.

ARC eBook courtesy of NetGalley
( )
  Rdglady | Nov 20, 2018 |
15-year-old Laila flees from a war-torn middle east to the US along with her mother and little brother. She only ever knew her father as the head of the state but she discovers in this new country that everyone else saw him as a dictator. As time goes by she starts to assimilate into her new school and manages to make some friends that help her adjust to this new culture but as tensions grow in her old country it seems like she won't be able to escape her family's legacy.

This was a good coming of age story but it wasn't all that great because I kind of forgot about some parts in the middle. Laila learns and embraces the boldness of American teenage girls, a stark contrast to the modest and meek ladies of her old life. Whenever she tries to share parts of her past with her friends they are shocked and sometimes quite appalled by the stories she has to tell them. On one hand, I understood what they were feeling but on another, it made me upset and I can't put my finger on why. I was just as torn as Laila was in the end.

The ending was so abrupt to me that I felt like I had been let down somehow. This just didn't work for me but I wouldn't go out of my way to tell someone not to read it because it did have some interesting points. The end commentary was interesting as well and I actually did google some of the things that were mentioned. ( )
  Jessika.C | Apr 1, 2018 |
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. ( )
  anissaannalise | Feb 28, 2018 |
Full disclosure: I was auto-approved for a free ARC via Netgalley.

Laila is a princess. Her little brother, six-year-old Bastien, is next in line for the throne. Or so she thinks. It's what she's been lead to believe her entire life. But when her father, leader of an unnamed Middle Eastern country, is assassinated, Laila's world is turned upside down. The CIA relocates her, Bastien, and their mother to the US, where they are expected to assimilate into the completely foreign culture.

In America, Laila lives a different life. The palace she had lived in is replaced with a tiny apartment. The servants bringing her food have been replaced with empty cupboards. Her private tutors have been replaced with public school. Back home, she was royalty. In America, her family can't even keep up with the rent.

Laila thought she knew everything, but she had been sheltered. She'd been steadily fed a stream of lies about her family. In America, she finds, the internet is unrestricted. Unfiltered. She finds an article calling her father a dictator. She finds out that he was responsible for the death of thousands of innocent people. She is no princess. Her brother will not be king. Her entire life has been a lie.

The Tyrant's Daughter was an incredible story. I read a few chapters before bed on a Thursday, came home from work on Friday night, and devoured the rest. Everybody should read this book. It's one thing to hear about Middle Eastern conflicts on the news. It's another thing entirely to read a fictional book, told through the eyes of a teenage girl, that perfectly illustrates what nobody wants to think about. This book tackles serious issues - war, racism, and women's rights, just to name a few - and does it in such a way that you don't even realize that you're learning.

I highly recommend this book to anyone and everyone. ( )
  Sara.Newhouse | Feb 11, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 33 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
My brother is the King of Nowhere. This fact doesn't matter to anyone except my family - a rapidly shrinking circle of people who Used to Be. And, even for us, there are surprisingly few perks.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449809978, Hardcover)

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.

"Every American should read this book. It's an eye-opener." —Suzanne Fisher Staples, Newbery Honor-winning author of Shabanu

*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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:06:53 -0400)

Exiled to the United States after her father, a Middle Eastern dictator, is killed in a coup, fifteen-year-old Laila must cope with a completely new way of life, the truth of her father's regime, and her mother and brother's ways of adjusting.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.76)
1 1
2 1
2.5 2
3 17
3.5 5
4 30
4.5 1
5 11

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 135,475,004 books! | Top bar: Always visible