Thursday, March 13, 2014

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

Happy Thursday, mon petit bookworms!

Today we have a review for "The Tyrant's Daughter", a story of a brave young woman violently transplanted into a new world where everything she thought she knew is turned on its head.

Enjoy, peaches!
17910573Title:  The Tyrant's Daughter
Author: J.C. Carleson
Genre: YA Literary Fiction
Publication: February 11, 2014
Pages:   304


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.

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The Tyrant's daughter creates an atmosphere of emotional confusion right from the beginning. This is fitting, considering our main character, Laila, is yanked from all she ever knew and thrust into a world where the father she loved is called a "Murderer" and the mother she has always leaned on is crumbling. Not to mention Laila is now having to deal with new cultural norms that are all but upside downfrom anything she's known. Laila must navigate the hate, confusion, and lies that surround her in this new place called "America" as well as deal with the discovery that home may have been worse.

The Tyrant's Daughter treads confidently into a sensitive and rarely discussed topic - the perspectives of children who were, but are no longer, ignorant of their parent's evils. The children of dictators, regimes, terrorists, murderers, and thieves. These are children who look up to their parents, siblings, and loved ones and who see them in a loving light that the rest of the world can't fathom. When their worlds are turned inside out by the truth, who will listen to them?

Readers are asked to consider achingly sad subjects regarding the loss of innocence, security, and identity for children whose families have been mixed up in the losing side of political upheaval. Readers are also asked to consider an even more uncomfortable and controversial idea, that evil people have families they love. The realization that these people are even capable of love creates an unhappy familiarity and gives those deemed "evil" a spark of humanity that connects them to the rest of us in perhaps unwanted ways.

J.C. Carleson does a spectacular job of creating a young character who represents struggle, perseverance, and bravery in the face of fear and change. At the same time I am impressed by how much of a teenager our young heroine still is, despite the culture differences and the emotional trauma there's still a young woman learning about life, building hopes, and dreaming of a better future. She still has issues with the opposite sex, her own dreams, and her mother. The reader will at once be able to find a place in their heart for Laila.

This work will encourage readers to review their own perceptions of cultural difference and discover empathy and understanding for others who may be different but still experience life, love, and their own challenges.

I highly recommend this book, to young readers especially. In a world of disappearing boarders and humanitarian crises it is monumentally important for people of all backgrounds and upbringings to wade through misunderstanding and preconceived notions to discover empathy for one another.

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Until Next Blog,

Read On!

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