I just finished The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson and it blew me away. It's the fascinating story of Laila, a high school girl whose father was the dictator of a Middle Eastern country. When her father was overthrown, she escaped the country with her mother and little brother. Laila has to adjust to American culture which is infinitely different from her previous life. For instance, she has never had a friend, especially not someone her own age. As she begins to adjust, people in her life realize who her father was and begin to ask questions. These questions lead her to the truth of who her father really was and his impact on her country and the world.
Laila has to determine what to do with this new information. It is a lot to take in over the course of several months. This information leads her into a tangled web of family, politics, friends and country. Ultimately, Laila must decide what she thinks is right on her own and not based on what someone else is telling her it is.
This story was a fascinating look at America through a different set of lenses. It was a strong reminder of the things I take for granted every day and how much there is to appreciate about living in a peaceful country. I admit that I am not as well versed as I should be on Middle Eastern politics, but because of Carleson and Laila I definitely want to start paying more attention.
I can't say enough good things about this book. Ms. Carleson did a great job of entertaining reality with fiction and making it believable. I wish that I could keep reading and am definitely hoping for a sequel. You need to read this book.