I haven't seen many YA novels covering the Middle East, so I was intrigued by THE TYRANT'S DAUGHTER. I particularly enjoyed how this novel doesn't take place in a specific country. It was an interesting choice for the author to make, but the story still remained grounded in a reality that is all too possible in this kind of situation.
With such broad, political scenes like tyranny and military coups, one might think that there's little to connect to personally. That's not the case with THE TYRANT'S DAUGHTER. The author excels at having a grand background while making the story personal through the eyes of Laila. Her narration illuminates her struggle with finding herself liking the strange America and desperately wishing to return home to the familiar.
Because the reader sees things so closely through Laila's point of view, the story has an air of mystery that keeps you turning the pages. We get hints that something more is going on with her mother, but we don't quite know what. We only get the information Laila has, so when the reveal comes, I was a bit surprised at how it turned out.
What Left Me Wanting More:
I would've enjoyed more scenes of Laila with her new American friends. I found the scenes in the book to be some of the most genuine, as Laila navigates interacting with people her own age from a different country. There's always the undercurrent of Laila's family running beneath all of their conversations and this made it feel realistic.
The Final Verdict:
THE TYRANT'S DAUGHTER has both a global and a personal scale. It would be great for people who want characters struggling with their identities amidst political turmoil.