Alex 's Reviews > The Tyrant's Daughter

The Tyrant's Daughter by J.C. Carleson
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It hurts me so much to give this one star! I can usually see something good in a book to give it at least a two-star rating but I just can't with this book. It makes me so sad. I was really hoping this would open my eyes and make me love it but that didn't happen. I really did not like this book.

The book starts right after her father's death (it's literally on the first page of the book so it's not a spoiler). I knew that it was going to start that way but I thought we would still get some background information first. Nope. Instead, I was thrown into this story without any introduction. Okay, I can handle that. I can't handle feeling like I missed something for the first 60+ pages. It was like an inside joke I couldn't understand. There really is no better way to explain it. Even the ending made me feel like I was missing something. I had no idea what was going on until the last chapter. This book was like reading only the middle of the story. I think it was supposed to add to the idea of Laila' turbulent future but that didn't work for me. It just felt unfinished.

The way the book is formatted is very choppy to me. The writing was very beautiful and passionate (probably the only thing I liked about the story) but the chapters were so choppy. They are very short and don't go into much depth. (It's not as bad as James Patterson's books where the end of a chapter will literally end like this: "Hey, how's it going?' and start like this: "Not too bad. You?".) It wasn't good at all in my opinion. The scenes just felt so choppy to me because of how it was formatted. I just can't figure out how to demonstrate why I felt that way. I did feel that way though and it caused me to really dislike the book. (I don't like short chapters, though. It could be great for you but not for me. )

I also despised Laila as the main character. She was a haughty, spiteful, wretched, selfish, manipulative person. She used people left and right but was upset when someone 'used' her. It was disgusting the way she acted. I understand that her father died and her country was torn by civil war. That does not excuse her actions. That does not give her the right to treat Ian and Emmy like dirt even though they were so nice to her. She also was very high and mighty. Laila just had this air about her that she was better than everyone else, even her own mother. God forbid the woman try to grieve in her own way. Because she thought she was better than her mother, she thought it was perfectly okay for her to betray her mother. Laila was obviously in the right on that one because her mother is an awful person. In the end, she even thought that she had the right to be in charge of the family's finances because 'her eyes were open'. God, what a load of bull.

Laila treats people like crap in the book. Her mom, Amir, Bastien, Emmy, Ian...you name 'em, she treated 'em like crap. There's a scene with Ian where the two are making out. Things get a little heated so Ian stops it. Laila is confused because she wanted to go all the way. When asked why she wanted to, she says: "Because it's what's done here.". Yep. Ian was nothing more than a male with a working penis to her. Emmy gets treated awfully as well. Laila can't even attempt to be nice to the girl that tried so hard to make her feel welcome. There's a scene where her and Amir have this mind chat(not literally)making fun of Emmy and her uncultured, American ways because she didn't know something from their culture. It was sick.* Yes, I realize that Americans can be extremely ignorant, arrogant and self centered. I don't think that's a good excuse for Laila to treat the one person who was nice and welcoming to her like the dirt beneath her shoes.

In my opinion, this book is not worth the time or money. Yes, it did show me how different America is from the rest of the world. It did show me how hard it is to be from a warring country. I can get that from any other book or memoir. This one just didn't cut it. I might change my rating later but I honestly can't bring myself to do that right now. I was not a fan at all. I'm sorry if you liked this book but I just think that there are better books out there that represent the Middle Eastern conflicts. (Like I am Malala. It changed my worldview completely)

*I am extremely biased by my dislike of this book. These scenes are how I interpreted them, not as they might actually be. This is all just my opinion.
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Reading Progress

May 11, 2016 – Started Reading
May 11, 2016 – Shelved
May 11, 2016 –
page 0
0.0% "I'm totally expecting this to be sad and powerful."
May 12, 2016 –
page 96
31.58% "I don't really like this. The beginning feels like it starts in the middle of the story and the chapters are so choppy. I am debating whether or not to just stop reading this."
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-books
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: confusing
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: gasp-worthy-covers
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: got-from-the-library
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: highly-anticipating
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: realistic-fiction
May 13, 2016 – Shelved as: very-high-expectations-for
May 13, 2016 – Finished Reading

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