THERE: In an unnamed Middle Eastern country, fifteen-year-old Laila has always lived like royalty. Her father is a dictator of sorts, though she knows him as King—just as his father was, and just as her little brother Bastien will be one day. Then everything changes: Laila's father is killed in a coup.
HERE: As war surges, Laila flees to a life of exile in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Overnight she becomes a nobody. Even as she adjusts to a new school and new friends, she is haunted by the past. Was her father really a dictator like the American newspapers say? What was the cost of her family's privilege?
Far from feeling guilty, her mother is determined to regain their position of power. So she's engineering a power play—conspiring with CIA operatives and rebel factions to gain a foothold to the throne. Laila can't bear to stand still as yet another international crisis takes shape around her. But how can one girl stop a conflict that spans generations?
**4.75 Cultural stars**
“To me, it was simply a story with a message: family honor, redemption, and true love.”
Laila is the Invisible Queen of the Middle East (easily ignored, easily dismissed). After her father is murdered she becomes a refugee in America along with her mother and younger brother. Adjusting to her new life in America is a night and day experience.
Things aren’t as they seem and she discovers that within her own family. The betrayal runs deep within her network. The last part of the book holds secrets and an endless loop of double crossing.
A great young adult book with an interesting story line. The short chapters made the book move along quickly. For my romance loving friends this book does not have romance.