Wednesday, 15 June 2016

[REVIEW] Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

Landry Park by Bethany Hagen
Published: February 2014
Age Group: YA
Series: Landry Park #1
Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal.

In a fragmented future United States ruled by the lavish gentry, seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry dreams of going to the university. Unfortunately, gentry decorum and her domineering father won't allow that. Madeline must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But her world is turned upside down when she discovers the devastating consequences her lifestyle is having on those less fortunate. As Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself and David at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty - her family and the estate she loves dearly - and desire. 

Landry Park is hailed as part Downtown Abbey and Gone With the Wind mixed with the dystopia flair of The Selection. We are introduced to the main character Madeline Landry who seems to be the heiress of heiresses. She stands to inherit the proud standing Landry House who are the professed heroes of the last great war. As all dystopia novels seem to follow, our heroine young Melanie Landry is unsatisfied with the constraints and oppressive nature of her privileged high society life and wishes to break free from the norm. This sense of rebellion, and thirst for freedom and free will leads her to the rebellion forces where she finds herself crossed between staying true to her noble lineage or abandoning all for what she believes is moral and true. Add to all this the complications of match making and boy troubles with a splash of debutante drama and war threats and you have yourself Landry Park - a novel that displays equal parts of traditional dystopia literature with scenes reminiscent of 18th century nobility woes. 

Landry Park does not disappoint with its political turmoil juxtaposed with the complicated trifles of love matching between the two protagonists, Madeline and David Dana.

Fans of the Selection should give this a try. The romance is quite heavy in this book but fans of dystopia literature may still enjoy it for the well established division between the wealthy gentry and the oppressed and poor rootless that the author has managed to create in this YA novel.