I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Landry Park by Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park #1
Narrator: Leslie Bellair
Length: 7 Hours 50 Minutes
Published by Penguin on 2014-02-04
Genres: Dystopian, Love & Romance, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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“Downton Abbey” meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal Sixteen-year-old Madeline Landry is practically Gentry royalty. Her ancestor developed the nuclear energy that has replaced electricity, and her parents exemplify the glamour of the upper class. As for Madeline, she would much rather read a book than attend yet another debutante ball. But when she learns about the devastating impact the Gentry lifestyle—her lifestyle—is having on those less fortunate, her whole world is turned upside down. As Madeline begins to question everything she has been told, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana, who seems to be hiding secrets of his own. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty—her family and the estate she loves dearly—and desire. Fans of Ally Condie, Kiera Cass, Veronica Roth, and even Jane Austen will be enthralled by this breathtaking read.
Why Did I Listen To This Book?
Landry Park by Bethany Hagen basically appealed to me because I kept seeing ads for it on goodreads over and over and over which gave me the impression that it was a big deal and that I was missing out by not reading it. You see, advertising works on me. I also wanted to read it because the blurb sounded cool, supposedly it is “Downton Abbey meets The Selection” and you guys know I am that sort of person who believes in #DowntonLife. I got all up on the audiobook version, narrated by Leslie Bellair, because it’s like barely 8 hours long. That’s so darn short for an audiobook and much easier to squeeze into my cray cray schedule than a physical book. Unfortunately, I am not 10000% percent in love with Landry Park. I liked it, but I did not love it. I am basically WHELMED.
What’s The Story Here?
There’s this girl named Madeline Landry who is the heir to Landry Park. Her family is kind of a big deal, they are essentially landed gentry. Her grandfather or maybe it was great grandfather invented some nuclear science thing and so, yeah they matter a lot. Anyways, Madeline is wicked smart and wants to go to university. However, she is unable to do that because she is the heir and so because there’s a stipulation in one of those Landry Park wills, she has to marry by a certain age. Meanwhile, there’s a rigid class divide between the Uprisen class plus the middle class plus the lower class and these group of people called the Rootless. The Rootless are basically treated like untouchables, to boil it down quite simply. So, anyways, there are balls and like Madeline has to debut at some point. And she meets a boy and finds herself interacting with the Rootless and changing her mind about the class as a whole. Madeline and the guy, David, find themselves at the center of a revolution. Oh and there’s also another guy at one point. And then the book ends on a major revelation and cliffhanger.
How Are The Characters?
Madeline is, hmmmm, kind of a Sybil, now that I think about it. She really wants to go to university and break free from society’s conventions. She doesn’t want to get married and then become decoration. Granted, she would be in charge of Landry Park, but still, she wants something more from life. Also, she gets jealous pretty easy. As for her love interest, David, he kind of jerks her around a lot. Like, there’s a reason for that, but eh, I am just not that into it. As for Madeline’s dad, he’s kind of a textbook villain, at least that’s the impression I get. Last night I watched Disney’s Robin Hood with Tony and like, the dad in this book totally reminds me of Prince John. That’s the most I can say. As for the rootless, they are interesting for sure but I felt like we did not get enough of a glimpse of them. More rootless please. I am sure they’ll be more of a big deal in the next book in this series. Like, they are the catalyst in Bethany Hagen’s Landry Park, but like the individual rootless class characters didn’t get enough time, like Charlie, this artist child who ultimately gets into some trouble.
What Are My Overall Impressions?
Listen, I liked this book, but Landry Park is not anywhere near a favorite of mine. I think I kind of felt this disconnect. I mean, I was like, oh that’s interesting, but I never really fell head over heels. I never was like yes, this is the best, probably because the book feels a lot like everything else out there in it’s genre. Yeah, the world and the caste system is interesting, but it’s super similar to The Selection, with some differences. I liked that there was science, though. I also liked the romance even if it also aggravated me. Eh. Just. Eh.
How Is The Narration?
For a hot minute, I thought the narrator was the same one who does Born Wicked, but that’s actually Nicole Sudhaus. If you like Nicole Sudhaus’s voice, you will also like Leslie Bellair. The two sound very, very, very similar. I liked Bellair’s vocal range and abilities. Her voice sounds very gentle and like the sort of gentry feel you would expect as you listen to a book about class warfare and marriages and balls. I liked that she gave David a Southern accent. I mean, okay I did zone out at a few different moments, but overall, Bellair does a great job narrating Landry Park by Bethany Hagen.
Sum It Up With A GIF:
I am simply whelmed.