Book Review: Landry Park

Book Review: Landry ParkLandry Park by Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park #1
Published by Penguin Group USA on February 4, 2014
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon

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.

Downton Abbey meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal. Um, no. Just no. Let's clear this up real quick. There is next to nothing that these two have in common with Landry Park. Maybe for fans of Downton Abbey and The Selection. However, even that may be stretching it a bit. Moving on.

Landry Park begins as you may expect a typical dystopian to.

America is divided. Famine and uprisings have led to social turmoil. The Eastern Empire has invaded the West Coast and taken over. The future seems bleak. A man, Jacob Landry (in this case), invents a new power source to save the day, and brings everything back together. Things change, but overall, life is good… for some. The gentry who have it all. While the Rootless, people who are viewed as the losers of the war, have next to nothing. They are the workers of the society. They are the back bone. The people the gentry look down on, but also the same people the gentry would not be able to survive their lifestyles without. But as secrets get uncovered, everything is about to change.

Sadly, if you have read one dystopian, Landry Park's back story is nothing to cheer about. While nicely done, it is just the same formula with different elements plugged in. Making this dystopian story line just a little different than everything else out there.

Landry Park introduces Madeline Landry. A girl who has always had every need met. She is a gentry after all, and descendant of Jacob Landry. This girl hit the gentry jackpot. Madeline, lucky for us, doesn't really care about all the perks that come with being a gentry. Nope, this girl wants knowledge. To go to university, and be a scholar, not sit around all day trying on dresses and looking to bag a husband. For me, those were definitely points in her favor and I will say I liked her character. However, something about her never fully clicked with me. Even once she begins to "rebel" and discover the truth about her society and the Rootless, I never truly felt like I knew her. How she really felt or how she thought. The same can be said for most of the characters. I liked them, but always something felt missing. Not completely fleshed out all the way. While it didn't hurt my enjoyment of Landry Park, it was a nagging thought I had throughout most of the read.

Come for the dystopian… Stay for the romance.

While the dystopian element may have brought me to Landry Park. It was the romance that kept my interest. Shocker!

The romance of Landry Park is the simmering kind. The kind that keeps you on your toes. The kind when you think you have everything figured out, there is another twist thrown in. The kind that leaves your thoughts in turmoil:

Kate vs. the Landry Park Romance

Is David the one? He has to be. They are so cute together.

Pages later

Oh drat, David is now with Cara. Really!?! Mean girl, Cara!?! No, it can't be. Can it?

Pages later

Yup, Madeline and David. It has to be. I won't take no for answer. Dang it, Cara… go away! You are messing up my fantasy couple here… 

Pages later

Madeline and David… I may have to give up.

Pages later

Hmm… Jude, you say? Are you the one? Aww… he is kinda cute. Maybe David isn't as special as I thought. Fine. David, you can have the mean girl. Maybe you deserve each other. I never really liked you anyway. *Sticks tongue out at book* (But really secretly hoping David is the one and he and Madeline will end up together.)

I loved every second of this guessing game, which was made only better by the characters. And what you see isn't always what you get. Brilliant.

Final Verdict:

Read it!

Landry Park was completely, unexpectedly amazing. Brilliantly written. Slightly addicting (was up till 4am finishing). I haven't been as thrilled with a book (or its romance) since For Darkness Shows the Stars, which I say is a much better comparison than Downton Abbey or The Selection.


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5 responses to “Book Review: Landry Park

  1. I can't wait to read this one! The summary sounds awesome and I want myself a gorgeous, thought-provoking romance. Definitely picking this up when it comes out. ^_^

  2. I only learnt of Landry Park a couple of days ago and was hoping a review would pop up somewhere. Your review has definitely interested me even more in this novel. Thansk for sharing your thoughts.


  3. Iiiinteresting. Until your conclusion there, I was reading it thinking "hm, nothing new to the dystopian plotline, mc isn't fully fleshed out, the only good part is the romance?" and assuming I could pass on this one. Especially because it doesn't have the historic element I thought it would, with the Downton Abbey reference. But then you say it's amazing? Is that…the writing style? or world building? I haz a confused.

    • Landry Park was amazing in an overall sense. It is one of those reads that have flaws, most of which can be overlooked, and you love it anyways. Kinda like a guilty pleasure. Sadly, there is no historic element per se. Landry Park takes place in the future after wars and society has basically fallen apart. The gentry feels more Southern Belle than Downton Abbey.

  4. Ok you changed my mind. I wasnt going to read this because dystopian is getting a bit tired these days. But ill add it to my library list for later when im in the mood for dystopians again. Especially since thats not the focus.

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