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Landry Park Hardcover – February 4, 2014

4.1 out of 5 stars 61 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Landry Park Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up—In a postapocalyptic United States, Madeline Landry, descendant of the scientist who developed nuclear-powered lanterns, enjoys a life of privilege, but she would rather attend university than be groomed for marriage and the eventual inheritance of the Landry estate. In this castelike society with a mishmash of Victorian/Regency/Edwardian norms, the 17-year-old's family is part of the gentry class that subjugates the lower-class Rootless to handle the nuclear-emitting light sources-a task that Madeline later discovers causes a slow and painful fate. The arrival of David Dana, a charming but secretive suitor, and a brutal attack on Cara, Madeline's lifelong frenemy, are the catalysts for not only the rich girl's rebellion but also the complete upheaval of the status quo. Hagen's debut is filled with luxurious language, swoon-worthy love interests, and exceptional world-building that doesn't bog down the narrative. While the novel's treatment of class is intriguing, the dismissal of race as a factor is problematic. While status, not ethnicity, determines acceptance in this stratified new order (several gentry members are people of color, and the protagonist is half-Latina), war with the Eastern Empire (Asian countries) is named as the primary cause of America's demise. The elite continue to vilify the Eastern Empire as much as the Rootless and are seen as a constant threat. Still, the cast of fully developed characters, pervasively sinister mood, and thrilling love story will keep readers turning the page, even if they'll be able to predict some plot twists before they occur. This first book in a trilogy will appeal to fans of Diana Peterfreund's Darkness Shows the Stars (HarperCollins, 2012) and Catherine Fisher's Incarceron (Dial, 2010).—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

Review

"Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games." - VOYA

"A mélange of sci-fi inventions, well-written characters, and classic literary allusions." - The Christian Science Monitor

"This is a terrific mash-up of a Regency period romance with a dystopian tale that will intrigue teen readers, and introduce some important questions about the structure of modern society." - School Library Journal

"Hagen’s debut is filled with luxurious language, swoon-worthy love interests, and exceptional world-building...this first book in a trilogy will appeal to fans of Diana Peterfreund’s For Darkness Shows the Stars and Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron." - School Library Journal

"Heated debates and similarly heated kisses fuel Madeline and David’s will-they/won’t-they relationship, tempering the social commentary with a bit of romantic drama." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books


 
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (February 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803739486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803739482
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,093,624 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am an unashamed fan of young adult fiction especially with some dystopia to boot. Some of the best writing is occurring in this genre if you ask me. I have a theory that in today's post politically correct environment many authors are afraid to write anything more offensive than the young adult genre but I digress It does not hurt that this novel is set in my home town of Kansas City in the year of our Lord 2300. I like the allegory that revolution is brewing in our country right now as we rebel against the Patriot Act, Nanny State, TSA, DHS, never ending wars George Orwell laid out in 1984, GMO's, Glyphosates, Monsanto and we could increase the list ad infinitum. Some day the people plugged into the Matrix of TV, Facebook, and video games will wake up to a world too intolerable and revolt.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Debut author Hagen's LANDRY PARK is a luscious, nerve-rattling blend of Southern charm and prickly YA dystopian.

Madeline Landry is born into a life of unbelievable luxury. A life of old-world charm akin to the Southern pre-civil war, where marriages are arranged based on bloodlines and the fortunate few exist in a vortex of opulence.
On the other side of the fence are the Rootless, those whose ancestors fought against the class system in a centuries-old war, and are now made to handle the dangerous radioactive waste that powers the homes of the privileged.

When Madeline--sole heiress of LANDRY PARK, the grand estate built by her great grandfather, the inventor of the nuclear-powered device--meets David Dana, a wealthy suitor from her own class, the two become involved in the lives of some of the subjugated Rootless. Soon, Madeline's eyes are opened to Rootless' horrific lives of abject poverty and early death.

Though Madeline and David quickly form feelings for each other, she is devastated when he becomes attached to her long-time frenemy, instead of her. When Madeline discovers David is helping the Rootless, she is torn between the life she knows and what her heart tells her is right.

I absolutely loved this book. The delicious descriptions of Madeline's rich world contrasted beautifully with the horror of the Rootless. I also loved how Madeline's conflicted feelings for David mirror her choices to leave everything she's known and loved behind, and step out of her comfort zone. It was so refreshing and real to see a main character who is--at first--reluctant to choose between what is right and what is safe.

100% Recommend!!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having read The Selection and being a hardcore viewer of Downton Abbey, I’m not sure Landry Park fits the bill as a merger of both media.

It’s more like a dystopia/science fiction version of Diamonds and Deceit, but without the addicting page-turner-ness.

What I liked best about Landry Park was the new-Victorian era and reversion to status that is created in a futuristic setting.

Madeline Landry’s family is at the very top of society because Madeline’s grandfather invented a power source that has replaced all other sources, after all the wars, etc.

As a heroine, Madeline is not my favorite. She’s the classic “I like books not people” type of character who behind being shy and quiet has a blah personality. I wanted to like her, but I never saw her do anything that made me think “wow, this girl is spunky/funny/interesting.”

Also, the love situation. Ugh. It was drawn out and dramatic for no reason. I wasn’t feeling it at all.

Then there’s the whole storyline. I’m sorry, but I’ve just been there, done this before. It’s like every other dystopia just with a different, more fancy dress setting. “Oh, my society is hiding things from me! I should rebel, right? Right!”

As you can tell, I wasn’t overly thrilled with this book. Although the pace was good and the story filled with surprises and twists, I found myself distanced. I just didn’t feel very much reading Landry Park.

OVEALL:
If a book setting can make or break it for you, then this novel’s faults can be overcome for you. As for me, the watery personality heroine and the ridiculous romance wasn’t enough to make me recommend Landry Park to fellow readers.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I've never met Bethany Hagen personally but my sister is acquainted with her and on her recommendation I bought this book. I was not asked to review it.

I'm really into this genre. I blame Hunger Games. This book while being from the same genre has a different flavor than Hunger Games and Divergent. I found this book both engaging and fast paced. I've preordered the sequel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was not only hooked from the very beginning, but BLOWN AWAY. Bethany Hagen has created a world and characters that are so real, with descriptions that make you feel like she must've been there while she was writing. It's a rare thing to read a world that is so complete that it transports you there so fully. But that's just the tip of the brilliance iceberg. Here are three reasons why Landry Park is both brilliant and unique:

1. It's a FUTURISTIC REGENCY. Yep-- you read that right. Downright fascinating, no? Landry Park takes place a little over 200 years in the future, but with a caste system with strong roots in the early 1900s. It was so fascinating to read so many regency elements mixed with both technology we know now and futuristic technology. It was a delightful mix, and I would've loved it just for those elements alone.

2. You know how it is-- one man's utopia is another man's dystopia. We've all read plenty of dystopias where the main character is oppressed by the government, and they fight against it. One of the unique things about Landry Park is that the main character, Madeline, is on the utopian side of the fence. She lives at Landry Park-- the most elegant estate in the nation. And she is the daughter of the most powerful man in the country, and the sole heir to Landry Park and all the power that comes with it. And no, it doesn't make Madeline's character any less likeable at all. In fact, her character arc is incredible.

3. Nuclear power, along with radiation and its effects are a big factor in this world. This is a smart book with lots of science that is explained exactly enough to let you truly enjoy the story. The intricacies of this power source introduces some great conflict in the story, and does it in a way that feels like it could actually happen.

This was a well plotted, well executed book that grabs you from the start and pulls you along every step of the way.
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