Hagen, Bethany. Landry Park
February 4th 2014
Madeline Landry is the heir to one of the best estates in a futuristic dystopia about 200 years in the future. The rich are in power, the unmonied are servants and working class, and the "Rootless" are the bottom caste of society. They live in poverty and work at jobs that involve dealing with the radiation that the rich use to power their lavish, quasi-Victorian lifestyles. Apparently, the US was attacked and partially conquered by powers from the east, and then cities fought among themselves, mainly over energy sources. Madeline's forbearer invented the radiation capsules that now are used. As the heir, it is incumbent upon her to marry young and produce an heir, but she would rather go to the university and study. When dashing and rich David Dana comes to town, Madeline's mother would like to secure him as Madeline's fiance, but he aligns himself with her rival, the snotty Cara Westoff. David turns out to be more than just rich and attractive-- he visits the Rootless stomping grounds, and Madeline is enthralled. She eventually becomes betrothed to a colleague of his from the army, Jude, but things are not good in the society, and the lifestyle of the rich is on tenuous ground. A sequel may come out in 2015.
Strengths: This is blurbed as "Downton Abbey meets The Selection", and I can sort of see that. It would appeal to readers who like a lot of romance in their dystopia. The ball gowns, the arranged marriages, the girl drama with Cara-- I can see it being really well liked by readers fond of Matched.
Weaknesses: Something just didn't gel with me personally. There was not really a reason for the English manor lifestyle and debuts-- weak world building, I guess. Still will buy a copy, as the book kept me reading.