Author: Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park #1
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars
Landry Park is similar to The Selection and Delirium series where the main focus is mainly on the romance/love triangle in the novel, but is totted as a dystopian series. The dystopian in Landry Park, like these other series, is a weak backdrop to try to please readers and deter from the fact that the novel does not really have much of a plot.
The characters in Landry Park are interesting enough, but nothing stands out about them. The main character, Madeline, is surprised when she finds herself attracted to David Dana, who her mother is very interested in setting Madeline up with.
In Madeline's world, America has reverted into a feudal type system where each city is its own territory and represented mainly by the rich family in the city. Madeline happens to be the heir of her city, and as thus her parents are very interested in marrying her off to a rich gentleman, while Madeline seems more interested in going to university.
Madeline's interest in university, however, seems suddenly less important the more time she spends with David, even though David appears to be more interested in Cara, who has her own mysterious secret going on.
Not only is Madeline's world set up with heads of cities, but Hagen also introduces the concept of Rootless, where the dystopian starts to kick in. These Rootless are essentially slaves, and their main role in society is to suffer from radiation poison from having to change the nuclear charges on the lights that power the city. I then my biggest beef with Landry Park centers around the plot of the Rootless and these charges, as I definitely did not like how Hagen handled the evolution of that story line. I hope I can still have enough fate in the human species to believe that humanity would not allow slavery back into the root of our civilian just for one man's profit.
While the romance was a little too much all the way through, at least in the beginning and towards the middle the plot was still strong enough to keep my interest. But as the story progressed into the later stages, the Rootless and Uprisen plot were not the only parts that seemed to weaken as the story went along.
If Hagen has focused on either just the romance or just the dystopian, she probably would have had a better shot at developing a better novel as a whole. But the convolution of the different elements in Landry Park unfortunately did not equal the desired product.