Friday, October 16, 2015

#Friday Review - Jubilee Manor (Landry Park #2) by Bethany Hagen (Young Adult, Dystopian)

Series: Landry Park 2
Format: Hardcover, 387 pages
Release Date: August 11, 2015
Publisher: Dial Books
Source: Library
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian

In Landry Park, Madeline turned her back on her elite family, friends, and estate to help the Rootless. Now, in Jubilee Manor, she struggles to bring the Gentry and the Rootless together. But when Gentry heirs—Madeline’s old friends—are murdered, even she begins to think a Rootless is behind it, putting her at odds with the boy she loves and the very people she is trying to lead. If she can’t figure out who is killing her friends and bring them to justice, a violent war will erupt and even more will die—and Madeline’s name, her estate, and all the bonds she’s forged won’t make any difference.
This conclusion to Landry Park, which VOYA dubbed "Gone with the Wind meets The Hunger Games,” is a richly satisfying, addictive read.

Jubilee Manor is the second part of a two-part duology called Landry Park. This story picks up right where Landry Park left off. Madeline Landry, along with her Uncle Jack (aka Stephen Landry), have come together in hopes that they can bring an end to the centuries old resentment between the Gentry and Rootless. I beg your patience as I summarize without spoiling anything that happened in the previous novel. Hagen has created a world where 200 years ago, the Eastern Empire lead by the the Chinese, invaded the US and took a large part of the Western US as their own.

As in the previous novel, they have since hinted at striking back again if the leaders don't do exactly as they say. They have even supported the Rootless in their revolution. The Eastern Empire has pretty much turned the US into a third world country that isn't allowed to have access to certain things like Oil. There are two factions in this new United States. The Gentry and the Rootless. The Gentry (Madeline Landry's family) controls all of the resources and rule through connections and influence. The Rootless, the lowest class, are oppressed and given the worst jobs which subject them to radiation poisoning from handling Cherenkov Lanterns and its waste. The Rootless have a life expectancy of only 30 years because of the exposure.  

The obvious message in this series is that if you destroy the Gentry class, then everything will be equal all around. Everyone will experience the same pains and suffering. Everyone will share equal burdens of ensuring the success of a nation. It's called the Robin Hood economic effect. Steal from the Rich, give to the poor so that the poor won't have to do anything to help themselves. But, there are those among both groups that would rather see the so called peace talks that have been brokered by Jack disrupted in a major way. When Madeline's friends, heirs to their families fortunes, are murdered, it appears as though the Rootless are responsible.

One of the best ways to describe Madeline in this book is to say that she goes into crusade mode and doesn't back down from any challenges. She's watched her father dethroned by his brother. She's watched as he somehow survived being exposed to radiation. She's damn sure not going to allow murderers to destroy everything that she's tried to work for. She knows that in the end, if everything works out, her prosperity, and lifestyle will be removed forever. Then again, she would also have the opportunity to finally do what she's always wanted; go to college, and marry who she wants. The best thing about Madeline is that she actually becomes the leader that she was expected to be, and her relationship with her father is more enjoyable than before.

There are more than a few twists in this book. As we left Landry Park behind, there were questions about the Landry bloodline, and whether or not Madeline would actually marry Captain David Dana, or find happiness with Jude. I dare say that the shock/surprise about Jude was in no way what I had expected or hoped for. I am happy to announce that the triangle of doom was definitely wrapped up in a brilliant way because of THAT revelation about Jude. My only angst about loving David and Madeline together is that they if they would just take 5 minutes to sit down and discuss what was happening, a whole lot of hurt and pain would have been avoided. 

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