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Downton Abbey-ish Dystopia | Book Review: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

There’s not enough Downton and a little too much dystopia in Landry Park for my taste!

Book Review: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

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landry park by bethany hagen book review

Title & Author: Landry Park by Bethany Hagen

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction – Dystopia

Release Date: February 4, 2014

Series: Laundry Park #1

Publisher: Dial

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.”

A Little More Downton, A Little Less Dystopia

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.


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.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.