Blog Tour Review: Jubilee Manor by Bethany Hagen

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Blog Tour Review: Jubilee Manor by Bethany HagenJubilee Manor by Bethany Hagen
Series: Landry Park #2
Published by Dial BFYR on August 11, 2015
Genres: Dystopian, Mystery, Romance, Science Fiction
Pages: 400
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
AmazonThe Book Depository

The thrilling conclusion to Landry Park is full of love, betrayal, and murder--perfect for fans of Divergent, The Selection, andPride and Prejudice

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.

In Landry Park, Madeline was confronted with her own privilege. She realized how horrible and unfair the current governmental system was, but that didn’t magically resolve the political situation. People in power don’t want to relinquish that power, nor do the Rootless want to allow their station to remain as it was now that Madeline has outed the truth. In Jubilee Manor, the question is whether Madeline cares enough to risk her own status and comfortable life. Jubilee Manor is a follow-up that will please fans of Landry Park.

One thing I actually appreciate about Jubilee Park a lot is that Madeline does really struggle with her choices. She wants to help the Rootless, but she doesn’t want to give up Landry Park. It’s her home and means so much to her. When a gentry girl is murdered, Madeline suspects a Rootless man named Smith, and David accuses her of being just like everyone else. Still, Smith is suspicious, and she’s sure he’s been up to something. I don’t think it would have been remotely realistic for Madeline to get rid of the prejudices she grew up with so easily. She helps a lot, but she has to remind herself sometimes to fight against her natural responses.

I also very much appreciate how much of a power player Madeline is. That may be a bit unbelievable given her youth and the fact that she had not yet inherited her estate, but you guys know how much I love getting to see women in positions of power. After the events of Landry Park, she’s come to be respected, both by the Gentry and the Rootless, making her a very important political player. David has to look to her now. Even her father has to rely on her, having lost his credibility. His change did come a too quickly, but it was still nice to see.

The plot resolved rather neatly. There was a lot of stuff going on, like the murder mystery and oh you know the need to completely revamp a political system and the potential invasion by a much stronger nation. NBD. Hagen dealt with everything; no threads were dropped. I just wish that, some dead Gentry folks aside, that there had been more pain along the way and that everything hadn’t been resolved so perfectly. Real life and politics never tie into a bow like that.

Unsurprisingly, I do still struggle with the romance. David Dana has just never done it for me, and he and Madeline instaloved all over one another. I don’t totally hate them, but I just don’t care about their romance. That said, the resolution of the romantic plot was most excellent. View Spoiler » Another thing I’ve appreciated about this series is that the Gentry actually seem pretty relaxed about sex, one of the key differences between the society and the novel and the historical ideals it was based on.

Fans of Landry Park will be satisfied with the series conclusion, Landry Park.

Favorite Quote:

“If you don’t want to fight, you are with the wrong girl.”

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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As part of the blog tour, Penguin asked me to create a photo set about the themes of this novel, so here is my best attempt. Bear with me because I’m not the most artistic person.

Jubilee Manor Collage
Larger image

What I’ve done with this collage is tried to grab some iconic images from the novel. Along the top are shots of the setting: a gorgeous manor, a lavish dinner party, a silver chess set, and a gorgeous chandelier in a fancy home. Madeline lives in a home like that one, is no stranger to those dinner parties, and plays chess with Jude using a silver chess set like that.

In the middle, there are the beautiful gowns. A party opens Jubilee Manor and Madeline wears a mint green dress with a short train like the one on the left. On the right is a red-haired girl wearing a lavender one-shouldered dress, like Madeline wears to her birthday party near the end of the novel. In the center, is a couple dancing, one that could easily be Madeline and David Dana.

Madeline’s life and that of the gentry consists of so much beauty, but it’s all built on a terrible foundation. They rely on nuclear power to heat and light their beautiful homes. They force the Rootless to handle those nuclear charges. One photo shows people in suits to protect from the radiation, but another shows workers with no suits, because there were not enough for all the workers. The spatter of blood in the snow is directly from a scene and symbolizes…well, maybe I’ll let you figure that out when you read the book. My goal here was to show the beauty, which definitely takes the forefront, but all the pain hidden under the lovely facade.

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