This is a spoiler free review!
Written by Bethany Hagan
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopia/Romance
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Recommended Age: 12 and up!
“Downton Abbey” meets The Selection in this dystopian tale of love and betrayal
Sixteen-year-old Madeline Landry is practically Gentry royalty. Her ancestor developed the nuclear energy that has replaced electricity, and her parents exemplify the glamour of the upper class. As for Madeline, she would much rather read a book than attend yet another debutante ball. But when she learns about the devastating impact the Gentry lifestyle—her lifestyle—is having on those less fortunate, her whole world is turned upside down. As Madeline begins to question everything she has been told, she finds herself increasingly drawn to handsome, beguiling David Dana, who seems to be hiding secrets of his own. Soon, rumors of war and rebellion start to spread, and Madeline finds herself at the center of it all. Ultimately, she must make a choice between duty—her family and the estate she loves dearly—and desire.
My sister recommended this book to me and I had very high expectations for this book as I usually trust my sister’s opinions on books. I am very happy to say that I wasn’t disappointed. This had the right amount of everything and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I would say that this is a mix of Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, The Selection and The Hunger Games. And I highly recommend it.
When I saw this book in the bookstore about two years ago, I couldn’t resist picking it up and ultimately buying it. Now, I have finally decided to read it. [I know, I am a terrible person and a terrible reader] I really like how they don’t show us the model’s face as that would skew our thoughts about the main character. Overall the cover is beautiful and so is the spine which looks gorgeous on my bookshelf.
The world that the author managed to create was really interesting. It is set in the United States but years in the future. There are the gentry and the rootless. The gentry are the wealthy and the rootless are the poor and sick. The gentry are always waiting for something bad to happen in order to blame the rootless for it, thus starting a sort of war. I really like the world which was interesting and exciting like most dystopian worlds.
Then there are the characters.
We first meet Madeline when she wakes up after a long night of reading. I love Madeline so so much. She has quickly become one of my favorite characters. She’s intelligent, beautiful and strong. She knows what she wants and doesn’t stop until she gets it. She also loves King Arthur and Camelot which was a plus. Her relationships with other characters have a lot of depth. We get to know more about her interaction with other characters and why rather than just telling us, “Ah yes. He is my friend.”
I was very suspicious of David in the beginning, given that our female protagonist meets him in the dark where he is lurking. Yes, I just said lurking. He escaped from a party and seemed really sketchy. But I grew to like him and he eventually seemed like a really sweet guy who really cared about people.
I am still very suspicious of this character. He basically swoops in and tries to get Madeline to like him which did not sit that well with me. I am so obviously a David and Madeline shipper. But I feel like Jude would work with a different character. He does seem like he has good intentions but I’m still a little unsure.
She seemed like she didn’t care about anyone. She was like a typical mean girl placed into a dystopian novel. But as the novel progressed, I noticed how different she was. She didn’t have evil intentions. She was having her own problems and that just changed her a lot. I actually really liked her by the end.
The romance did not seem insta-lovey at all. Insta-love bothers me a lot as I have said before. The romance in this book was sweet and sort of slow-burning. Like at some point we knew they had feelings for each other but they never really did anything about until way later. The searing looks absolutely killed me. I love them so much! <3
The writing was very smooth and easy to read. It is also in first person which I really enjoyed.
I really enjoyed this book and I highly recommend it. The plot was wonderful, the characters were three dimensional and the writing was beautiful. I am totally up for a re-read!
Quotes from the Book:
“I wanted to bathe myself in that burn, to let the radiation take my skin and flesh and bones until I was nothing but charged particles dancing in space.”
My Rating: 5 out of 5 Crowns