*This review will not contain spoilers for Jubilee Manor, but might contain spoilers for Landry Park.
Bethany Hagen's Landry Park was one of my favorite books of 2014. I gave it 5/5 STARS, and my Goodreads Review of it says, "I am blown away by this book! It truly is a dystopian Austen novel and I was absolutely obsessed until the end. I could not believe the depth of the characters, story, plot, and twists and turns. Nothing comes to mind to need improvement--and I'm picky. I loved every minute of it."
In Landry Park we are swept away to a future United States, particularly the Midwest, where the society has almost devolved into an antebellum society following a war with "the East." The people who reside in this world rely on Nuclear power charges as their main source of energy, and the Rootless, a lower caste made up of people from the losing side of the war, are responsible to changing and disposing of these charges. This responsibility have left the Rootless sick with cancer from the power, dying young, and thirsty for a revolt against the people who have given them this fact. Madeline Landry is our main character, and she is the pinnacle of the elite this society--the daughter of the leader of the Uprisen (the highest ruling class).
It is absolutely amazing to see this intricate and well-developed world through Madeline's eyes. She is an intelligent heroine, who doesn't shy away from being wrong, or accepting the ideas of others. Which is why, when met with the truth about the Rootless, and the opinions of the frustrating (to her, but rather charming to us) David Dana, she learns how her family and friends have abused the Rootless. She develops into an even more phenomenal young lady throughout the first book, and I was dying to see what would happen to her after she helped the Rootless in their quest for justice.
So, I was really excited when this book became available for review (I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.).
Jubilee Manor is a very different kind of book than Landry Park was. I continuously describe Landry Park as a Dystopian Jane Austen novel, or a science fiction Gone with the Wind. This installment fits in well with that motif, but it more of a science fiction Agatha Christie. While I think some of the dystopian elements were lost, what was added was an interesting sub plot and a political mystery. Overall, I gave this conclusion 4.5/5 STARS.
I was not disappointed at all in this book, I was actually quite surprised that this is only a duology, because after the first book finished, I assumed I was now addicted to a trilogy. I'm sad to see this series end, but both books were truly great reads that took me away to a future Hagen constructed with a moving heroine, a fight for justice, and a social scene that made me dream of girls in gorgeous dresses.
As a part of the Behind the Dress Campaign, I have created some Polyvore collections based on the gorgeous cover of Jubilee Manor. I tried to reimagine Madison's amazing dress in a couple of different ways that would be more attainable to wear around in your every day life. But my goodness, what would I give to wear either of those cover dresses on a daily basis (probably minus a corset).
JubileeManor by jeskiddingbooks featuring a royal blue ball gown
To look like Madison Landry, here's an "every day" look based on her cover-worthy dress!