by Bethany Hagen
ORDER, ELEGANCE, PROSPERITY.
The words might as well be branded on seventeen-year-old Madeline Landry herself. Here in the future United States, ruled by the lavish gentry, very little is left to choice--and even less is left to Madeline. Gentry decorum and Madeline's domineering father insist that she must marry, like a good Landry woman, and run the family estate. But as she steps outside the decadent walls of her world, Madeline begins to question everything she has ever learned. In her desperation, she turns to the only person who seems to understand: handsome, beguiling avid 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 her duty--the family and estate she loves dearly--and her desire.
This book had me all over the place to be honest. At first I outright hated it. I could not get past the entire premise for the book, the fact that in the future we decided to go back and repeat the past. Rebuilding society as something straight out of a historic fiction novel, balls, debuts, caste system, gentry, girls not going to university but instead being expected to marry and carry on the family line and all that crap. It is so illogical to go back to an entirely different way of life from an entirely different period of time from so long ago. That just doesn't make sense. And that drove me absolutely bonkers until I realized reading this book was going to be torture and I would never finish it if I didn't find a way to just look past that and accept it even though I didn't agree with it. So I pushed that to the side and kept reading and somehow I fell in love. The characters and setting a vivid and the book was filled with all this crazy powerful emotion. The main characters were appropriately balanced with enough flaws to make them realistic but enough good characteristics to make them lovable. I felt that the character development was handled fairly well. However, the plot on the other hand was far far far from being handled well and that was truly disappointing. There was all this rising action and it just kept rising and rising and rising and yeah it helped flesh out and build the relationships but it was way too much rising action for the amount of falling and plot twists and climaxes ect. that there was. It didn't hit the climax until the very last second and then it was all happily ever after the end. The end was no grand cliff hanger, there was pretty much no falling action. mini climaxes that could have been thrown in weren't really there and it took forever for anything big to happen then it was like revolution had begun and was over in a nano-second. So as lovely as the characters were and the whole idea behind the story was, the terrible plot just threw all that in the trash. The writers voice and syntax, diction, tone, imagery, and all that stuff was decent enough but that plot issue overwhelmed that too. So, while it was still an enjoyable read if you could let the plot issue and the illogical parts of it go, it was not so great as a whole when you take all that stuff into account. It is still a decent read though and I have read worse books so I wouldn't let any of this stop you from reading it because, like I said before, it can still be an entertaining read if you don't let those technicalities stop you. I give it a solid 2.5 stars. You can add it on Goodreads here and buy it through Liberty Bay Books by clicking on the Hyper-linked title.