League of American Traitors
Synopsis: Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it. . .
When seventeen year-old Jasper is approached at the funeral of his deadbeat father by a man claiming to be an associate of his deceased parents, he’s thrust into a world of secrets tied to America’s history—and he’s right at the heart of it.
First, Jasper finds out he is the sole surviving descendant of Benedict Arnold, the most notorious traitor in American history. Then he learns that his father’s death was no accident. Jasper is at the center of a war that has been going on for centuries, in which the descendants of the heroes and traitors of the American Revolution still duel to the death for the sake of their honor.
His only hope to escape his dangerous fate on his eighteenth birthday? Take up the research his father was pursuing at the time of his death, to clear Arnold’s name.
Whisked off to a boarding school populated by other descendants of notorious American traitors, it’s a race to discover the truth. But if Jasper doesn’t find a way to uncover the evidence his father was hunting for, he may end up paying for the sins of his forefathers with his own life.
Like a mash-up of National Treasure and Hamilton, Matthew Landis’s debut spins the what-ifs of American history into a heart-pounding thriller steeped in conspiracy, clue hunting, and danger.
I love history, but not in the old, awful, kill-me-now-please kind of way. My passion is convincing my students that the past is actually hilarious, shocking, tragic, disturbing, and altogether UN-boring. While getting my graduate degree in History at Villanova, I realized that there was yet one more way to do this: write contemporary young adult books laced with history to convince my students that past isn't as awful as they think. That’s a huge reason why I wrote The Judas Society.
Some other stuff: I love poetry but don’t understand it; I want Gordon Ramsay to give me a fatherly hug at some point; I tend toward the unapologetically dramatic; and (to my great shame) I didn’t read the Harry Potter series until last year. I’m also really good at covering up patent insecurities with self-deprecating humor (like this joke).
Rating: 4/5 Stars
I absolutely love history! I plan to major in Anthropology or Archaeology in college. While I generally prefer world history to United States history, APUSH (Advanced Placement United States History) was my favorite class last year and one of my favorite classes so far in high school. League of American Traitors was one of my most highly anticipated releases and my most highly anticipated debut of 2017. I randomly stumbled upon it on Goodreads and was highly intrigued. League of American Traitors was an enjoyable read, but I was slightly disappointed by it.
The plot of the League of American Traitors is elaborate and truly unique. It was the most fascinating part of the story and made some of the other deficiencies bearable. The story follows Jasper as he navigates his new-founded heritage as the last direct descendant of Benedict Arnold and the secret societies plaguing America's past. The True Sons of Liberty and the League of American Traitors are formed by the heroes and villains of U.S. history, receptively. Learning the history between and behind each group was intriguing and made for the perfect plot of this story. I could have read countless stories based in these secret organizations. They were illusive and thrilling, making for an addictive plot. I also loved the included history in League of American Traitors, even the historical characters and events that were fabricated. I also really appreciated the references to APUSH. I have read many historical fiction novels, but none of them have been quite like the League of American Traitors.
The characters of the League of American Traitors were simply average Young Adult characters. Nothing about any of them made them stand out from the hundreds of other Young Adult characters I have previously read about. I felt as though I learned little to nothing about any of the characters. While the plot surprisingly wrapped up well for the novel being so short, the absence of the character's pasts and personalities were the cost of that. I wish the characters would have been given more time to properly develop or unravel. They felt extremely two-dimensional. In the Historical Disclaimer, Notes, and Acknowledgements I was able to gauge Matthew Landis' personality in a few pages, while I never found the personality of his characters in the 200 and so pages I spent with his characters. I will note that I did appreciate that Jasper was 17, because I recently turned that age, and that he lives in Pennsylvania, because I also live there. No matter those similarities, I have yet to learn of any hidden ancestry.
I highly recommend preordering a copy of the League of American Traitors for it's release, August 8th, or reserving or requesting a copy at your local library. The League of American Traitors was a thrilling and intriguing journey that I would gladly retake. If that did not intrigue you enough, the last line of the League of American Traitors is going to be my senior quote for the yearbook, you can read it and find out what my senior quote is! While the characters were average, I loved everything else about the book. Matthew Landis' debut was not as fantastic as I had originally hoped, but it was his debut. I am curious to see how he will grow as an author as he continues writing. I already have Matthew Landis' next novel, The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody, added to my to-be-read list on Goodreads and you can also add his next novel on Goodreads here. I had hoped to attend the launch party of League of American Traitors since I only live a few hours away, but unfortunately I will be in Chicago during the launch party. I wish Matthew the absolute best!
2 copies of LEAGUE OF AMERICAN TRAITORS
by Matthew Landis
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