Sunday, May 20, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

Published: November 29th, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Pages: 304
Rating: 5/5
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills
I was super excited to read Legend. I’ve been meaning to for months now and finally got around to it. And I’m so glad I did.
Hands down, this book was fantastic. The concept of infamous-criminal-teams-up-with-military-spy gave me goosebumps. According to the back cover, Les Miserables was the inspiration for this epic dystopian, which just made me love it even more.
Lu crafted her dystopian right- meaning, uniquely. I’ve read a vast amount of this genre recently, and I can’t begin to tell you how similar dystopian worlds become. But the Republic in Legend was different from any setting I’ve read. Post-apocalyptic, but not completely destroyed. And I loved how Lu picked Los Angles as her setting- somewhere the readers can relate to, imagine, and have a connection with. Though I’ve never been to LA, readers who have visited (or even live there) can get a better image of how this city has changed due to rough times and government control/oppression.
I have to say, June is now my favorite butt-kick heroine. She’s tough and independent, but not to the point of acting like she doesn’t need anyone or their help. She’s vulnerable at parts (Metias’s death, for example) and I like that about her. Day’s character was awesome, too, but didn’t stand out as much for me. First of all, he seemed to preoccupied with his family. I needed to be more convinced of him as a criminal rather than Robin Hood (playing harmless pranks, giving food and money to the poor, etc). But I can’t complain. Day was brave. He didn’t fear death, even when it looked him in the eye. Even when he didn’t deserve it.
An issue that must be address: I adore this book to pieces, but it has a bad case of insta-love, I’m afraid. June and Day just…fall for each other. Without much reason. That’s kind of what love is like, I suppose, but I reallllly wasn’t convinced in this case. Thankfully, the romance doesn’t dominate the whole book, and the relationship between Day and June does get better in the end, in my opinion, but their relationship while in the street together just doesn’t quite hit the mark.  
As a side note, the sacrifice that Day’s brother John makes for him at the end reminded me of the sacrifice made at the very end of A Tale of Two Cities. I love how Lu brought in that connection with classic literature into her very modern and futuristic dystopian thriller. It might just be what I love best about Legend.  I truly believe it is.
In conclusion, Legend was amazing. I give it five US quarter heart pendants out of five (readers of Legend will get this…for everyone else, don’t expect me to explain. Read the book yourself, silly.). The end is especially gripping, and doesn’t leave you too much of a cliffhanger, thankfully. This is definitely one I’ll remember for a while.
Quick Content Review: *may contain spoilers*
Language: Mild (two or three h-words, one or two d-words)
Violence: Heavy (Kind of reminded me of the violence in Divergent- not sugar coated in the least. The kind of violence in Legend, though, had a World War II feel to it- gassings, firing squad executions, etc. Anyhow, there is too much content to go into detail about, so I’ll just leave it at this: Lu, like Roth, doesn’t sugar coat it. She doesn’t insinuate. It’s right there on the page.)
Sexual: Mild (one or two kisses and nothing else that I can remember)

1 comment :

  1. Great review! I loved Legend! For me, it had that "Mission Impossible" feel to it and good pacing.


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