Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

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.

Pages: 320
Published by: Putnam Juvenile (November 29th, 2011)
Genre: YA dystopian + romance
My rating for Legend:
Look everybody! I found another YA dystopian novel that I actually liked--and in this case, loved! Dystopian novels are so hit or miss for me that this feels like a victory! So many other dystopians seem formulaic to me. There's a corrupt government, rebel groups, and then whatever the main topic is. But on top of those elements, Legend had a war, crime + investigation, suspense, and characters I actually connected with! 

I love reading about a girl who is a troublemaker and who is awesome at what she does. She's a really strong character and her intellect, observance, and skills rock. They're one of my favorite traits in a character and they really pulled me into the story. I connected with June to the point that when her brother died and later when she's flipping through memories of her and her brother, I felt like I lost my own brother--and I hardly EVER feel the loss of a character so strongly. I also liked Day, but mostly just because I liked to see/hear June and Day's interactions through his eyes and thoughts. 

I loved the dystopian world--the descriptions of the slum neighborhoods, the people who lived there, and the gambling in particular. It added more dimension to the setting. The look into the government system was really great too! This was the dynamic that thrilled me the most. I just wish we had learned more about the hows and whys of the war. We were never told the cause for the United States to split, nor the reason behind a war breaking out. That side of the story was briefly touched, and then just left hanging. I hope we learn so much more about the war, the rebels, and get to see more regions in the sequel Prodigy. 

Something small that bothered me was the text font and color. Legend is written from dual POV and June's POV scenes were typed in one of the standard book fonts while Day's was gold text and a less commonly used font. Seeing the new text jolted me every time the POVs switched, but I guess it served its purpose in making the transitions more obvious. 

There were some parts that slightly bogged me down because of the pace, but ultimately, I was drawn to this world because of the deceit, the murder investigation, the romance, the action, and the mysteries within the government.

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