Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

Release date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 305
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
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.
I didn't realize for a long time that I wanted to read Legend. I thought I was exhausted with dystopians. This was before I knew that the relationship between Day and June was based on the one between Jean Valjean and Javert in Les Miserables. They were mentioned together one time to me and I was sold. No need to know anything else. And while this was a fun way to hook me personally, the book itself was what convinced me in the end.

Sometimes I'm all for pensive and thoughty books. Other times all I want is a book that keeps barreling on with action. Legend is just that kind of book, which makes it terribly fun to read and not easy to put down. When I finished one chapter, I found myself flipping through the next one to see how long it was so I could convince myself I needed to sleep, eat, wash dishes, anything else.

Recently I've found myself very disconnected from characters I'm reading. This could be my choices in the books or it could be me, but I was quickly hooked by June and Day and found myself feeling for them much more deeply than I have for characters recently. With the death of her brother, June has no family, and turns to her rage and loneliness to find his killer. It seems like the investigation is easy, with no doubt that Day, a criminal wanted by the Republic, is her guy. But as June looks deeper into the story and becomes closer to Day, she sees that not all is as it seems in the Republic. I found myself grieving with June, frightened with Day, and rejoicing in their triumphs.

I did feel a slight lack of world-building. We were given the situation, but not a lot of information regarding outside the Republic. People's passivity looked a little more like stupidity. Generally, I'm not a nitpicker on world-building, though, so it's really not a huge chunk out of my personal enjoyment. I am hoping for more in Prodigy, though, as we get deeper into the story.

If you're a fan of dystopians, Legend will be your cup of tea. If you may be getting a little bit tired of 'em, maybe try it! I thought I was worn thin with controlling governments, rebels, and big brother, but Legend kicked that thought to the curb.

Risk a paper cut? I should say so. With nonstop action and romance, you're in for a good ride.

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