Monday, December 19, 2011

Review #114: Legend by Marie Lu

Salutations everyone! I hope your weekends were lovely, and if it snowed by you, congrats! Have this here review for your reading pleasure, so kick back, relax, and enjoy!

Legend is the first in the Legend series by Marie Lu. Goodreads says:

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.

When I first heard of this book, I thought the idea was so flipping awesome, that I was waiting on a proverbial ledge for it to come out. Then I finally got my hands on this book (well, on my Nook, but you get the picture xD), and started reading it for the current CR list. And you know what they say about high expectations, they have the potential to come crashing down. Well, thankfully my expectations didn't come crashing down, but Legend didn't exactly fully live up to said crazy high expectations. I liked the story a lot and thought it was unique in the world of Dystopian YA. Not only that, but the author said she based it on Les Miserables, one of my favorite musicals. Sadly, I didn't see any similarities between the two, nothing whatsoever. Also, the story felt a bit mediocre, despite the fresh concept of the military-run dystopian society with a war between a fellow nation, all within the old United States (old in the book). I could predict most of the twists from a mile away, and was rolling my eyes at some points. Also, the dual voices of June and Day bled into one another at some points. I know in the physical version of Legend, June and Day's POV's are distinguished via different fonts and font colors, which is incredibly cool (I flipped through a physical copy of Legend the last time I was at my local Barnes and Noble, and it definitely is cool ^^). Due to the fact I read Legend on my Nook, the different fonts and colors didn't show up, and also because where the name of the chapters' narrator was was faint in the physical copy, it was non-existent on my Nook, making even more difficult to tell apart the two voices at points. Despite those issues, this is a good, decently solid book that you should read if you like Dystopian YA or a good action, intrigued filled book with a smattering of romance.

June, damn she was a kick ass girl. I loved how she was sort of a Sherlock Holmes type, but also very real and vulnerable, aside from being kick-ass. You feel her loss when she mourns her brother, her anger, her vengeance, everything. You want her to succeed in what she's doing, really deeply becoming attached to her character. Day, damn. He was also very kick-ass, reminiscent of Robin Hood in how he committed his crimes and what he did with what he took. His reasons for everything absolutely broke my heart. I almost cried at certain points from the high-velocity emotion emanating from the digital pages of my Nook. I also felt his anger, pain, happiness, everything. He made me want to cry out in anger at what was being done to him and everyone around him. Concerning his relationship with June, I think their romance was very sweet, despite the circumstances. When the romance was there, you could practically taste how sweet it was. I loved how complex their relationship was, and how it developed over the course of the book. Tess was a great character as well, getting great development and backstory along with June and Day. I loved her quips and her own unique relationship with Day. They felt like brother and sister, and I loved the banter they shared. The other characters, such as Thomas, were purely awesome in their complexity. I got shivers when it came to Thomas and Commander Jameson.

Ms. Lu is a pretty great writer. I liked how she built up this world, made it feel real, as well as incredibly engrossing. I loved learning more and more about this Dystopian society, every nook and cranny. I hope she improves with the second book in the series, because I see some serious potential here.

So was it worth the hype? Some, yes.

Like I said, if you like Dystopian YA, read Legend.

I'll next be reviewing Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick by Joe Schreiber.

Until next time, viva la literature!

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