Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Legend (Legend, #1) by Marie Lu

Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult (14+)
Pages: 305
Format: Hardcover (also available in eBook)
ISBN: 039925675X 
Buy the BookAmazon
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.

OH. MY. GOD. WOWWWWW. Just WOWWWW. I am not too sure where to start (since all I want to do is gush and fangirl), so let’s begin with a side story that may or may not be relevant in hopes of calming me down and keeping me focused enough to finish this review.

This book has a super-fast pace and there was always some kind of action sequence or plot twist happening that made it impossible for me to stop reading! I started reading this book in the morning, which proved to be a bad decision. During lunch break at the Japanese school I teach at, I ended up reading this book since I could not put it down. My eyes were glued to my computer screen as I read the climax of the story, but with all my attention focused on my computer and the book, it made it kind of hard to shovel rice into my mouth with chopsticks. My Japanese coworkers kept looking over at me like I was dumbest person they’ve ever seen (and also probably wondering why they hired a crazy foreigner as an English teacher) since I ended up spilling more rice on myself than I ate. Some people might be able to multitask like that, but it is obvious to me after today that I most certainly can’t [depressing sigh]. But anyway, on to the actual book review now.

May I just mention how much I love Day and June? Talk about a power couple. In fact, I loved all the characters. They were all well-developed and it was easy to emotionally connect to them. Day, the one boy the government would love to get their hands on, is the perfect male protagonist. He just wants to help save his little brother, Eden, from the Plague, and if it means becoming the dystopian version of Robin Hood? He is all for it. And then there is June, the military prodigy who is super smart and observant and is not afraid to kick someone’s butt if the situation calls for it. She is alone in the world following the death of her brother, yet she still remains resolute and strong, which I find admirable. She stands up to authority and never shies from a challenge. Together, they are awesome and they have some great chemistry. I really liked the growth of their relationship. Nothing about it felt rushed or faked, and there were no cheesy moments, which I really liked. Then there are the side characters, like Tess, Thomas, and Kaede. Even Lu’s side characters are memorable, and they each have a unique personality and overlaying goal in the book, something that I feel is very rare nowadays. It was nice and refreshing and much appreciated.

Something else I really liked was the alternating point of view between Day and June. While alternating POVs do not always work out well (such as in Crossed), Lu does an excellent job keeping June and Day’s voices separate and it made it that much easier to connect to them. Also, by constantly switching the view points, it was as though there was never a dull moment since something was always happening to one of them, so I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was pure awesomeness.

I hope in the next book we get a little more of an idea as to what happened to the world (are all countries besides America “extinct”?) and why the United States are not so united anymore. Please do not tell me he had something to do with it. 

Sorry, Bush. (But in all actuality, this sounds like one of my Japanese students. ><I LOVE THEM.)

This book was on the shorter side- only ~300 pages- and with being packed full of plot and action, it was hard to go into detail about the society and government structure. The reader gets the gist of the new structure: The Republic is the new, controlling government and The Electro Primo is the leader of it, basically a dysfunctional and twisted representation of the President of the United States. The Patriots are the ones fighting The Republic and then there are the vigilantes who refuse to join The Patriots yet oppose The Republic, such as Day. It is simple enough to understand, but I hope Lu delves a little further into why the world is the way it is and what happened to make it that way in the next book.

Overall, this book was an amazing read I would recommend to anyone. (2011 has made me such a fan of dystopian literature!) The second book in the series does not have a release date nor a title yet, but hopefully there will be some info soon. However, on her blog (click here to check it out), Lu said that she has already finished writing the second book, so hopefully the editing and printing process will not take too long! I am anxious to see what happens to Day and June!
A Great Escape!

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