Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Book Review: Legend

Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

SPOILER FREE description (as explained here): 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.

A History of Legend: Marie Lu was inspired to write Legend while laying on her living room floor watching the TV version of Les Miserable. Marie had, had the character of Day in her head since she was fifteen, but was unable to find a suitable villain for him and the story never sparked. Her watching Les Miserables created the Day vs. June relationship. This is how Legend was born. After being accepted by the Nelson Literary Agency, Penguin bought her book. Legend was published on November 29, 2011 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

On the Author, Marie Lu: Marie Lu was born in Beijing, China in 1984. Attending the University of Southern California, she decided she liked the weather so much that she had to stay. Before becoming a full-time author she was an art director in the video gaming industry, working in Disney’s Interactive Studio. Her interests include food, afternoon tea, happy people, cupcakes, farmer's markets and books. She now lives in Pasadena with her boyfriend and three dogs, and absolutely loves her job.


Upon picking up Legend I didn’t think that it’d be that great of a book, and I was bored. It was a rainy day but it had nice reviews, so I picked it up, even though initially it didn’t really jump out at me. As I read I grew more and more consumed with the novel, realizing just how wrong my first reaction had been. Day and June have to be some of the most interesting characters I’ve ever read about. They’re strong, reckless, and brave... a pretty surefire combination. Although, they aren’t like that all time.

Lu didn’t just give us fighters, she gave us lovers too. I think this helps us as readers to connect to them more. Day’s tenderness towards his family and how he’ll do anything to save his little brother from the plaque and June’s love and devotion to her brother who is the only person she has left, this endless love these character’s have for their family... it only makes them more real.

While the characters are pretty great, I wasn’t finding that the dystopian world was very gripping. It is very much like The Hunger Games. The trials (tests children have to take to determine their role in society), had a very similar feel to the ‘reaping’ of The Hunger Games. I feel that Lu could have added more to this world and made it all the more unique. I feel Day and June’s relationship also could have used more pacing. I understand what Lu was trying to do by creating the criminal-soldier love: it was a great idea. However, I feel that it was very rushed. Day and June’s feelings towards one another seemed to go too fast for me.

The plot and writing had to be the best thing about the novel overall. Legend was extremely well written and I find that Lu’s overall writing style was what kept me going through the entire book. The plot was so interesting that it kept me turning the pages again and again. Overall, I think Legend was a great read and I can’t wait to read Prodigy the sequel to Legend.

Who would I recommend it to?
I would recommend Legend to anyone over the age of thirteen who enjoys a good action-packed romance.

Favorite quote:
"My mother thinks I'm dead. Obviously I'm not dead, but it's safer for her to think so. At least twice a month, I see my Wanted posters flashed on the Jumbotrons scattered throughout downtown Los Angeles."

Read the book yourself? Read anything else by Marie Lu? Leave a comment below!

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