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Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

By Mswicegood @MeganSwicegood

Book Review: Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu
Pages: 305
Grade: 8+ (realistic violence and death)
Series: Book 1 in Legend series
Publisher: Putman Juvenile
Source: Borrowed from the library
Amazon | Goodreads
Description: (from Goodreads) 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' 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.
Quick and dirty review: Fast paced, action packed, and just different enough from all the other dystopians out there to be a must read for any dystopian lover.
First of all a HUGE “Fight On!” to Marie Lu. I’m so happy to be supporting a fellow Trojan!
I really enjoyed reading Legend. It comes on the heals of so many other dystopians, but each one has it’s own flavor and something unique to offer to this uber popular genre, Legend is no different.
What I loved:
Strong main characters: Finally, a female lead that starts out a warrior! So many of the popular dystopians out there break a girl (usually with the loss of a boy she loves) before building her up as a hero. Legend doesn’t hold back with a strong female heroine. June is all business when it comes to kicking ass. She also has no problem flouting authority and doing things her way. Day also appeals to me as a modern day Robin Hood, a bad boy with a heart of gold (he’s a thief) - what’s not to love.
There is a cost and everyone feels it: There’s no sugar coating the loss in this book. Both Day and June loose people they care about it. Everyone’s life is in jeopardy and anyone can die.
The Twist: I figured something HUGE would have to happen to bring June over to Day’s side, but I wasn’t sure what it would be. If I had to guess based on other books in the genre I would have said just falling in love with him would have been enough, but that wouldn’t have fit with June’s character. I didn’t really see the “twist” coming, but once I read it - it made total sense and fit perfectly. I was truly appalled at the measures the government would take to control its citizens, but it wasn’t such a stretch that I thought, “No way would that ever happen.”
What I didn’t love:
The Setting: Not much was explained about why society was like this. There was a strange mix of totalitarian rule, a caste system, and the aftermath of some pretty major natural disasters. Normally, I don’t care how society got the way it is, but because there were two factions and a whole bunch of people in the middle, it seemed important but was never explained.
Also, I struggled a bit with the layout of the city, especially since I lived in Los Angels for five years, I kept trying to visualize exactly where we were and how it might look instead of just relaxing into it and letting my imagination go wild.
I’ll definitely read the follow-up to Legend. The writing was solid, the plot and action fun and fast.

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