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July 12, 2011

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

 336 Pages
Expected Publication: November 29, 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
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.

I love dystopian fiction. It’s quite possibly one of my favorite genres, if done well. I think Marie Lu pulled it off in Legend, and while it didn’t completely knock me off my feet, I definitely enjoyed it.

One thing that sets Legend apart from the most recent dystopians I’ve read is the time period. I’m not exactly certain when it takes place, but it is far enough into the future that the US is mostly considered a myth, and holidays don’t seem to be acknowledged. (December 25th passes without a single reference to the holiday.) This is actually one of the things I liked most about the story. It wasn’t really a ‘post-United States’ world, as those days had come and gone.  

The characters are believable. Both Day and June are written well enough that it feels authentic, and I liked them both. The only thing I wish had been different with them is their ages. They are incredibly intelligent, which made them feel older than they are, but I expected a stronger romance out of the story. I don’t want a strong romance out of fifteen years old, though….so….older. Lol.

There were certain aspects of the story that I found predictable, and I kept wondering why June—being as intelligent as she is—hadn’t been able to figure it out. While I saw these things coming, the why had me in the dark and unfortunately those questions weren’t really answered. I hope to hear some details on the sequel soon.

Most of my thoughts while reading Legend were completely positive, although the violence turned my stomach from time to time. That’s another thing I’m only a fan of if I feel it’s done right—violence. When adults are physically abusive to children—as real as it may (unfortunately) be—it turns me off. There’s really no way around that, except to keep reading.

I will of course be looking forward to the movie, although it seems kind of insane to already be in the works when the world has yet to read the book. That said, I have no doubts that Legend will be a hit.

4/5 Stars


8 comments:

  1. It will be interesting/different to see a world that doesn't refer to the US in some way!

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  2. Awesome! So excited to read this one. Love dystopian and love the synopsis for it.

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  3. I'm also a fan of well-written dystopian fiction. In fact, I love it. So, this review is encouraging, especially for someone who hasn't heard too much about Legend. I do get what you mean about more romance but with older teens. It's a shame that that isn't the case here. Still, I think I'll enjoy it. I liked your review--it helped me make a decision as to whether I'll read this one.

    ~ Asher (from Paranormal Indulgence)

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  4. I love dystopian fiction if it's exciting and this sounds like a winner. Off to add it to my wishlist.
    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

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  5. I've been anticipating this one for sure! Your review makes it sound promising. I'm glad!

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  6. I love dystopian novels and I got an ARC of LEGEND which I finished quickly after I got it! Like what you said, I loved how it's set sometime in the future but you don't know when. I also wished the 2 characters were older with the violence in the story and the intelligence of Day and June.

    I can't wait for the next book and what the movie would be like!

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  7. I just love dysoptian novels! I can't wait to read this one! Nice review! :)

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  8. I've been curious to read this...good to learn more about it!

    eai(at)stanfordalumni(dot)org

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