Though not completely a retelling of Les Miserables, Marie Lu's talented debut still takes the important threads of the plot line and weaves them together into an entire new setting. I was a little thrown off balance at first because somehow I figured that Day was the girl (blame the long hair), but after that little confusion was sorted out, it was one smooth ride.
I loved the way that Lu made both characters loveable and sympathizable in their own way. Usually, I end up liking the boy and hating the girl for totally not deserving him, or vice versa. In Legend, I do admit that I was biased towards Day because it felt like he had so much more at stake than June, but she still had a soft spot in my heart for her circumstances. Confession: It hurt when Metias died. It really did.
(But definitely not about her Trial-SAT-whatzit scores. Way to make all us non-evolved teenagers feel dumb.)
Also, in my opinion, Day > Katniss when it comes to be a revolutionary starter. I mean, I probably mentioned this before, but in the Hunger Games, it seemed like people chose Katniss as their symbol merely because of a flaming dress gimmick. With Day, it made much more sense - a Robin Hood tripping up the rich set with every step they take? Of course the citizens would take him as their figure of hope.
(No offense to any Katniss fans. I say it how I see it.)
The main thing that irritated me - as it does in most every YA I read nowadays - is how quickly a cute face and "glittering eyes" can make a girl/guy fall in love. Day and June knew nothing about each other, and Day still acted like a sop over her even after she betrayed him. I do have to admit, though, that I liked the way that the author kept June on her guard until she learned more about Day for herself. Rational researching heroines for the win. Another thing was the miraculous case of their both being prodigies, which I hope will be explained more in the next book: if Day was a prodigy, too, why was he shipped off?
Also, did anyone else notice some subtle foreshadowing on page 182 - the confrontation between Thomas and June? Cool hinting, that.