Legend is a somewhat typical, cliche dystopian novel, but somehow Marie Lu was able to get it across in a way that just makes it deserve every one of these 5 stars! Usually I’m not a fan of cliche stories, but I found Legend very engrossing. Lu’s writing creates a distinct air of suspense and forebodement, and I could not put this book down!
While I say Legend is cliche, I really mean its plot does not have the most original ideas. It has your typical secretive society that is trying to brainwash its citizens into thinking that it is the best and ultimate nation. There is a class system, and the law isn’t just or fair. The aristocrats get everything, and the poor get dirt. In Legend, this state is called the Republic, or the west side of the former U.S.(which had split into the Republic and the Colonies after an environmental disaster) The Republic is at war with the Colonies, and much like the government in 1984, they seem to be in perpetual war with their neighbors.
What made this book stand out to me were the stellar characters, and their dual POV’s from two flip sides of the Republic: June and Day. The near-nobility, and the criminal. From completely different worlds and situations, these two are thrown together and must uncover the truth of the Republic that has deceived not only them, but everyone.
June is a prodigy, a girl who is in a prestigious college at just 15 years old. She’s the only one who has ever got a perfect score on the Republic’s Trial, the test given to sort you into a class. She’s smarter than anyone in her age group, and excels even beyond her upperclassman. Her life is set: she will be an officer in the military, where all intelligent people go. Another one of those strong heroines who don’t need to depend on anyone to get things accomplished.
Day is the most wanted criminal in the Republic. He failed his Trial, but is a prodigy in his own way at the same time: he’s never been caught, and nobody knows what he looks like. He steals, but his motives aren’t as bad as you may think. He’s from the slums, and money means the world to him.
I think I need to dedicate another paragraph to Day. I love him, like seriously. He earned a spot on my boyfriend list. He is just 100% H-O-T. While the Republic calls him a terrible person, he’s actually funny and flirtatious. I was all giggly while reading his POV’s!
When Day is framed for killing June’s brother Metias, the two who were really never supposed to meet or even have contact with each other suddenly find each other in a mad and desperate chase. June swears that she will get revenge for her brother, but she doesn’t know the truth. She realizes the Republic might not have been so forthcoming, and with an uneasy alliance with Day, they must find out what the Republic has been hiding the whole time. While it is a little predictable on what the Republics hidden secrets are, it was great to see June and Day find out for themselves because it was like a splash of water surprise moment that I just truly enjoyed reading.
I love both of the character voices. They are two completely different perspectives of the same world, and I loved how the reader knew what was coming up when the characters themselves didn’t. It created a very good sense of foreshadowing and I found myself reading Legend deep into the night, because I just had to make sure everything was going to be okay! I was so nervous the entire time because June and Day both got a soft spot in me and I just didn’t want anything bad to happen to either of them while they were hunting each other down! Legend makes your heart pound faster and takes your breath away. A must-read!
Dystopian novels all have common traits that give them the label “dystopia”: A protagonist living a sheltered life in society,and the second protagonist and also love interest living a not-so-good life. Thus, Legend was dubbed a “dystopia”. I didn’t think Legend was very cliche compared to some other dystopias I have read. What made Legend an amazing novel is Marie Lu’s writing and, as Steph said, the characters June and Day. This isn’t one of those YA dystopian books where the two protagonists experience “love at first sight”. Hatred, fear, and revenge somehow morph into trust and...love.
In the second half of Legend, the action really starts to build up. Secrets are revealed about the Republic, the antagonist Commander Jameson, and a not-so-innocent side character named Thomas. The readers’s questions are still not completely answered at the end of Legend, but that’s where the sequel, Prodigy, comes in! I agree with Steph, truly a MUST-READ!
Characters are SUPERB!
Plot is quite intricate as well.
This book hooked me from the start. The writing style was unique in the way Day's POV was used in a different font and colour! Never seen any other book do that. The story of the forbidden love (kind of) captured me. Watching the friendship, and as well trust you might say, develop between the characters of Day and June was very captivating. The writing was very well done, I was able to picture everything perfectly and feel the emotions of the characters. My love went straight to Day, but for June it's slowly developing as her character seems to develop as well. Highly recommended!
I got sucked straight into this world from the first page. The world is crumbling around June and Day, and the setting just came to life. I could smell the stink of the Lake area, feel the burning of the sun as it beams down on LA, hear the protesting against the government. The imagery was endless, and I can't wait to see what's next!
Oh...and the boy!
Every time I read a dystopian novel, I find myself amazed how authors can make a dirty, sweaty, bloody boy so sexy! But Marie Lu managed to do it! I absolutely loved Day--he's tough and doesn't let anyone walk over him. He's passionate and goes with his feelings; and he's cool and calculating. I fell in love with him!
I expected to enjoy Legend, but I did not expect to LOVE it.
First of all, our main characters are fantastic. I absolutely loved the strength and intelligence that June and Day both possessed. They were clever and bright. The story's told from both of their perspectives and their voices were really unique and distinct.
And this story? God, this story. It was this roller coaster of awesome and I don't even really like roller coasters. So...a water slide of awesome? Yeah, we'll go with that. There were all these twists and turns and the synopsis does NOTHING to cover all that happens. So much action and adventure and amazing.
And the romance? srfknhdfhjndfhg THE ROMANCE. I'm such a sucker for forbidden romance, y'all. I knew this would be a major source of joy for me, but not to the extent it was. It was adorable and wonderful and SA-WOON.
Marie Lu is honestly an incredible writer. Like I mentioned, it's told from two perspectives. Not only does she have her own voice as a writer, but both characters had their own voice. And I'm so emotionally invested in this book because she's just such a masterful writer.
Basically, I love this book so hardcore, you don't even know. I'm dying for Prodigy and I just...I need all of you to read Legend so you can suffer through to January with me, okay? And then when it's released and I have to keep waiting to read it, I need you to tell me it'll be okay and someday I will get to experience it's awesome. Got it? Good.
The main characters are very well-rounded and I am eager to read the sequel to this book.
When an author creates a dystopian future world so detailed that the characters speak in their own vernacular, it suggests to me that the author put a lot of time, energy and careful thought into creating that world. Marie Lu's futuristic view of Los Angeles is so complete that I found myself wishing that the publishers had included maps of the city and Republic and Colonies.
This is the dystopian I've been waiting for all of 2011.
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.