June 19, 2012

Review: Legend

When I saw this on the bookshelf, I was unsure about it. The cover beckoned me several times, and after looking on Goodreads to see what my fellow readers had to say about this novel, I purchased it. And then it sat on my TBR shelf for awhile. Usually if there is a book I really want to read but (1) do not have time for yet and/or (2) am unsure if I will like, I will ask my husband to read it and let me know what he thinks. That was the case with this novel, and he really enjoyed it. I did too. I am just sad that I waited so long to read it.

LOVE the cover
Summary (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’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.

My Thoughts:

First let me say that I was not prepared for how much I was going to enjoy this book. Seriously. I almost skipped dinner just to continue reading it – it was that good.

Lu’s strength as a writer is the pacing of her novel. She waits no time in thrusting readers into a dystopian future with Los Angeles as a backdrop. It reminds me of the pacing of The Hunger Games and Divergent, not letting readers rest for an instant until the novel’s conclusion. My heart was literally pounding as I was turning the page; constantly guessing what I thought would happen next, who was really behind it all, and what would become of our two main characters.

Lu also creates strong characters in both Day and June. With alternating points-of-view of these characters, readers experience the action as it is happening to those characters. I enjoyed the alternating p-o-v because it allowed me to connect and invest in both characters, equally.

Day is a strong hero who is not at all what the Republic portrays to its followers. He is honest, hard-working (at thieving), and an over-all do gooder. He just wants to keep his family safe and well, as much as he can control. But life gets in the way – and the Republic – and there is a constant struggle with his character on what his next move should be. On second thought, I take that back. He always knows what his move should be, and it always involves doing the right thing for the protection of his family.

June is a bit of a different heroine than I am accustomed to reading. She is a bit of a badass, but in a different way from Katniss or Tris. She is trained from the start, a prodigy for the Republic, and she takes her beliefs and loyalty in the Republic to absolute heart. It is this flaw in her character that allows Lu to humanize her for the audience. It is a reminder that even those with the most promise for a bright future with all the glories offered by the government still want to do what is right, even if that means sacrificing all that one knows. This is what separates her from Katniss and Tris. From the start she is a part of the problem, not the solution. Readers will be surprised where Lu takes her character. Or not. But either way, I really enjoyed reading June.

A warning about the print: Day’s story is told in gold and June’s story is told in black print. I was not too sure how I would like this because I do have terrible eye sight, but by the third “Day” chapter in, the gold did not bother me at all. It was hardly noticeable. If you have picked the book up, flipped through the pages, and put it back because of the gold, give it another shot. Seriously. If you enjoy dystopia, you will not be sorry. My husband read this book, enjoyed it, and said the same thing about the gold print.

With a heart-pounding conclusion, Legend kept me engrossed as the world around me fell apart and I dropped into the pages of Day and June’s world. I recommend this novel to any readers of YA, but especially those who enjoy dystopia, or solid storytelling, or both.

the sequel will release Jan. 29. 2013

Have you read Legend? What did you think? 

Have you been able to get your hands on an ARC of Prodigy? I am in love with this cover as well as the title. So fitting after the way Legend ended, don't you think?

Happy Reading!

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