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.
Marie Lu was born in China in 1984 (perhaps a sign of dystopian stories to come), and moved from Beijing to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the same year the Tiananmen Square massacre happened. Eventually she and her parents settled down in Sugar Land, Texas—which she still considers her hometown.
She finished her first novel when she was 15 years old, but it took her second manuscript to acquire a literary agent. When that one didn’t sell either, she went off to college in Los Angeles and wrote two more manuscripts. Although those still didn’t sell, one of them did get her the amazing literary agent Kristin Nelson, who sold her fifth manuscript, the dystopian young adult novel LEGEND, to Putnam Children’s/Penguin USA at auction in a major deal. LEGEND will be came out on November 29, 2011 as Putnam Children’s and Penguin Young Readers Group’s lead title. LEGEND is Marie’s debut novel.
If you visit her website you will notice that she is an artist! She has some great pieces that show how she imagines the characters that inhabit Legend. Plus she has soundtracks for her books! I love it when author’s come up with playlists! Visit Marie Lu’s Website!
What I Have to Say about Legend:
To be honest, I put of reading Legend for the longest time. I got it for free at Comic-Con and I thought Marie Lu was the nicest, sweetest lady ever. I was scared that I wouldn't like the nice lady’s book and would have to write a less than stellar review. After a while of sitting on my night stand, Legend finally told me to get some lady balls and read it already! So I did and loved every minute of it.
It has a different feel from the other dystopians I have read. What I most like about it is that it has two points of view. Day and June take turns narrating. When I saw that this book consisted of switching points of view I was like, “Oh no. This is going to be slow and boring!” After a bad experience with Crossed, I wasn’t too keen on having two narrators (Crossed, please don’t be offended, I’m sure you have a lovely personality that many others find appealing. You’re just not my type…). Legend succeeds where I think Crossed failed. Rather than slow the story, the two perspectives bring you into two different worlds and show you what you need to know. Both characters make important contributions to the plot and their perspectives are crucial to the overall development of the story. It’s also nice to be able to fully connect with the two main characters. You know exactly what they are thinking and how they are feeling and that allows you to focus on their inner turmoil and the dangers that await for them in their exterior reality.
The only thing I would have liked to be different is the relationship between June and Day. It certainly could have used more time to develop. But surprisingly I am not annoyed by the quick attraction these two felt towards each other. It may seem a bit rushed, but it sure as hell is not instant love. I can see those two really falling for each other. A bit more of interaction and development would have made it all perfect for me, though it really doesn’t bother me as it is.
I like all of the characters in Legend. I think they are complex and believable. Day and June are both kick-ass ninjas of bad-assness. They are unstoppable. I like that both of them are strong and intelligent. Maybe that’s why I am not really bothered by how quickly their relationship develops. They are extremely compatible yet they both see the world differently. June has lived a life of privilege and is an insider. Day has grown up up on the streets and that qualifies him as an outsider. Together, they are two worlds come together to provide a fuller picture of their society.
There are definitely moments of emotional pain. Marie Lu sold me on her characters and I, once again, became too emotionally involved. I know I shouldn’t have been affected by the death of June’s brother, I mean it is stated in the freaking synopsis for goodness sake! I saw it coming, but I still got that sinking-stomach feeling. oh Metias!
And you know what? It doesn’t stop with the death of Metias. There are more moments of gut-wrenching pain and yes, I am the type of person who takes it all out on innocent walls and lamps. I’m a monster.
Overall, I think Legend is a wonderful first novel of what I am sure will be a wonderful series. It is exciting, emotional, and captivating. I highly recommend it. You should definitely read it!
Note: I know you are all wondering, “Hey, any new fictional boys joining your Hall of Book Boyfriends?” To answer your question, no. I love Day as a character, but alas I think we shall just be really good friends. Don’t worry, when I find a new book boyfriend I will make sure to let you know.