Book Review: Legend 

Legend Edit

legend_marie_lu_book_coverLegend by Marie Lu

Series: The Legend Series #1

Published by Putnam Juvenille on November 29, 2011

Genres: Action & Adventure, Dystopian, Fantasy, Fiction, Love & Romance, Post Apocalyptic, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Pages: 305

Rating: ★★★★.25

Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis:

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.

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Ratings:

Critical Rating: ★.5

Entertainment Rating: ★.5

Overall Rating: 

Plot: Fast paced | Kept me on my toes | Quite predictable

Characters: Outstanding | Different | Kick butt | Strong

World Building: Confusing | Not too much explanation | Post war between the United States

Writing: First person (dual perspective) | Beautiful | Perfect touch of detail | Easily flowing

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My Review:

Legend was in one word, a complicated read. I absolutely loved some aspects of it to death, and others just didn’t cut it out for me. I am so glad I have decided to split my overview reviews showing both the critical and the entertainment ratings, as for me they are completely and utterly polar opposites. To begin, I want to first mention how skeptical I was before starting this book. All I had known about it was that it was a YA dystopian and that was enough to make me cringe in horror. We all know what has happened with dystopian genre nowadays, with copy cats of The Hunger Games thrown left and right into our faces. That being said, I also had heard so much buzz about this trilogy on bookstagram that I just had to pick it up.

Honestly, for the first ten or so pages, I was not impressed. It was going in such a typical dystopian direction that I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to continue. However, if you know me at all, you would know that I hate DNFing books with all the fibres in my body. And I’m so glad I stuck to my stubborn self. Once I got invested in the amazing characters that are Day and June, I was eagerly on the tips of my toes, flipping the pages as if they were on fire. I ended up finishing the entire book in one sitting over the period of two hours. This was actually my very first book for the #TackleYourTBR readathon, and I am so glad I chose it as my first. I was really behind schedule, unfortunately buried under messy piles of homework until I found this gripping read that completely flattened my potential reading slump.

As I have said in my intro, there were certain aspects of Legend that I absolutely fell heads over heels in love with. Day and June as well as all of the side characters, no matter how small their role, were complex, relatable, and beautifully portrayed. This book is written from two perspectives , one from Day, who is the republic’s most wanted criminal and the other from June, the Republic’s military prodigy. Their alternating point of views had a clear voice, and I was able to easily pick out “who was who” without glancing up at the chapter header. The thing that I loved the most about the duel perspective, was the fact that I was eagerly waiting for Day and June to meet one another and for their worlds to collide. They seemed so different and so unlike one another, yet there was a part of me that knew, once they were together, they would be invincible. 

I have to say that when a book is written from multiple perspectives, there is always one character that you prefer. Whether it is because you relate to them or just find them more interesting totally depends on you, personally as a reader. And that character for me was Day. Now I am definitely not bashing June in anyway and if you give me a moment, I will dedicate a whole paragraph to the lovely human being that is June.

For me personally, I immediately latched onto Day from the very first chapter. Maybe it was because he was the “Robin Hood” of the story, or the fact that he was so caring towards his family but regardless, I loved him so so much. Though, I am nowhere near as kick butt or athletic as he is, I could relate to him on an emotional level. From a young age, Day was just wanting to survive, yet the world seemed to be working against his wishes. He was such a strong, hard headed character who was willing to fight tooth and nail in order to protect his family and Tess, the young girl that he rescued from the treacherous slums. His actions against the corrupt government made me laugh out loud, and I just absolutely loved how sarcastic and brave he was.

And June Iparis. I really have to give it up to her for immediately becoming one of my all time favourite heroines. June isn’t the typical female lead. She isn’t insecure or shy or unsure of herself. She is kick butt from the very beginning. Now, I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with a female character who starts off as shy and becomes amazing, (e.g: Laia from The Kiss of Deception, Gretel from Prisoner of Night and Fog, etc) but I must admit that it was a very refreshing change. Throughout the novel, June’s character development actually focuses more on looking at things from a new perspective as well as listening to your heart, rather than “you can be strong and stand on your own.” The only problem I had with her was how blindly loyal she was to the Republic and the fact that she was too stubborn for her own good. Other than that though, she was one fantastic addition to the story.

Just a quick mention of the writing. (This review is getting way too long, just bear with me :P) I have never read a Marie Lu novel before but I absolutely loved her writing style. It was descriptive but not overly so, and it flowed beautifully. I also enjoyed how “aware” she made her characters so that us as the readers really got to see everything through Day and June’s eyes. It was as if we were undercover alongside them!

Now, I am finally going to talk about the problems I had within this book. The world building for one was nearly non existent. I was almost always confused on which side of the US we were talking about or where these buildings existed because of the lack of information. I understand that this is only the first book in a trilogy, so I am sincerely hoping that Marie Lu decides to expand our knowledge about this unique Dystopian world. Also, the plot was so predictable. The “twists and turns” weren’t twists and turns, they were so obvious! I guess absolutely every plot twist and was kind of disappointed that Legend wasn’t too different from the other dystopians I read. The ending too was quite typical and I guess my expectations were too high for my own good.

Overall, I really enjoyed Legend though there were certain aspects that could have been much improved. In general though, this was the perfect read at the perfect time for me, so it all worked out at the end. I cannot wait to jump into Prodigy next and continue on this journey with Day and June!

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Have you read Legend or are you planning to? Are you Team Day or Team June? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Sorry for the super long review, I guess I had a lot to say XD

Thanks for reading loves xoxo,

-Jenna <3-

Find me here!

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