Mar 2, 2015

Book Review: Legend - Marie Lu

Title: Legend (Legend #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: November 29th 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Age Group: Young Adult
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.
Legend had long been in my TBR list, what with all the confessions of love I kept seeing online, but I put it off because who needed another ongoing series to crush their heart with the wait times? Definitely not me. But last year, Marie Lu visited my country for a book signing, and although I missed it, my good friend got me a signed copy, and I knew the waiting was over.

This story is basically a battle between two bests. June is the country's number one military prodigy; Day is the country's number one criminal. One can imagine that their paths should have crossed later rather than sooner, but the opposite happens when Day is suspected of killing June's older brother. Now armed not just with in-born talent but charged with the desire for revenge, June is assigned to go on a hunt for the infamous outlaw, but instead she finds reasons to doubt the side she's fighting for.

One thing I love most about Legend is how we get to be inside June's and Day's heads. We see just how different yet similar they are, not just in actions but also in thoughts, and we know exactly why they are worthy opponents and partners. And I especially love how they were pitted against one another - it's like WWE SmackDown.

I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.
But of course, we all know how this goes: girl falls for boy, boy falls for girl, and then they go on to do badass things and fight the bad guys together. Quite predictable as that part may be, I'd be lying if I said my heart didn't beat faster as I watched the romance between them grow. And that development is actually another on the long list of things that the author did well in this book; it wasn't too fast that it would've made me roll my eyes, but it wasn't too slow that I'd have been bored out of my mind, either.

In the end, Legend is nothing if not gripping, fast-paced, and exhilarating. It exceeded all of the expectations I'd had about it for years - although it did kind of lack a special something that I can't quite put my finger on - and now I actually kind of regret waiting so long before finally picking it up (and adding Daniel to my overflowing list of book boyfriends). Also, why the heck did I finish reading this without having a copy of the sequel at the ready?! Regrets, regrets.

"What a joke! Poor little rich girl's fallen in love with the Republic's most famous criminal."
They could've put that part alone on the back of the book and I would've still read it.


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