Sunday, 30 September 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)  Title: Legend
                                                       Author: Marie Lu
                                                       Pages: 305
Published: November 2011, by Putnam Juvenile
                                                       Series: Legend book #1
                                                       Genre: YA, dystopian
                                                       Stars: 4.5/5 stars

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

Now, I thought I would not like ‘Legend’ and it would just be another book trying to make it big in the YA dystopian genre. BUT OH NO! I loved this book! It was truly AH-MAZ-ING!
In terms of the characters, I really, really, really like both June and Day. I thought (and here is my stereotypical assumptions) that I wouldn’t like Day, just because he has a pony tail! I know a pony tail! Well you could be thinking, ‘what on earth does a pony tail have to do with liking a character?’ I actually get put off from reading about romance, if the guy I am picturing is not good looking and a guy having a pony tail is one of the no no. Butttttt, I will say, I didn’t even think about his pony tail whilst reading this book. His personality was soooo much bigger and made me fall in love with him! YES. I’ll admit it; this is the first time I’m in love with a guy who has a pony tail.....even though he is not real.

I really liked June; she definitely fits that extremely clever, hard rock, kick arse female characters that are slipping in everywhere. She has lost everyone she cares for and has put all her faith in the Elector and his society. This makes it very hard for her to believe in anything else. The place that she lives in has given her everything, more than she can imagine but she still feels lonely and wants, no craves, for something new and thrilling. She has to go through a lot of things and challenges; but she does it with a quite determination. She manages to maintain her focus, despite being hurt, which is what makes her even more admiral. And she is only 15!

As I said before, I have fallen in love with Day. He, like June, has lost a lot of people he cared about (especially towards the end....why Marie, why would you do that to him. I nearly felt like crying and giving up hope for him to find any sort of happiness!). He has been on the run since the age of 10. He knows how to survive, fight and steal and of course to do that one needs to be very smart, which indeed he is. He embodies all the abilities that June has and maybe even more. I loved it that aside from his cunningness, cocky personality and his awesome surviving skills, the readers got to see the more vulnerable and softer side to him. The reason why he does what he does every day and the reason why he is still living in the same place that agents want him none other than his family. 

There are of course other characters like Tess, who is Day’s side kick, in some ways. Thomas, who is best friends with June’s older brother, follows the Elector’s rules whole heartedly and likes June. There is also the Elector’s Son, Anden, who from the brief appearance, is somewhat down to earth and good looking and achieveing the affect of making June blush (I smell a possible love square here in the second book EEIKEEEE!). All these individual make the book what it is.

The romance between June and Day is book-clenching good (I made that impression up and I think I’m going to start using it since I do it a lot to books that contains romance which make me sweat....yeah book-clenching). Obviously it’s even hot that at first they do not know the other’s real identity and just admire the other person’s skills and looks. But it becomes even sizzling when they do finally know who they are and they STILL can’t keep away from each other....oh it’s definitely forbidden love in their world. Enemies that have fallen in love.

The plot is oh-so-good. Aside from the corrupt government, the actual story is brilliant. I’m not giving any spoilers away, but what Day has gone through and the whole poor sector in general is disgusting. But it’s what made the book realistic and heart wrenching. Marie wasn’t afraid to go into details about the sort of treatment poor people have received in this book and it could possibly have indirect meanings to what poor countries are experiencing now in the real world. Marie shows through Day’s experiences and perception and also June realisation, that rich and bigger countries think they can use the poor countries for their own benefit. Which is very relevant in today’s world.

Ultimately, “Legend” is not really a book about an individual standing up against a repressive society, but really about the emotions and study of grief, family and conformism. I definitely recommend this book for all book lovers! I can’t wait for ‘Patriot’ which is coming out in 2013, where, if not a love square, then a love triangle will blossom! 

Notables quotes/passages:
“John glances at me. “We’re not going to make it.” Between us, Day has faded into a semi-conscious state. If the brothers continue on and I run back to fight the soldiers, I’ll probably only take down a few before they overwhelm me. They’ll still reach John and Day.

John stops walking, and I feel Day’s weight shift over to me. “What—” I begin to say, until I see John pull the blindfold off of Day’s neck. Then he turns around. My eyes widen. I know what he’s going to do. “No, stay with us.“You need more time,” John says. “They want an execution? They’ll get one.” He starts running away from us. Back down the hall.” 

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