Legend by Marie Lu
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Personal story about this book: my little sister read it a long time ago and was like “You need to read this!” But being the kind of person I am, I kind of ignored her for a while (I had other books to read!) until a few weeks ago when I had the urge to read a new dystopian (for reasons I shall not divulge at this place and time) and remembered that I’d never read this one. So I got a copy from the library, and WOW am I glad I did.
The Cover: Very cool. Most popular books these days have people on the cover, so I appreciate Ms. Lu using a cool symbol. (It has nothing, of course, to do with the fact that I have a symbol on my DL cover instead of people.)
The Deal: Fifteen-year-old June Iparis is a military prodigy, the only person ever to score a perfect 1500 on the Trial (a test all children of the Republic take at age 10 to determine their future). Fifteen-year-old Day is a street kid and a wanted criminal. Their lives couldn’t be more different… until June’s older brother is murdered and Day becomes the top suspect. Now June is determined to bring him to justice, but along the way both of them will have to confront some truths about the world they live in.
My Thoughts: This book is a refreshing change from the typical dystopian scenario (teenage girl heroine who’s lived her whole life safe in the dystopian world, learns the world isn’t such a great place with the help of a mysterious guy with a troubled past). Okay, I guess it sort of follows that plotline, but so many things made it feel different and interesting. June and Day are a bit younger than most YA leads, though it only really shows in the romance parts (which I found wonderfully tasteful and adorable). Their characters have strengths and weaknesses and feel real outside of the romance, which is where many YA books start to slip. I also liked how we got to see into both their heads with the alternating POV (although the fact that Day’s half is written in a different font and color bugged me a bit at first).
I was left with a few more questions than I’d like re: the world-building stuff (the whole concept of the Republic and the Colonies with the country divided might’ve gone over better with me if I hadn’t recently read Talented, which has a sort of similar premise), but nothing that left a sour taste in my mouth. It’s pretty slim on side characters, but I assume that will be fixed soon, and June and Day’s stories were so compelling I never once cared. There’s plenty of action (of course) and twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and I really appreciate how Ms. Lu didn’t feel the need to end on a massive cliffhanger (though I was still dying to pick up the next one) so we got a little sense of closure.
An amazing book I would highly recommend to everyone! And I’m very thankful that my sister owns Prodigy so I can dive right into that one instead of waiting to get it from the library.