Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend trilogy (#1)
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Genre(s): Fantasy, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Romance, Dystopian, Mystery
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.

This book is a dystopian novel set in about 100 years in the future if I'm not mistaken, when USA has been split into two parts: The Republic and The Colonies, and they've been at war with each other for who knows how long. When Day, one of the Republic's most wanted criminals is assumed to have killed the Republic's most loved prodigy , June Iparis's brother, Metias, June goes out to hunt Day, and that's when their path's collide and they start unveiling the Republic's secrets. 

I'll be honest with you. Out of all the dystopian novel's I've read, Legend is one of the better dystopian novels. Better those other dystopian novels on the shelves these days. (THG, Divergent, why do people even like those?) Because I actually found the characters in the book quite likeable and so, SO much better than Trises and Katnisses (it's the characters that kill dystopians.).

You don't have to agree with me at all, but let's just say that I did not like Tris from Divergent or Katniss from The Hunger Games. Their behaviour was so naive and immature, and "I'm going to throw myself into the battlefield and get shot and die looking like I was heroic and leave my boyfriend to cry" like personality. Because there's a line between being smart-heroic or f*ck everything I need to do everything heroic. They don't have a PURPOSE. They're too rash, and they don't think things out properly first. 

This book is written in two POVs, Day and June's. I loved Day's character. I'm in LOVE with that guy. He's a bad-boy criminal and legend (because the Republic made him into one), but he's amazing. He's funny, smart-heroic, caring, and he has a great personality (his slang is so cute though!). He's mature and brave, and Day never does anything for himself, all his actions are to help his family and friends. He is NOTHING like Katnisses and Trises, in fact, he's almost the opposite.  When June asks why Day chose his street name to be Day, he said: 

"You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all, one day at a time."

But on the other hand, I was conflicted about what I felt about June. There's one part of my brain going like: "She can be such an annoying bitch at times" but the other half is like "I like this girl. She's so badass." See, there's a bit of a flaw in June. She's too perfect, too robotic, and everything about her is calculated, and I'm not even kidding. She calculates the exact length of each room she walks into.  We want a human being, not a robot! If she weren't perfect, if she made flaws like a normal human being, I would definitely like her. 

There wasn't the most romance in this book, but there was definitely a buildup to it, and there's a lot more of the romance in the second book, Prodigy. However, despite June's "actions to Day's family", I think that they make a cute pair :)

Aside from the characters, the plot was a little predictable, but it was still pretty good. It was action-packed and jumped straight into the storyline without wasting any time explaining what was happening and explaining what were JumboTrons and what was the Republic and the Colonies and so on. There was something happening every page of the story and I literally couldn't put it down, despite some of the flaws. 

Legend could have been better, but I still really enjoyed reading it. I'm not the biggest fan of dystopias unless they're REALLY good, but this one did the job for me. I think that this would definitely be a great book to read if you're a big fan of dystopias! 

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Olivia is a fangirl from Canada with too many book boyfriends who also adores sweets, drawing, and watching anime. She started off trying to write a full length novel, but some things are just easier said than done, so Olivia spends her days writing blog posts instead. That is, when she's not spending her free nights playing League.

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  1. Absolutely spot-on review. I agree about June, at first she just seemed way too much like a robot (how does one even calculate the length of a room mentally? And how on earth does she keep track of the time down to the second without even thinking about it?). Her character definitely develops as you keep reading, though ;)
    And Day was great. I don't exactly have a "book crush" on him, but his love for his family is endearing, and his bravery and resourcefulness are admirable. June and Day balance each other so well; like they can both be annoying at times, but when one of them's being unreasonable, the other knows what to say/do.

    (also, I agree about Tris and Katniss. Yeah, they were brave and heroic, but their rash decisions came off as reckless and self-absorbed, as opposed to a more reasonable, thought-out decision)

    Connia @ The YA Book Thief

    1. I completely agree with your reasons! June and Day make the perfect pair because of their different personalities, but June by herself...isn't as great.

  2. Great review! But...can you actually READ books in more than one perspective?! I've tried, and I can't stand it!
    Anyway, great job! :)

    1. The cool thing is about this book, is that there is a different colours of text for each POV the chapter is written in. This kind of forces you to read in dual perspectives, but it was effective! :)

  3. I agree so much with your review! Granted, I'm a fan of THG (I've only read it once though and could probably go for a refresher) but Legend is definitely better! I agree that June was semi-robotic at times but she becomes more developed throughout the series. And Day, I love Day. He has such a big heart and I love him for it. It did take me a while to get used to his slang but after awhile it just became a part of his character and a way that made his narrations distinct from June's.

    The thing that stood out for me the most when I was reading this series was the world building. You'll see it more as you get through the trilogy but I thought that was what made these books stand out the most from other YA dystopias.

    Great review! I can't wait to read what your thoughts on the rest of the trilogy!

    -Jazzie @ The Book Dancer

    1. Day's character is an amazing one! His slang was really cute :) and the world building was fantastic. It was so realistic and easy to believe! I'd like to see your review on Legend too Jazzie!

  4. I'm so glad you liked this book, Olivia. I enjoyed it as well! :)

    1. Yay! Have you reviewed it? I'd love to check out your review!


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