Book Review: Legend
By: Marie Lu
Published by Putnam Juvenile
Release Date: Nov. 29, 2011
Genre: Young Adult dystopian
I've said it before: as a reader, I have a tendency to pick up a lot of high tension, action-packed, emotionally charged material. If that's what you like too, then Legend is the book for you. Additionally, if you enjoy a read with a lot of visual appeal- books that you can vividly "see" as you read- you will definitely enjoy this book.
I usually try to avoid comparisons in book reviews, but I'm making an exception this time because so many of my favorite pieces of literature came to mind as I was considering how to explain my enthusiasm. To start with, anyone who knows me well knows I've been pushing Divergent by Veronica Roth as a new favorite dystopian since the book came out last June. Legend has earned a spot as the what-you-need-to-read-next book. I love my YA dystopians, and these two are prime examples of why.
When I finished reading Legend, I sat there thinking, "I've seen this theme before: bad guy who is good, relentlessly sought by the officer of the law." Thank you, Marie Lu, for putting my mind at ease; she tells us in the jacket blurb that Legend is a retelling of that theme, from Les Miserables: my favorite musical ever.
We see Romeo and Juliet comparisons all the time. I think it's especially fitting for this book, because the two main characters are literally mortal enemies, know just as little about each other, and are just as inexplicably drawn to each other. Their society is just as crushingly restrictive, and the only way they would have a chance to even explore the possibility of a relationship is to remove themselves from it.
The visual appeal of this book is why I thought of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies series. I can see the landscape of decaying architecture. I see the Manga-like characters. I see the super-human physical movements of the characters, creating action sequences that make the book as appealing to guys as it is to girls.
I will be pushing this book now- consider yourself warned. Join me in anticipating book 2!
Summary from GoodReads:
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' 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.