Friday, January 27, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu

"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." (from Goodreads)

Legend was one of those books that got a lot of buzz in the book blogging community before it was released. So, I'd been wanting to read it for awhile and just happened to grab it on a whim when I saw it on display at the library last time I went.

Well, life kicked in and it sat on my coffee table for several weeks before I was able to pick it up this week. And WOW, y'all. WOW. I finished this in two days -- but only because I made myself stop reading the first day because I had to get some sleep for work the next day. I ended up disregarding my need for sleep on the second night and stayed up way past my bedtime because I HAD to keep reading.

Marie Lu knows how to write action and suspense. I loved figuring out the truth along with the main character, June. Her view of the Republic, her dystopian society, changes quite drastically in the book, but we walk along with her and understand just how she goes from A to B. And Day. You guys, Day is my Aladdin. Yes, I went there. I think Aladdin is hot. There I said it. I have the hots for a cartoon. I'd hang out with that "street rat" any day of the week! And same with Day. He has a Peter Pan thing going on -- yes, he has created a lot of trouble for his the Republic, but it's all to help others -- whether his own family or just people who are poor like him.

Without getting spoilerific, I think it's safe to note that June and Day are pretty much the same -- only born into different circumstances. If the roles had been reversed, I'm pretty sure Day would have made the choices June makes and June would have made the choices Day makes.  I love this dynamic of the book. Marie Lu came up with the idea for this story while watching one of my favorite plays, Les Miserables, and "wondering how the relationship between a famous criminal and a prodigious detective might translate into a more modern story." (That comes from the book jacket.) I love this, too! She has taken this idea and completely translated it and transformed it into a different society.

I'm guessing we will get to learn more about who is on the other side of the war with the Republic in book two, and I'm looking forward to that. As for you, I release you from reading this review so you can go download Legend to your eReader, check it out from your library, or grab it from your nearest bookstore!


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