13 February 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'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.
This book started out kind of confusing. It took me a while to catch on that we were switching perspective between Day and June, and not that June was secretly Day. That made it very confusing when talking about Day as a boy, I kept expecting them to reveal him as a girl in disguise even after I had gotten the Day/June part straight. However, even with that confusion I really liked this book. I really got into the character of June, she sounded so realistic, and I felt for her as she started having doubts and liking Day. I didn’t identify as much with Day’s point of view, but I never identify with male characters as much as females. Day did provide some much-needed exposition, and his point of view as a poor criminal was needed to show the dystopia for what it was. I liked that Day had a female friend that didn’t have any romantic relationship with him and that June didn’t really care, either. In fact I think this book is worth reading for the character’s relationships. June and Day have a very healthy relationship built on each others’ strengths and supporting the other’s accomplishments. Although June suffers from no-parent syndrome (a common trope in YA literature) her older brother Metias seems to encourage her more than shelter her, and only keeps secrets from her that he was keeping from everyone else, too. Even June’s relationship withThomas shows that the dystopia Lu has built has a very realistic gender parity, and although Thomas is power hungry and his attempt at a relationship is not good or healthy it is colored by the power differential of status, not gender. I did feel that although this aspect of the worldbuilding of Los Angeles was interesting the rest of the world seemed sparing, as if Lu only invented what she needed, but that could be because the book concentrated on characters and not place, or because to reveal to much is to spoil the future. Either way, I can forgive and I will be placing the sequel on my must be read list!

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