Monday, December 1, 2014

Legend by Marie Lu - The Legend Trilogy #1

By Marie Lu
The Legend Trilogy #1
Hardcover: 305 pages
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Rated: ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
4 out of 5 Stars
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Related Reviews: | Prodigy | Champion | The Young Elites |
Categories: Dystopian, Young Adult

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.

Since I read The Young Elites by Marie Lu, a lot of folks recommended this series to me. Another dystopian novel, with a lot of the same plot line that I've come to associate with a dystopian book. Plagues run rampant, government is worse than a police state, executions are not a rarity. I'm not sure the exact reason why, but this police state-world pissed me off a little more than similar dystopians. It could have been due to the fact that the lower class was victimized, almost to the point of a complete removal from society. The government and soldiers controlled every aspect of the characters' lives, and to me, that is a truly terrifying scenario. Being the history nerd that I am, (:D) I have read a lot about the New World Order. Legend had an eerie semblance to this new government: with population control, brainwashing of citizens, and if you have money, you belong to one of the Elite circles. Ugh. It was disgusting, honestly. Disgustingly realistic and terrifying as hell. The privileged class were able to afford a better education, which led to better jobs and immunizations from the "plagues." The world building itself is superb. Not to mention that the capital city of this new Republic is Denver. Conspiracy theorists realize the connection here!

The characters are wonderfully written. I fell in love with Day from the moment Miss Lu introduced him. His wildness combined with an aura of confidence, almost cockiness- is sexy as hell. The sarcastic personality and overall loyalty and love that he has for his family fully won me over, though. It took me a lot longer to like June. Her character at the beginning is awful, the true picture of a spoiled little girl. Honestly, I think that first picture the reader has of her, ends up making us all like her a lot more later on in the story. Her bravery and conviction is powerful, to the point where she doesn't even question doing something, only because it is the right thing to do. June and Day's relationship is ridiculously ill-fated. They meet while she is under cover, looking for her brother's murderer. Day is the prime suspect, but June doesn't realize that it is him when they meet. Day rescues her from danger, and she ends up spending a couple of days with him during her mission before realizing who he is. In that time, June feels happier and more at ease than she ever has. Her life has been nothing but a heavy dose of brainwashing; a military life from birth. But Day is the most wanted criminal in the Republic, and she is a soldier for that Republic. It is her job to arrest him, and she does exactly that. In the process, she is indirectly responsible for the death of his mother. Sigh. There's really no going back from that for June. She ends up redeeming herself to a point, but it's never a healthy relationship from the beginning..

Surprise, the Republic ends up being a bunch of evil, power hungry bastards! They basically lie to the population while preventing them from seeing the truth. It is an uneasy view of what a power-hungry government looks like. A New World Order. Ahem! The plot line is paced well. It feels like something new and exciting is always happening, and I'm racing to keep up with the developments. Every page felt like it could have been the end for either June or Day, and I found myself getting nervous with every page-turn! This story catches your attention and keeps a firm grasp on it the entire way through. A story of survival, truth, and betrayal. Definitely recommend this one to all dystopian fans! It is one of my favorite dystopian series, and I've been reading a lot of them lately!

"“You should have taken me with you," I whisper to him. Then I lean my head against his and begin to cry. In my mind, I make a silent promise to my brother's killer. I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.”

"“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time... You try to walk in the light.”

"“You threw everything away." I bring a hand up to touch her face, to wipe the rain from her eyelashes. "Your entire life-your beliefs...Why would you do that for me?" June has never looked more beautiful than she does now, unadorned and honest, vulnerable yet invincible. When lightning streaks over the sky, her dark eyes shine like gold. "Because you were right," she whispers. "About all of it.”

“Day leans in toward me. He reaches up to touch my face. I can tell it still hurts him to use his fingers, and his nails are dark with dried blood. "You're brilliant," he says. "But you're a fool to stay with someone like me." I close my eyes at the touch of his hand. "Then we're both fools.”"

Related Reviews
| Prodigy | Champion | The Young Elites |

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