Author: Marie Lu
My rating: 4/5
Goodreads rating: 4.20/5
Genre: Dystopian, Young Adult
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
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.
So I have the entire Legend trilogy on my shelf and I was in the mood for some dystopian. Personally, I have heard mixed things about the trilogy and I just hoped Legend wasn’t cheesy, cliche or of course Divergent-esque. I was pleasantly surprised with this novel as though it was just under 300 pages it was a great start to the trilogy. Though I read it with frequent breaks during the week I could easily go back into the flow of the novel. Now, this is a great book, but I don’t really get all of the five stars because of my thoughts down below.
We have two teenagers, June and Day whose lives both intertwine after June’s brother gets murdered and all the blame is put onto Day, a criminal prodigy born into poverty. June is assigned the task of capturing Day and bringing him to justice though when she does meet him he is more kind-hearted than she thought and starts to fall for him. But the Republic is keeping secrets and the country that both June and Day grew up in might be more menacing than they thought.
There’s not a lot you can put into a 290 page book…or so I thought. This book is full of action and some twists in the plot road. This book did a good job at establishing it’s self. This book is pure, solid YA dystopian and I liked it! The pacing was quite good, the story never being too slow so that my attention goes elsewhere, but not too fast that I forget what happened two chapters ago. The constant shower of tension and sense of foreboding kept me turning pages.
I’m okay about the romance that was mixed in, but I would of much preferred June and Day to be best friends, maybe a little crush at the start but just turning into a strong friendship. The ending was okay as well, it had a nice subdued feeling to it.
The writing was average YA with no tricks or spins. One thing I can say though is that Lu writes with clarity, so that even if a lot of stuff is going on the scene still reads clear which was appreciated. I also really liked how she wrote Day and Tess’ relationship as a type of sibling one, but I’m still unsure if Tess likes Day or not…You can really feel the coldness of the government and how unforgiving it is which just made me root for June and Day more. I appreciated the dual POVs and the world building was truly superb!
“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.”
The Characters were all lovely to read about…well the two main protagonists because the side characters didn’t get much limelight to sink my teeth into.
June was the classic tough, intellectual and rebellious teen. She didn’t get on my nerves as much as I thought she would. I liked how she was strong and wanted to figure out what was going on behind closed door. Okay, I liked her character a lot now that I think back at it. Day was pretty likable as well, but I can’t help but wish he was more developed in a way. Not always the tragic backstory that some how turned him into this quick minded criminal. Tess was a lovely character that I wished had more page time, I hope she is around in the second book. Thomas reminds me so much of Teren from The Young Elites Trilogy also written by Marie Lu, but less self hating and more in love with the Republic. He is such an interesting character and I hope he is in the second book too.
What I liked:
- I liked how pure dystopian it was
- The tension throughout the whole book
- June and Day were likable characters to follow
What I disliked:
- There didn’t have to be a romance
- I would of liked there to be more character development for everyone really
- Writing was just standard
Verdict: I strong start to the trilogy with the constant tension and secrets keeping me hooked throughout the book. There are some tragic things that happen in this book which I think could of been developed on more so that I actually felt something, but the characters were likable which helps when reading dystopian. I am more pumped to read this trilogy than I was a week ago and I can’t wait to read the second book!