Thursday, January 26, 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.

Legend was one of my most anticipated releases for 2011. I am not easily swayed or sucked in by hype (hype most often makes me wary, sometimes entirely disinterested). However, I am SO buzzing after reading Legend and adding to any hype you may have seen: Legend was my favourite dystopian read of 2011, for many reasons.

First and foremost: I had an awesome time reading Legend. Which is, after all, why I love to read (to bask in the awesomeness). It was unputdownable (I felt increasing anticipation throughout), immensely enjoyable, completely absorbing and just plain GOOD. 

I loved the blend of action with the dystopian society. I appreciated how there were dark and sinister things being hinted at, yet it was never melodramatic or crazily climatic.

I did not anticipate how much I would care for the characters. The dual POV was perfectly balanced and I never confused the voices. While I can appreciate fab plots, tension and twists, it is the characters that always resonate beyond the book for me, and I fell in love with June and Day*. I liked them separately, and also loved watching the tension between them ~ and for those who like to swoon, there's some swooning as well <3

NOW FOR EVEN MORE AWESOME: Did you know that Legend is loosely based on Les Miserables? Like a post-apocalyptic YA version. You can find snatches of themes running through the novel, subtly done. Of course, Day is like the notorious criminal Jean Valjean, and June is a female version of Javert... (anyone here a fan of Les Mis? Such a brilliant story) 

While the world building wasn't nonsensical/ridiculous (like some other YA dystopias I have attempted) I did feel rather vague on a lot of the political history, which was pertinent to the present plot. Yet that didn't detract from me having a fab time with this. 

Also, some of the way in which clues/mysteries are revealed > LOL. Always in movies and books are answers so perfectly coded and easily deduced (if it was left to me, I never would have found and interpreted the obscure/absurd clues on which crucial plot points relied on).

I have already happily, enthusiastically been shoving my copy of Legend into the hands of family members (teens and adults) for a guaranteed good read. I am not sure my review is shining enough for this book, which I so loved and crazily, completely recommend for fans of YA fiction, especially for all the dystopian nuts out there.

* Day was my fave. The little Robin Hood ninja genius that he is. 

Cannot wait for number two.

Legend @ goodreads
Legend @ Penguin Australia
Read the first chapter @ Penguin

Thanks to Penguin Australia for my review copy


  1. Ooh sounds good. I didn't know it was loosely based on Les Mis - LOVE that musical. I have it waiting on my bookshelf, I will have to bump it up my reading list. I'd been holding off as dystopians do not seem to be my thing.

    Glad you had fun reading it an thanks for the recommendation.

  2. I'm on my library's wait list for this. Can't wait!! :)

  3. It's been sitting patiently on my bookshelf since Christmas, the poor thing! I've been skeptical since it's a dystopian, but now I'll have to check it out :)

  4. Yay you enjoyed this one! :D I so want to reread this -- Day and June are great characters and the writing is pretty standout. I still haven't read Les Mis but after reading this I'd been wanting to. Lovely review as always, Nomes!

  5. Woohoo favourite dystopian of 2011, high praise and good enough for me ... onto my wishlist it goes LOL

  6. Sci-Fi Les Mis = Moved to the top of my TBR! Wow I freaking LOVE Les Mis, this is totally awesome! Where did you read that, can you send me a link?

  7. Bahaha Robin Hood ninja! I love it! And I enjoyed Legend as well. Like you, I'm really looking forward to #2!


Thanks for the commenty love :)