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.
©2011 Marie Lu (P)2011 Penguin Audio
I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
yet not completely in mine. I enjoyed this story overall, and the writing is good. Yet, somehow the characters remained a bit flat and unconvincing for me. I was more "won-over" by Day than by June, though I came to like them both a little bit more by the end. I found June a bit "Princess-y" and annoying. I'm not sure how much that had to do with the choice of narration. Mariel Stern has a fine voice, it's just that with this story she didn't quite make the character believable to me. She was supposed to be physically trained, (strong), and very smart, yet she came accross as spoiled, sheltered and naive for most of the story. She seems to grow a bit by the end, though, I must say. And I came to like Day. Kaplan's portrayal of him is a little more matched to the character, as far as I'm concerned. Thomas was very convincing by the time you got into the meat of the story because of his sheer stepford-evil. He was "real" enough to make me mad.
I like the overall premise and story, and again I'd like to say the writing is good. By the end it did make me care enough that I will check out the next installment of June and Day's story when the time comes.
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
I went through this title quickly (as in less than one day quickly) which simply means that it was good enough to keep me interested for the entire length of the book. I actually didn't expect it to be as good as it was (having just completed the let down that is Allegiant) but I was pleasantly surprised. It had interesting characters, awesome plot twists and even a seemingly well thought out storyline.
In this title the government seems to be at it again in yet another futuristic world. We have two genius kids who are pit against each other due to a series of unfortunate circumstances. The author doesn't shy away from death which I appreciate (I always find it way too coincidental when I read books like these and no one of somewhat importance dies in the book). The characters all seem to be rather interesting as they currently are and the book leaves a whole lot of room for growth in them which will be particularly interesting to see. Another nice thing about this title is the action. When it started to pick up... It really picked up.... Fast and furious action which was actually of the believable nature more often than not.
The only disconcerting thing I find is their love at first sight thing that seemed to permeate the fated meeting between Day and June. I get they would be automatically intrigued (at least) by each other if only for the mere fact that they both probably are of genius IQ proportions (like things such as those either have the effect of bonding or repulsing you), but they seemed to have fallen head over heels for each other pretty quickly.
I liked the narration when the Steven Kaplan (the male narrator) was doing it.... I had to get used to Mariel Stern (the female narrator) which I am pretty sure shouldn't be the case; midway through the book I really didn't mind her much. They did a credible job at getting the story across which I am pretty psyched about.
I must say, all in all I am interested and intend to blaze through all these books.... Yup..... I'm interested.
Of the (many) recent dystopias I have recently read, Legend is definitely one of my favorites. The only one I can remember liking better is Divergent. I found it really difficult to put this one down. I liked the characters a lot; June and Day were so much fun and I really felt for both of them and hated the situations they were thrown into. I liked the romance and the athletic elements of the story. A cool story.
This was a novel that I thought I would like better than I did - a strong female character and an interesting male character that wasn't typical romance alpha male. Set in dystopian Los Angeles with a lot of action and intrigue. Fortunately, the story really picks up in the second book and characterization missing from this first book is greatly expanded upon in the second novel Prodigy.
For me, the first book left me flat - the characters were ciphers and not relatable or developed. We weren't given a lot of information about who they were - only what they were thinking as it related to the plot. I didn't have a feel either for June or Day (but especially not June) by the end of the first book.
I was conflicted on whether to continue with the second novel but I'm glad I did. Prodigy continued the story but finally deepened both the characters and the world. As well, Lu has managed to eschew so many romance cliches by the next book. Side characters will especially be developed, grow, change, mature - and not be obviously good or bad as we learn more about them in the continuing story.
The narrators really did a great job - I felt the characters were 15 year old in how they talked and reacted.
I liked this. It was a bit short, but it had a good bit of action and suspense. It was predictable, but still interesting. Even though I knew, in general, where it was going, I was curious to see how Lu was going to get the characters there. And I'm curious to see where the story goes next. I'll definitely give the next book a try and see where June and Day go from here.
Hmmm I reserve my five stars for books that make me sit in the parking lot for lengthy periods of time instead of entering the office/house/store because I just have to find out what happens next. Although I never had a 'just can't put it down' moment with this book, I still found it pleasant and entertaining. I like the dystopian genre and this one has wonderful descriptions of how America may be during that time - I actually wish the author had gone further with some of the descriptions. I also like YA novels because they aren't filled with graphic love scenes etc. Thankfully this book didn't push that envelope with the kids either. Overall, I would recommend it for a beach read/listen or since it isn't too long you could probably fit it into a lazy rainy day.
Good start to another dystopian series. If you liked Divergent - chances are you will like this as well. Loved the dual narration as well - made it much more enjoyable to hear the first person perspectives of the protagonists from different voices.
I loved both of the main characters (Day and June). They were both strong individuals with heart. Although, it did seem like their ages should be a bit older to match their actions and history.
I thought Steven Kaplan did a wonderful job of narrating the male lead character, Day. He was believable. I had a hard time matching Mariel Stern's interpretation/voice for the female lead character, June. But, Marie Lu's story was so captivating I quickly got over it.
This book motivated me to exercise, as I mainly listen to audio books when out hiking. I was eager to get out on the trail, so that I could get back to the world and characters that Marie Lu created.
I hope there will be a sequel. The ending left me wanting to know how things will develop or get resolved.
Smoke me a kipper; I'll be back for breakfast.
Legend is teenager junk food in the scheme of current YA dystopia. It is quick and short and not fulfilling in any way. Honestly I expect dystopia books to have some new or unique idea on what direction society could disintegrate into. I do give Lu props, though, for somehow selling a storyline for publication that has been over-used for many years - the military state, experimentation on the poor.../yawn. There's not even great prose to give you some hope for this series. The positive this book has is that it's short, fast-paced, and acceptable prose. Given that the main characters are 15 perhaps her target audience is junior high, which actually might be acceptable then. With so many great current YA dystopia - Mazerunner, Divergent, Delirium, Hunger Games - why spend you time on this unimaginative book?
There are two narrators in this book and neither add value to the novel. The female narrator especially disappointed me. When discussing death of someone she cares about she reads it just like every other line.
In a shakespearean twist of fate, poverty and privilege find common ground in Legend.
Two districts, each unlike in prosperity,
In the Republic, where jurisdiction is to demean,
From governmental grievance to societies mutiny,
Where civil blood makes military hands unclean.
From forth the mutual losses of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take control of their fate;
Whose misinformed sorrows and woes
Do with their lives bury their caste's disparate.
The fearful passage of their souls-mark'd free,
And the continuance of their rebellion's rage,
Which, but their sacrifices' end, nought could flee,
Is now the first tomes' traffic of our page;
The which if you with patient eyes attend,
What here shall miss, Lu's series shall strive to mend.
It's hard to make anything sound bad written in Shakespeare's footprint. But Marie Lu's debut novel is a wonderful blend of WOW inducing words that makes you want to live, fight, rebel, and know love in all it's forms.
Legend isn't the type of book you put down and think, well I didn't see that one coming. Lu employed a lot of basic and typical devices used in most popular YA fiction today. While there were pops of the unexpected here and there the real strength of Lu's Legend is in it's relationships. She's built a harsh world and isn't afraid to make some sacrifices. This book is as much about tragedy as it is triumph and maybe Lu could have delved deeper into the bonding and betrayal sequences drawn them out a little more. But nevertheless the emotional connection is there. Her characters are steadfast and interesting. Day and June really draw you in with their personalities. The most compelling aspect is the goodness in the characters and their motives. You can't help but want them to succeed, to win, to overcome.
I experienced Legend through the wonders of audible. Mariel Stern narrated June's chapters which started off a bit jarring at first. Stern had that Type A personality spot on, but the annoying overbearing quality of her performance soften as I became more acquainted with June. Steven Kaplan does a wonderful job narrating Day's chapters. Day has a more quiet personality, he's not as noticeably intense as June, and plays he's part perfectly. Their readings really brought the words to life and drew me in.
Any fan of Hunger Games and Divergent will love this world and it's characters. Legend is a well crafted emotionally stunning thriller. The book's biggest downside is having to wait for the sequel.
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