Steph Sinclair's Reviews > Legend

Legend by Marie Lu
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I'm a dystopian book fanatic. I collect them like the Cookie Monster collects his cookies. So when I first heard of Legend earlier this year I knew I had to get a hold of it ASAP. And I wasn't entirely disappointed because Legend features a strong, kick-ass heroine, a disturbing future world, multi-cultural characters, and tons of action.

Legend tells the story of a two remarkable 15-year-olds, Day and June, living on West cost of the United States now known as The Republic. This book instantly reminded me of Aladdin because Day is from a very poor area of The Republic and steals from the rich to help out his family and community. June on the other hand, has grown up in one of the wealthiest areas and has everything she could ask for and a secure future. Their paths suddenly cross after June's brother is murdered during a hospital break-in attempt by Day. The Republic's military uses June's thirst for revenge and has her track Day and bring him to justice. However, June soon finds out her safe world has not been what it appeared to be at all.

I loved all the characters in Legend. I felt they were well developed and very likable. Even June's brother, Metais, who dies very early in the story, was likable. Both protagonists were strong and resourceful, though, at times, a little too resourceful. I enjoyed the alternate POVs allowing the reader to get a chance to really understand the backgrounds of both characters. But there were times when I got a little irritated with June for not being able to see the bigger picture of the evils of the Republic. She just seemed entirely too loyal for her to be portrayed as a rule breaker in the beginning. Contrastingly, I really liked Day, who struggles to provide for his family throughout the novel. There were a few scenes that managed to pull at my heartstrings.

However, I did have a few issues with the world building. We are led to believe the rest of the US are considered the Rebels and a few natural disasters destroyed most of the East coast. There isn't any real mention of what the outside world is doing either. I know it may seem like I'm nitpicking, but hear me out. If the US were to suffer that bad of a natural disaster, resulting in the crumbling of our government and the extinction of the dollar bill, this would have a huge negative effect on the world's economy. You cannot expect me to believe the rest of the world is chillin' while the US is under a civil war. Where is the United Nations? What side of the war are our ally countries on? For this book to be so focused on military and civil war, I expected to have these answers. Sadly, I did not and for that this book felt a little incomplete.

I also had trouble with Day and June being so...unstoppable. Yes, let's use that term. Day breaking into a hospital guarded by armed and trained gun men with just a disguise and two knives? When the soldiers open fire on him only one bullet manages to graze him? Whoever trained these soldiers needs to send them straight back to the boot camp they came from. This is one of those situations where you have to just let all sense of logic float out the window if you are to remotely enjoy the novel. And for June to be so smart I'm not sure how she never guessed the Republic's true intentions from the start. Even when the evidence was sitting there screaming, "Look at me! Look at me!" she just...looked the other way. It was very obvious. (view spoiler)

And of course, my biggest pet peeve was the semi-insta-love between June and Day. I say semi because it wasn't like they met and they were instantly proclaiming their love for one another. It was more of I just didn't believe their romance had enough time to become anything, let alone love. I would have preferred if the romance was left out completely in this book and instead introduced in the second. You know, because usually you become friends before lovers.

Despite those issues I was still able to enjoy the book and I'm looking forward to the sequel. My only hope is that the world building is tightened up a bit and possibly a map is thrown in.

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Reading Progress

May 5, 2011 – Shelved
May 5, 2011 – Shelved as: dystopian
December 18, 2011 – Started Reading
December 20, 2011 –
page 34
11.15% "Somehow I'm having a hard time believing a 15-year-old boy has outsmarted a bunch of armed soldiers."
December 20, 2011 –
page 71
23.28% "At 15, Day has robbed banks and attacked a military air base. I think this may be a situation where the author's premise is reliant upon the reader's ability to 'just go with the flow'."
December 20, 2011 –
page 114
37.38% "So...there's a plague going around in the poor sectors of the Republic and their government not only has vaccinations, but the cure and won't give it out to those infected or at risk because......?????"
December 21, 2011 –
page 260
85.25% "The plot twist and climax weren't bad, but a little predictable."
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: action-packed
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: alternating-povs
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: strong-heroine
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: 2-am-or-later
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: 2011-reads
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: could-have-been-better
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: i-really-enjoyed-it
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: i-totally-saw-that-coming
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: original-and-creative
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: poor-world-building
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: smart-heroine
December 21, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 29, 2011 – Shelved as: serve-me-up-insta-love

Comments Showing 1-26 of 26 (26 new)

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Megan Hoping to get this for Christmas.

message 2: by Penny (new) - added it

Penny Raspenny Is this actually good? I was thinking about reading it after I finish with the Mortal Instruments

Steph Sinclair Penny, I have no idea. I haven't started it yet. I'll probably start reading it today.

message 4: by Penny (new) - added it

Penny Raspenny Ok thanks! *thumbs up* Can't wait for your comments in the reading process!

Julianna Helms Aw, I hope you like it, though. I really enjoyed it. :)

Steph Sinclair It's definitely interesting and engaging!

Steph Sinclair Yeah, the ending kept me on the edge of my seat. I'm looking forward to book two. :D

The Reading Owl Skyla (Happy Go Lucky and Lost in Books) wrote: "Me too. It got really exciting near the end."

I agree, the ending was the best part, even thought it was kinda sad.

Julianna Helms Yay! Glad you liked it. :) It definitely is one of the better Dystopians (at least in my opinion). :)

Steph Sinclair Julianna wrote: "Yay! Glad you liked it. :) It definitely is one of the better Dystopians (at least in my opinion). :)"

Yeah, it was a really fun read. I really like how intense it got at the end. I just hope the next one isn't as predictable.

(view spoiler)

message 11: by Julianna (last edited Dec 29, 2011 12:58PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Julianna Helms Stephanie wrote: "(view spoiler)"

(view spoiler)

Steph Sinclair Julianna wrote: "Stephanie wrote: "[spoilers removed]"

[spoilers removed]"

I was actually pretty sad when Metais died. I really liked him. I secretly was hoping for him to make a magical appearance later in the book. Wishful thinking, I suppose.

Julianna Helms Stephanie wrote: "I was actually pretty sad when Metais died. I really liked him. I secretly was hoping for him to make a magical appearan..."

That's like me for the ending of Looking for Alaska. What's up with all this death? (view spoiler)

Steph Sinclair I know. That's unfortunately true. *sigh*

Steph Sinclair Thanks, Michelle!

Katie *sigh* Insta-love AGAIN?! If Will Shakespeare wasn't already dead, someone should shoot him for introducing this concept into popular literature. It really is obnoxious. I'm just saying.

Steph Sinclair KM wrote: "*sigh* Insta-love AGAIN?! If Will Shakespeare wasn't already dead, someone should shoot him for introducing this concept into popular literature. It really is obnoxious. I'm just saying."

I know. And don't they realize it's not just the fact that it's unralistic, but as a reader you don't have the opportunity to understand the emotions the characters feel for each other if their love is instant. It's not a hard concept. Really, it isn't.

Katie Stephanie wrote: "KM wrote: "*sigh* Insta-love AGAIN?! If Will Shakespeare wasn't already dead, someone should shoot him for introducing this concept into popular literature. It really is obnoxious. I'm just saying...."

I totally agree! And it seems like they all think that romance is just kissing and bodice ripping and what-have-you. But didn't Jane Austen prove that real, true romance can be just as swoonworthy without ANY kissing? It's all about the emotion! But I guess it's easier to write kissing scenes than to capture true emotions...

message 20: by Krys (new) - rated it 5 stars

Krys I didn't see the insta-love that you guys are referring to. Sure it was hinted but not explicitly stated therefore leaving the reader to fill in the blanks. I do not like intsa-love in series or too early on. As I read, I was able to picture the relationship brewing between Day and June as a gradually mutating attraction and I praise the author for not mentioning love. So as I read the last page, my characters are not in love but very much in like with each other.

Birte Thank you so much for this review!!! I read the book and have exactly the same issues bothering me!

Steph Sinclair Prodigy was actually really good.

Abigail I love CHOCOLATE cookies like I love Legend. I love chocolate cookies

Grace Meredith This was a really thoughtful review, and I appreciate that. It's helped me modify my expectations of this book, but I still want to read it! Thanks a bunch, and you're a wonderful reviewer!

Courtney I could not agree more with your critique of the relationship between June & Day! I would have loved to see the romance introduced in the 2nd book after they were able to spend more time together (I just started the 2nd book, so I'll have to see how their relationship develops from here on out.) It just felt a little... rushed. I think the friends-to-more than friends would have been a great slow(ish) transition. I wish this book would have stuck to mentioning a mutual attraction, a strong connection, something like that.

Andrea H You know, the second book answers a lot of your questions about the rest of the world...and there is a map in the front... :) But I agree, I don't like the insta-love, they just met and they're in love by the end. Unrealistic!

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