Wendy Darling's Reviews > Legend

Legend by Marie Lu
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I like an action-packed adventure, don't you? Legend is a lot of fun to read, and follows two teens who are born into opposite sides of a war in a futuristic Los Angeles in the Republic of America.

15-year-old June is an exceptionally gifted prodigy who is being groomed to become a military star. But when her brother is senselessly murdered, she embarks upon a mission to find his killer--and discovers that all signs point towards Day, a notorious criminal who is already wanted by the Republic.

This is a cocktail of utopian YA, Romeo and Juliet, and various wronged imprisonment stories all blended together with liberal dashes of adventure and intrigue. I liked both June and Day, and I was eager to learn more about the big mystery behind why the government is so interested in Day's brother. The best thing about Legend, however, is the terrific action sequences that the author writes into the story: there are great chases, exciting escape scenes, girl on girl sparring, and lots more.

As with so many of these books that are stretched out to accommodate sequels, there really aren't enough answers unearthed in this first installment, so presumably we'll have to wait until book two to find out the details of government's involvement in biological experimentation.

What prevents this from being a truly excellent book, however, is that the book overall feels very slight. At 300 pages, it is surprisingly short and there isn't a great deal of complexity in the characters, the world-building, or the plot. It's also extremely predictable. While the story is certainly well-written, most readers will be able to anticipate pretty much every plot development and thought that crosses the characters' minds...and really, what's the fun in that?

Still, I liked this book and I think it's among the better dystopian YA books that have been released lately. It's definitely an entertaining read and I'm interested in seeing where the story goes next. I do wish, however, that it contained more depth and more originality and more...everything, really, in order to make it a truly outstanding and truly memorable book.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.
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Reading Progress

June 24, 2011 – Shelved
Started Reading
July 24, 2011 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 58 (58 new)

Thebookbutterfly I'm so excited to read this one :) Looking forward to your review!

Wendy Darling It's very entertaining, TBB, and definitely among the better dystopian YA books out there. :)

message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Been waiting for a while for this. Can't wait for your review :)

message 4: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin I'm on the fence about this one... we'll see if your review sways me. :)

Wendy Darling That's a lot of pressure, Erin. ;)

message 6: by tonya. (new) - added it

tonya. Ooh yay! I have this one sitting on my bedside table, waiting for me.

Wendy Darling We seem to agree more often than not these days, so you'd probably enjoy this, too!

message 8: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 27, 2011 01:25PM) (new)

I know this question may seem absurd, especially because this isn't the first review of Legend I've read. But, are June and Day a boy and a girl, or both girls? If you read your review closely, you really can't tell. And interestingly enough you are not the only one to do this.

Wendy Darling Hah! Good question, Kate. June is a girl and Day is a boy. I'm looking at the jacket copy now and it's not clear until you read the fourth paragraph that Day is a boy, either.

Hmm, let me think about how to tinker with my review to make it clear.

message 10: by Nic (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nic Great review Wendy! I am so excited to read this.

Amanda (Good Choice Reading) Couldn't agree more! :)

Thebookbutterfly Awesome review, it made the book sound even more intriguing! :)

Wendy Darling Thanks ladies! This should make a pretty fun movie. Just like Blood Red Road, it kind of reads like one.

Kwesi 章英狮 What?! I want to read this! Is this Divergent-a-like?

Wendy Darling From what I hear, this is a lot like Divergent! I am one of those crazy people who read this one first. :/

Kwesi 章英狮 @Wendy: I see, I gave Divergent 5 stars and maybe I will like this book. Haha.

Wendy Darling It's pretty fun, Kwesi. :) Definitely worth a read if you enjoy dystopian YA + adventure.

message 18: by Kwesi 章英狮 (last edited Jul 28, 2011 08:18AM) (new) - added it

Kwesi 章英狮 I might, thanks again Wendy. I may ask, where did you buy this book (online, if possible)?

Wendy Darling Hi Kwesi--the book will be out in November 2011, and will no doubt be readily available everywhere since from the Putnam imprint. My friend Flann (her blog is linked in the review) was nice enough to loan me her ARC!

message 20: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy Hmm, seems good. Can't wait to pick it up! :)

message 21: by Ari (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ari oh, lucky you.. I can't wait to read this too :)

Masako Lin Ahhh another dystopian novel! Since the hunger games and divergent, I find myself really curious abt other dystopian books. This sounds fun although I'm not one for predictable plots. Any other dystopian books to recommend?

Wendy Darling Thanks ladies! This was pretty fun, I think fans of Divergent will have a good time with it.

SL, you're welcome to browse my dystopian/post-apocalyptic shelf if you like. :) I've written reviews for just about all the ones on it except for the few I haven't actually read yet. (I have them grouped together since I don't read all that many of either one.)

Wendy Darling Oops, here's the link to the shelf: http://www.goodreads.com/review/list/...

Masako Lin @Wendy: Thanks! *goes browses than realizes she has a bazillion of books that need reading in her to-read list* So many books so little time!!!

message 26: by JJ. (new) - rated it 2 stars

JJ. Sounds like an interesting book! Although a story being predictable does tend to ruin the fun, it's been pretty rare for me to find a book that I haven't been able to guess the ending of.

Wendy Darling No problem, SL! And I have the same sickness problem, too. :)

It's a pretty fun book, Jen--I think fans of Divergent will like it. I don't always go crazy if a book is predictable if it does certain things well. Hope you enjoy it when you get around to reading it.

Julianna Helms Oh, I can't wait for this book! I find that I always really like Kristin Nelson's clients (Ally Carter, Simone Elkeles, Janice Hardy, now Marie Lu), so... :)

Wendy Darling It's pretty fun, Julianna! I hope you enjoy. I sometimes look over agents for reading suggestions, too; it's great when you find one who represents clients that you really like.

message 30: by Mimi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mimi Valentine You're so right, Wen! Legend was definitely one of the better dystopian books out there! :) I guess a few parts of it WERE predictable, but I still loved the action scenes like you did and I'm so excited to get to know more about June & Day in the sequel!

Wendy Darling I'm so happy you liked it, Mimi! And look, Juli ended up liking it, too. :) It was rather sketchy in some parts, but still an enjoyable read.

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

I have this ready to go on my Kindle, can't wait, excellent review WD.

Julianna Helms Wendy Darling wrote: "I'm so happy you liked it, Mimi! And look, Juli ended up liking it, too. :) It was rather sketchy in some parts, but still an enjoyable read."


Wendy Darling Oh Wes, I think you'll really like this one! It's pretty fun, as long as you just squint a little. ;)

I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Juli. :)

Arlene Perfect review Wendy. I really enjoyed this one and have been looking forward to the sequel. :)

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist Lol, one of the only parts I didn't like was the girl on girl sparring...ahh, I'm a nutjob, but I don't like girls pummeling each other. Blah. But I'm with you: this is definitely one of the better dystopians!

Wendy Darling Well, I'm not a fan of girls hitting each other in real life, Amelia, but in this life or death type situation, I'm all for it. ;)

And yes, I'm looking forward to seeing where this story goes too, Arlene! I hope it's not too many books, though, this one did feel a little short.

Amelia, the pragmatic idealist Yeah, you're right. Just like in Divergent...couldn't really be helped in the situation, but...yeesh!

Wendy Darling Am I living inside your mind, Rory? :D Thanks so much, I'm glad my reviews are useful to you! Hope you enjoy this one.

And I'm sorry this was a disappointment to you, Ebony. I agree that June (and Day, too) could have been much better developed--this book's strength isn't in their character studies for sure; it doesn't show us enough to prove June's ability. That said, I still found it entertaining! I'm curious to see where the story goes next, although I do hope the characters are more nuanced in the sequel.

Wendy Darling Awesome! Glad you're having a good time with it. You definitely have to suspend some disbelief, but I thought it was a pretty fun book overall.

message 41: by Cait (new) - added it

Cait Thanks so much for this review. I've been dating at this book, debating, and you've helped a lot.

shanghao I also think it's all too neat and the characters all fit into a template mould - kudos for voicing out need for more complexity! Things should be simple, but not simpler, huh?

Wendy Darling No problem at all, Cait, I'm glad the review was useful!

And yes, I enjoyed this, but I think it has the potential to be much more than what it was, sanshow. Oh, well.

message 44: by Ashley (new)

Ashley Just finished this book, and really agree with the review. The ending was way too abrupt, and we still have so many questions left unanswered... yes, the plot was a bit clumsy and unpredictable, but the overall idea was different from most other dystopian books out there. I'm gonna read the sequel though.

♥Rachel♥ You were right, I did really like it, Wendy. Great review. :)

Wendy Darling I liked the sequel a lot more than LEGEND, Ashley, so hopefully you'll have a positive experience with it, too!

And yay, I had a feeling, Rachel. :) Can't wait to see what you think of PRODIGY!

message 47: by Bode (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bode Hoover This is a five star book.Did you even read it or did you skip pages?

Wendy Darling Bode wrote: "This is a five star book.Did you even read it or did you skip pages?"

You know what's a better use of your time? Write your own review instead of making asinine comments on those written by other people.

Flagged and blocked.

message 49: by K8 (new) - rated it 4 stars

K8 I got to the end, liked it well enough, but definitely wanted more. For all that "happened"... not much happened. I hope we get to know the characters more and understand the world more in the next book. Great review!

Wendy Darling Agreed, K8. I think you'll like Prodigy better--I know I did! :)

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