Keertana's Reviews > Legend

Legend by Marie Lu
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it was ok
bookshelves: did-not-finish, why-the-hype

Legend is one of those books that simply demands to be read, not so much because of its original premises, intriguing characters, or fast-paced plot, but rather because everyone seems to have such a varied opinion about it. I always make it a point to read the reviews of my most trusted reviewers - those whose opinions are similar to my own - but when it came to this book, the ratings ranged from amazement, to indifference, to like, to hate. Thus, I knew I had to read this and give it a shot for myself to see what the hype really is all about. Well, if you're anything like me and if you've read your fair share of dystopians, I can tell you now that Legend offers nothing new to this over-wrought genre and, frankly speaking, you aren't missing much if you skip it. If, however, you're nothing like me (or you're just wondering why I couldn't finish one of your favorite books), you might as well stick around. I doubt it'll be a long haul anyway.

See, the thing about Legend is that it is exactly like every other post-apocalyptic novel out there. We have our utopian-like society, we have two vastly different characters, we have the slow uncovering of betrayal, that all is not as perfect as it seems. Very, very typical. Now, it isn't that I have an aversion to typical plots - because everyone knows I read more than just a few dystopian series - but the qualities that I needed to make this novel interesting, engaging, and something worth reading were simply lacking. Well, that and I suspect I'm growing tired of this genre...is there really anything new left to explore?

One of the first things that stands out about Legend is the unique formatting of the book itself. It is told from the dual narration of June, a prodigy in her society, and Day, a thief who is accused of murdering June's brother. As such, you can imagine that June sets out to find and kill him. Well, another unique aspect of this formatting is that Day's perspective is told in gold lettering while June's is in regular black. At first, I was a little annoyed by this - the gold is, I warn you, hard on the eyes. As the story progressed though, I found myself relying on the font to help me distinguish who was speaking. Yes, the two perspectives in this are really that interchangeable. Not only are June and Day similar individuals, both being extremely smart, calculating, and tough, but their thoughts mirror each other almost exactly. So, really, Legend is about one character named Jay or Dune whose thoughts are shown in two different colors. =.=

In addition to the utter lack of characterization, the world-building in this novel was nothing new and I was unable to form much of a connection with the characters. Day, to some extent, is an easier person to get to know, merely because he has feeling. June, however, is distant from everyone but her older brother, who, once dead, makes her just plain unfeeling. So, really, can you blame me for not wanting to continue this? Unoriginal plot lines, characters that lacked distinct personalities, and an attachment that failed to occur. By the time I passed the half-way point of this story, I was done. I can't even say that Marie Lu is a good writer because, really, her writing was nothing special either. Legend is a tiny bit better than Article 5, but not a whole lot much. In fact, Enclave, another DNF for me, is far better, so maybe check that out instead? Or, you know, just give this a shot, because even if it's not for you, it's a quick read and you won't feel as if you wasted your time. At least, not too much.

You can read this review and more on my blog, Ivy Book Bindings.
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Reading Progress

August 14, 2012 – Shelved
January 18, 2013 – Started Reading
January 18, 2013 –
page 23
7.54% "...this dual narrative isn't working for me. Or maybe it's the font? Seriously, if you're going to label the perspective, why do you need a change of font and gold lettering?"
January 19, 2013 – Shelved as: why-the-hype
January 19, 2013 – Finished Reading
February 16, 2016 – Shelved as: did-not-finish

Comments Showing 1-37 of 37 (37 new)

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Victoria You just want to read it, Keertana. It's just EPIC! :D


Keertana Well, it's on my to-read-shelf, so it looks like I'll definitely get around to it! ;) Yes: 1 No: 0 Thanks Victoria!(:


Susie Yes, read it! It's not a real ong read, and it's sooo very good. Promise!


Susie *long, not ong. *oops*


Victoria Yes, there are some flaws in Legend, but there are lots of good parts that makes up for the flaws. Yes, there is insta-love, but I didn't care for it that much like other books I've read. I mostly care about the characters, action, and the decisions and their skills on how to survive in horrible circumstances.


Keertana @Susie: Thanks for your input! I'll definitely give it a try - especially if it isn't long and time-consuming! :) Yes: 2 No: 0

@Victoria: Insta-love? *shudders* I'll take your word for it though and hope it doesn't bother me too much. I love dystopian survival books, so if this one has a lot of action then I think I'll like it. Once again, thanks for all your insight! I'll probably give this one a try for sure then!(:


Christina (Ensconced in Lit) I definitely had mixed feelings. Like I wouldn't say that it's the best book I've ever read but it was definitely a fun read. If you already have it/own it or can get it pretty easily, it's fun to read. It definitely has flaws though.


Keertana Thanks Christina! It's available in my library, so I might pick it up and check it out since it's a fun read. I'm just hoping the flaws don't overtake the novel and ruin it for me...will you be reading the sequel?


Christina (Ensconced in Lit) I will definitely be reading the sequel. And that's saying something for me because I don't usually unless I really like it since I review so many books :-) For example, I'm one of the rare birds that will not be continuing the Gone series by Michael Grant or Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.


Keertana I haven't continues TMI either! I read and loved the first three books, but I'm just not interested in reading more of it. I wish she had kept it as a trilogy! :/ I'm glad you'll be reading the sequel of this though - that's always a big sign that a novel is well-done, so I think I'll definitely check this one out! Thanks for your honest input Christina! :D


message 11: by Isabelle (new) - added it

Isabelle I'm reading this right now. The characters are sort of dry, and the world building is just standard dystopian... nothing really innovative or new. But it's entertaining, and I think that's what counts.


Keertana Hmm...but lots of other books are entertaining too! :/ I think I'll wait for your review before deciding. If it doesn't bring anything new to the genre of dystopian then I probably won't waste my time on it...we'll see!


message 13: by Tzippy (new) - added it

Tzippy I feel the same way about reading this book.


PJforaDay I would check it out of the library .


Keertana Yup, that's what I'm planning to do. Eventually...when I'm in the mood to finally read it. ;)


message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Dec 28, 2012 04:56PM) (new)

Hmmm, I can understand your confusion. There seems to be a lot of hype over this one that I just don't understand. It isn't a complete waste of time but it certainly isn't something that will change your life or keep you completely enthralled. I see that you have read The False Prince. I can say that I enjoyed Legend about as much as The False Prince. But you probably have read more YA books than me so you will probably have a more judgmental view on Legend. I can't say if you would like it or not. Maybe you could give it a try and if you feel that it's not working for you then stop reading it. You can't really say if you'll like a book before you try it out. And, yeah, check it out of the library. Hope I helped a bit! :)


Keertana Wow, that helped SO much! I think I might just read this, then, since it'll be a quick read and while I did like The False Prince, I felt it was a rip-off of The Queen's Thief Series, which is why I didn't enjoy it more. I'm sure Legend won't move me all that much, but with all the hype, I can't say I'm not curious and with the sequel out soon, I might just have to check it out of my library soon. Seriously, though, thank you for all your help, Lael! :)


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

You are very welcome. I am glad that it helped you. Happy reading! :)


Damali If you like depressing scenes, and child soldiers, I think you'd enjoy it. :)


Arion no love triangles so far, no insta love either. I humbly recommend it :)


Amanda No love-tri in this one and no insta-love... I liked The Hunt (which was a big shock to me!) This was good as in good-but-not-fantastic. Good enough to read, but not so great that you're missing out if you don't read it ;)


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Comment section = TLDR so I don't know what people are telling you but oh my God read it.


Keertana @Lael: Thanks!

@Damali: Huh...well, I'm reading it now, so we'll see how I like it. It sounds interesting, though.

@Arion: Yay! At least that's good to know! :)

@Mandee: Phew! Thanks for that confirmation, Mandee. I just picked it up from the library today, though, so hopefully I'll like it. We'll see...I don't like the writing yet, but maybe it'll get better.

@Kelly-Jane: I am, don't worry! ;)


Amanda They've actually used gold font in the book? I thought you were talking about the cover! The p'back version here is all black but different fonts.


Keertana See, that would be more useful than actual gold font! But yes, the actual font was golden in color. I picked up the book from my library, so it was an older edition, but thankfully they've changed it in the newly printed versions!


message 26: by Sarah Marie (new) - added it

Sarah Marie I still haven't read this book. Gold font? I think I would get a major headache after a while. I haven't been as tempted to read this book as other dystopians but it does seem like I might enjoy it a bit.


Keertana I hope you do if you decide to give it a try, Sarah!(:


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

I would never be able to read gold font. I don't remember if you mentioned this in your review but do you think there was insta-love? And you nailed this book, couldn't agree with you more. Great review! :)


Keertana Thanks Lael!(: Ummm...I actually didn't get far enough into the story to figure if there was insta-love. I do think there was insta-attraction, but really, June and Day were so similar that that was almost a given. If I met someone like me I'd like them too, but love? Ehh...I can't see that happening. I firmly believe you need to fall in love with someone whose qualities balance yours out and June and Day practically think the same way, so I don't know how much I'd like the romance in it, either way.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

I agree. I'm not an expert but I thought there was a little insta-love. They both seemed to be attracted to each other and then next minute they're kissing. Thanks for the reply. :)


Keertana I think it depends on what you want. If you're still enjoying the type of dystopian novels with a lot of action, you'll love this. I've gotten bored of the formulaic plot lines by now, which is why this didn't work for me. :/


Keertana Sounds good! I'm glad I was able to help you make a decision! :)


Sofers I totally agree with this review! I tried to like this book, I really tried... but the lack of character development just did it for me :/ I couldn't relate to June at all she kind or resembled an unfeeling robot in my eyes haha


Caitlin I love your review. I felt very similarly about the lack of world-building & characterization. I didn't know anything about June & all I know about Day is that I wish I knew more. The only reason I scored this book 3 stars is because I want to know what happens to Ollie.


Nicole Fuschetti I so agree with you on this review! I was so disappointed by this book. I read it because it gets so much hype, but I really have yet to read a really good YA dystopian novel.


Irsah  Hasan This is exactly how I felt! Everybody I knew was saying that it was an amazing book so I decided to read it. I was completely disappointed.


message 37: by Marlyn (new) - added it

Marlyn This book is god awful and I will not be continuing it. I can only describe this reading experience as dying of thirst in a desert and being giving vinegar to drink instead of water. It was agony. I hate DNF'ing books. Heck it took a year for me to finish Fifty Shades of Grey, but with this book I just can't.


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