Legend- by Marie Lu

Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

Rating: 5/10 (what this means)

Publication: 2011

Recommendation: Eh, read it if you LOVE dytopian-ish books… or if you’re bored.

My Reading Method: Library Hardback- 1st edition

(I read this one from the Knoxville Library- the website can be found here. However, if you are in the Madisonville area, check the catalog here) Use your local libraries!!

From Goodreads:

“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.”

Oooooh. It SOUNDS good, doesn’t it? I love stories like this that follow two different perspectives…

So, what did I think about Legend?

**WARNING- MY REVIEWS FREQUENTLY CONTAIN SPOILERS. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!**

So… let’s get down to the nitty gritty… I didn’t particularly love this book. It was ok, but nothing absolutely wonderful. However, I will be the first to admit that there is a distinct possibility that Divergent, Hunger Games and Unraveling ruined me before I even got the chance to read it. (Because those three ROCKED)

First of all, I want to talk about what I enjoyed about the book:

1) I loved that both June and Day are strong characters.

2) Lots of action.

3) The book flowed well.

Overall, this is a pretty decent story. I liked the characters, the setting, the general idea of the plot…. Additionally, I think Marie Lu is a decent writer and I fully expect so see more books from her in the future. She certainly shows a lot of potential, and it is important to remember that Legend is her first book. Authors generally get better over time.

Now, what I didn’t like and why I thought the story fell a little flat:

1) The characters aren’t very well developed.

Really, we know very little about them. I felt like we barely scratched the surface of their personalities. They’re both smart, beautiful, kick-ass, and love their families. But that’s basically it. They might develop an injury or two but neither had humanizing flaws. We were looking at perfect people- which made them rather unrelatable and unrealistic.

Also, they were VERY similar… which is odd because one is a prodigy/military genius and the other is a convict/terrorist. I expected the characters to have more differences in 1) how they reacted to situations and 2) their general life outlook. But no- they felt like basically the exact same person.

2) I felt like this was written as an intro.

Clearly, Ms. Lu is writing a sequel. HOPEFULLY we’ll get more of an actual plot out of that one. I feel like I barely got a glimpse into this world and I’m left feeling rather unsatisfied and disappointed.

3) The ending left several serious issues unresolved.

I HATE cliff hangers. I hate them. I know trilogies are currently popular but each book should be a book on its OWN. Especially the first one. I hated the fact that Legend left so many things unresolved. Grrrr. When reading a book, I expect a beginning, middle, and end. When did this become unnecessary? When was it just ok to have a beginning?

4) I didn’t believe the ‘love story’ aspect.

I have no idea why they liked each other. They just magically start making-out at one point. I felt NO feelings. None. Apart from thinking that the other was just oh-so-beautiful. That’s it. I guess you have to be gorgeous, brilliant, and a martial arts expert to understand it (because I sure didn’t).

5) It felt short. For a 305 page novel it really went by quickly- and not in a good way. I read it within 24 hours- WHILE still doing homework, attending class, AND going to work. I think the font is a little large and widely spaced so it’s shorter than anticipated. After starting it in the morning, I finished it before going to bed that same night.

So, as you can see, I had mixed feelings.

Overall, this book is ok. However, there was no spark. No oomph. No life. Nope. I wanted a story to grip me to the pages. And, alas, I could easily put this book down and go about my day. Additionally, I have no plans to ever read this book again. I MIGHT read the second with the hope that an actual plot develops. On the whole, Legend is more forgettable than legendary.

Another minor gripe I feel the need to mention is that the book I written in two different colors. June’s chapters are in black ink and Day’s chapters are in a dark gold/yellow. I found this strange. Reading in gold is not something I would ever do by choice so I found it rather annoying. I blame the publishers for this one.

You can also find a version of this review on Amazon and on my Goodreads Account.

I would also like to take this moment to encourage you to use your local libraries!!! Check an online catalog (most are available through your library’s home page) or request a book through ILL. There are many ways to read the books you want without costing a fortune… that being said- if you click the book above and order through Amazon I’ll make a few cents. 🙂

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