Ya'll, I've fallen in love with reading again. I never fell out of love, mind you, but lately it has been feeling like the very first time. Corny I know! September reading has been good to me :)
Legend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Genre: Dystopia, YA
Length: 7 hours and 48 minutes
Narrator: Mariel Stern, Steven Kaplan
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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.
June is a prodigy trying to avenger hers.
Each stand in the way of the other accomplishing their goal.
In Legend we are introduced to a world where the same President has been reelected so many times that no one can remember a different president. The nation is divided and the Republic and the Colonies are at war. 10-year-olds take a test that will decide their fate. Those who do badly end up in squallor. In communities ravaged by disease. Those who do best end up with vaccines and power. Or so they say. No one really knows. Day did the unthinkable. He failed the test. He has lived in teh shadows robbing from those who have to give to those who don't. Then one night, Day and June's paths converge.
On the story...
I don't know that the story feels entirely original, but it was well done. The story was told from the alternating point of views of Day and June. I loved Day most of all as his world was more intriguing. None of the characters were "good" or "bad," but fell something in between. Well most of them. They all had motives which led to some exciting tension. Like many dystopian novels, it is a darker read, but it isn't bleak like many. I love how both characters were fighters figuratively and literally. For all of June's prodigy status and her actions from early in the novel, I expected a bit more from her. I wasn't disappointed but I definitely hope to see much more in the future that aligns with the character I was first introduced to. I hated the romance. If it weren't for the romance, this would have been an awesome read for me. It wasn't bad. I just want to be clear. I just feel like it could have been done better. If you are going to have a romance in the middle of tragedy, death, torture, and betrayal, it's got to be so good that I forget that that's just not realistic or fun. Hints of love and attraction is okay, but a romance has to be sold in these situations.
On the narrator...
There were two narrators. One for June's chapters, and one for Day's chapters. I thought they both did a pretty good job, though I enjoyed Ms. Stern more. The only downside to having two narrators is that each narrator has a different voice for the other character. So if Ms. Stern is narrating as June, her voice for Day was very different from Mr. Kaplan's voice as Day. It wasn't too distracting but I thought it was an interesting choice.
Please read this one in any version you can find. While the plot isn't earth shattering, it grabs you from the beginning to the end. Things are easy for the characters and tough choices have to be made. I love it when that happens.
P.S. This goes toward that Dystopia challenge that I forgot that I committed to. I'm sure ya'll have noticed this trend popping up in these parts. It is so deliciously fun!
P.P.S. I'm using the word "ya'll" because I'm feeling extra Texan today. I'm not quite sure why.