Title: Legend (Legend #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Published: November 29th 2011 by Putnam Juvenile
Purchase: Book Depository | Amazon
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.
Legend was like a popcorn movie, entertaining and action packed but completely forgettable. Following the dystopia formula, it is a story set in a plague ridden, corrupt society following two kickass, strong, attractive characters.
June is tough. Immediately following the murder of her brother she goes on the hunt for his killer. She’s observant, calculating, defiant and good at masking her pain over her brother’s death. Day is daring, a bit flirty, determined and very caring towards the people he loves. They sound like characters I’d love but they’re so flat and boring, I felt little towards them. They’re physically strong, stealthy, intelligent and beautiful. It was eye roll worthy.
Their attraction and relationship progresses annoyingly quickly and while I liked the physical interactions (that sounds a bit pervy, doesn’t it?) between them, they just seem so meh. June and Day constantly journey through the poor sector, they have no home and there’s limited supplies they can transport. Aren’t their breaths supposed to be a little bad, their skin dry and hair a tangled mess? It was irritating and unrealistic every time the characters described each other as beautiful. Despite the terrible circumstances surrounding their relationship, no anger, hurt or betrayal is really portrayed. It made them seem like dolls or robots and their relationship felt superficial.
See, I appreciated the world Marie Lu creates, she doesn’t shy away from the violence or the decay of society. She created this visual scenery of decrepit buildings, spreading sickness and suffering people, the vast inequality between the rich and the poor and the unjust enforcement of laws but the perfection that is June and Day is so distracting from this.
Though the story is predictable and the conflict can be seen from miles away, Marie Lu definitely makes her characters suffer, surprisingly so at times. By the end of the book she tore their cardboard cut traits enough for me to consider reading the second book. Legend was entertaining if anything and if I didn’t think too much about it, I enjoyed it, but it was still very disappointing.