Friday, 14 February 2014

Review || Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu ★★★★☆
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.

I've got my new rating system firmly in mind as I write this review. So with that in mind, I think this is probably a rounded up 3.5 star book. It was good, don't get me wrong, and I enjoyed the heck out of it, but it never quite broke into really good territory.

That said, I did basically read most of this in one night. So do what you will with that information.

Legend has been on my radar for a while now, but I was recently reading something on The Midnight Garden about the author and she mentioned that she had been inspired by Les Miserables for this book.

Hold the phone. Stop the presses. Shut down everything. Les Mis is like my favourite musical of all time. (Shush, I haven't had the heart to brave the actual book yet. There's a reason its fans affectionately call it "The Brick".) But no, really, my sister and I grew up on the 10th anniversary edition of the musical and it is definitely a formative piece of my childhood.

So with that information in mind, Legend shuffled its way up to the top of my tbr pile quite quickly.

That said, this book still had some flaws, but they were all flaws I'm willing to forgive because it was still an enjoyable read.

The chapters in the book alternate perspectives, and I've seen people complain about how June and Day didn't have different voices. If I reflect critically on this, I don't think those people are wrong. Thankfully, I was engrossed enough in the story that this didn't bother me.

Also, I have to gripe just a little about the insta-love. I'm more of a slow-burn romance kind of girl, so insta-love usually puts me right off. Insta-lust, I can buy, but this is YA not New Adult. Sigh. That said, again, I'm willing to dole out a lot of forgiveness on the grounds that I liked this book. But still.

Because you guys, government conspiracies. I am so in. Granted, the twists and turns this book took weren't particularly original or shocking, but I still liked watching the pieces fall into place. I liked the way Lu handed out snippets of information about this world. How I grew to understand exactly what was going on here and how I started to suspect some of the why. Some of the violent parts of this book were just so brutal they actually genuinely shocked me.

And this book did a great job tugging at my heartstrings with the familial relations. Parents and siblings and ugh, I nearly cried several times during this book--including once right at the beginning. (I always count crying as a good sign!)

That said, this didn't really feel like a complete book. At just over 300 pages, it clocks in short compared to some of the stuff I've been reading lately. And I understand why it was left off the way it did, but it leaves too many things open to stand on its own. It is so obviously part of a series. And while that doesn't particularly bother me as I have Prodigy sitting right next to it, ready to go, I think that would've annoyed me had I read this without the sequel queued up.

All in all, I'm really excited to continue this series and see where it goes. (And I kind of need an Enjolras equivalent in the Patriots or something, yes/yes?)