I recently finished reading Legend by Marie Lu as part of my Bout of Books 8.0 read-a-thon. There has been a lot of praise for Lu's writing over the past few months, and with the final book being released in November I figured it was time to see what all of the hype was about. I gave this book three out of five stars on Goodreads.
Legend is the first in the dystopian trilogy chronicling the lives of Day and June who live in the Republic (formerly the west coast of the United States). At first, Day and June's geographic locations are the only thing drawing them together. Day is the poor, vagabond enemy of the Republic and June is their prodigy military student from a prominent family. Legend details the personal and political circumstances that bring the two protagonists together.
Overall, this was a good book and I have already placed a hold at my library for the second book in the series, Prodigy. Legend didn't blow me away, probably because I have read so many YA dystopian series since the genre was popularized by the Hunger Games in early 2012, but I did enjoy reading it. I was hesitant when I first heard it was written from two different character perspectives. Neil Schusterman used this format in Unwind and I really disliked it because it was so repetitive. But Lu did an excellent job using the two person perspective to create a whole picture of life in the Republic and gave an equal footing to both protagonists perspectives. The developing relationship between Day and June, and the plot in general, was a little predictable but there were a few scenes that shocked me (ending of Part 1 in particular) that made the book just different enough to hold my attention.
The lack of exposition regarding the Republic vs. Colony world both Day and June live in was the main flaw of the book. I did not read any previous reviews or the actual synopsis on the book jacket so I had no idea why the Republic and the Colonies were at war, or how long the war had lasted. Without the background information of the world that Day and June live in I had very little sympathy toward the Republic their military dictatorship.
Legend was published in 2013 by Speak.