Second Chance Sunday – Legend by Marie Lu

Later this week I will post my review for Prodigy, the follow-up to Marie Lu’s book Legend. Since that was scheduled I thought it would be a great idea to use today’s Second Chance Sunday to review Legend.

Second Chance Sunday – Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Published: November 29, 2011
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five-stars

Once unknown as the western coast of United States, the Republic is now a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors, the Colonies.Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a military prodigy. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic's highest circles.Born into the slums of the Republic's Lake Sector, 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. Now, caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June tries desperately 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 to which their country will go to keep its secrets.Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, Marie Lu has written an exhilarating first novel that is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Legend is a story about a girl and boy that have been living in two different worlds. One is the privileged, “smart” girl that is destined for a high ranking in the Republic’s government. The other is a street rat that does everything he can to take the Republic down and save his family who are the most important people in the world to him. He has been classified as “useless” while she is classified as “important”. They have no idea who the other is other than through rumors and gossip until there is an incident that will forever connect them. I know, I know, it sounds like it has been done, a cliché plot. But trust me when I tell you Legend is anything but cliché. It is a journey of discovery and love and family and truth.

In all honesty, I was skeptical going into this book. I had heard a lot of great things about it, hardly anything bad, and I was scared it was going to end up being like a hyped up movie that just didn’t live up to expectations, that the plot was going to be the same thing done a million times in a million different ways. That added to the fact that I had read a few duds prior, I was just waiting for disaster to strike. Luckily for me, Lu didn’t let me down and Legend was just what everyone had said it would be and more.

I must admit in the beginning I was reading it and hoping for failure. I was intrigued by the Republic (a variation on Los Angeles’ slum sections, rich sections and government sections) and found the setting to be very believable. Within its confines, though, I wasn’t all that inclined to care about Day and his problems or June and her poor little rich girl lifestyle. They seemed to be a little too contrived which didn’t go with the realism of the background. But true to life, the more I found out about both of these amazing characters the more I wanted for them. I wanted Day to be safe and to save his family. I wanted June to take her blinders off and see what was right in front of her eyes, that the Republic wasn’t what it seemed. I truly wanted them to succeed.

To me, June may have been 15 but she was a child. She believed in something with her whole heart because she was told it was true. She never questioned it or sought any kind of answers because what she was told was all she needed to know. That is until things didn’t start to add up, make any sense. Slowly the blinders came off and June blossomed before my eyes. She became a heroine and that made her even more likable.

Now Day, Day was a mystery to me. Like I said I wasn’t all that enthralled with him at the start. I didn’t really want to know his back story. He was an Aladdin type to me, a character that had been done. But as the book progressed he captured me. Because really all he was was a kid that loved his family and wanted them safe. He wasn’t some sinister boy trying to fool the government. He was just who he was. He was a smart boy with a goal.

The twists and turns in this novel had me riveted and at the end of my seat. My heart was pounding in my chest during the end and I wanted to finish and let the story last forever at the same time. Lu totally captured me with her incredibly woven tale of street punk meets a girl of privilege and made it seem like a story I had never read before. If you like action with a bit of mystery and a side of romance, this book is for you. I promise it won’t disappoint.

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