Legend - by Marie Lu

"exciting plot, great dialogue, many surprising turns of events"

Legend by Marie Lu is set in a dystopian future United States which has split into the Republic and the Colonies. The two main characters, June and Day, come from two completely different lives. June was born into an elite family in a wealthy district of the Republic and has become a prodigy trained for success in the highest rankings of the Republic military. Unlike June, Day was born into the slums and became the Republic's most wanted criminal, although his intentions are for the good of himself and his struggling family. These two characters cross paths when June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day is the one blamed for this incident. This begins June's mission to find Day and avenge her brother's death. But in a shocking turn of events, they both together discover the truth of events that brought them together and the sinister lengths that their country will go to conceal it from them.

When I first picked up the book, I was thinking that this was another one of those books that I will have to force myself to read and keep myself from falling asleep over. To my surprise, as soon as I started reading the first twenty pages or so, I found the book really hard to put down. On one day, I read half the book because of the continuous rising action and interesting, twisting plot throughout the whole book. Once I was finished, I felt satisfied with the book and began searching to see if there was another book that followed the book Legend. I found out that there is one but it won't be out until January 29, 2013.

I liked the style the author used to write the novel. Marie Lu used switching dialogue and points of view between June and Day in each chapter. I think this writing style connected the reader to the characters really well because it let the reader see both sides of the story and share the same feelings as both June and Day experienced.

I think Marie Lu also did a great job with character and plot development. In the opening chapters, she clearly established the positions of June and Day in the future United States' society. In the first chapter, Lu distinguishes Day as a poor slum boy who is forced to commit crimes in order to keep his family safe and stable. In the second chapter, Lu reveals June's character as that of a prodigy who is the top of her class at Drake University as a fifteen year old senior. I enjoyed the way Lu constructed the plot with not a single boring area and the continually rising action. There were also twists I didn't expect to occur. I was disappointed, though, about how the climax occurred very suddenly and was followed by a very short amount of falling action. The novel had a happy resolution but it also left a cliff hanger to keep the readers wondering what will happen next.

I was pleased by the way that Marie Lu focused more on the plot and conflict of the story and did not focus too much on the romance between June and Day. She described briefly every once in a while their love for each other but gratefully, she didn't go to in depth with it like several other teen and young adult novels do. Novels can get quite boring and hard to read when all the characters are doing is making out with each other.

Overall, I thought novel was a great read. It had an exciting plot, great dialogue between the main characters, a hint of romance, and many surprising turns of events. Marie Lu's Legend kept my attention the whole time and made it hard for me to set the book down which is really hard to do to me. I would recommend this book to any middle-school or high-school student who is into reading and action.

   - Gus A.