Legend: A Book Review

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Legend

Marie Lu


In the past ten years there has been a great rise in strong female heroines.  Girls that find themselves in a world that is crumbling, and somehow they manage to find a way to save everything.

I remember reading plenty of books with strong female characters, but somehow this new wave of female characters are a new breed. There are positives, and there are negatives.  Too often, the male characters get swept aside in these works of fiction.  I have yet to figure out it is because authors aren't sure how to have a strong male and a strong female work side by side, or if society is trying to build girls up by pushing boys down (I pray that it is more of the former, and not the latter).

When I stumbled across Marie Lu's Legend Series, I was very intrigued.  She has found a way to write stories that include an amazingly strong female character that fits all the molds that are so popular right now in YA lit (and most popular fiction for that matter) while creating a male lead counterpart that is also strong, courageous and bold.  Win-Win.





Legend by Marie Lu  a Book Review on Reading List





Story Overview 

Legend** follows Day, a wanted criminal at only fifteen, as he tries to find a cure for a horrible plague that is threatening his poverty-stricken family. In an extremely risky attempt to break in to a hospital and get his hands on a cure, Day runs into a little trouble.  After the smoke clears a solider for the republic, Metias Iparis, is found dead, and Day is the number one suspect.

June Iparis, Metias' little sister, is devastated by the news. As the youngest agent for the Republic, she makes sure she is put in the group searching for Day, as she wants nothing more than revenge. 

While undercover, June finds herself in a crazy bar fight, and Day steps in to save her.  

The story flies through a series of events that slowly open both June and Day to the reality of the country they live and how flawed it is.  They realize sides are not so easy to pick in a struggling country that is fighting within itself and with the world. 


Personal Likes

The pace of this book was crazy, I.COULD.NOT.PUT.IT.DOWN!  And with three kids to take care of... well this is a dangerous thing.  Needless to say, I stayed up late to zoom through it, as I had to know what happened!

The plot was crafted in a way that, while I had some good ideas how things would unravel, there were enough twists and turns along the way that I never got bored.  A sign of a well thought out plot is always on my like list.

The characters were extremely interesting.  They were unique compared to anything else I have read.  Yes, as Day and June trade of telling the story, they can be seen as fairly similar, but they each had their own history and dreams.  Over all they were greatly put together, especially considering this is the first book of a trilogy - great development, yet enough left unexplained to draw the reader into the next book.


Legend by Marie Lu  a Book Review on Reading List


Personal Dislikes

This book is full of violence.  As a dystopian, science fiction, I knew there would be some violence, it's part of the genre.  And a good amount of the violence was pivotal to advancing the plot.  I just wish there would have been a little less, especially with the Commander's scenes. 

There are also so hints at some relationships that I could have done without, but only a very in depth read would have revealed in this first book of the series. 

This last minor dislike will show my age in this genre for sure, but there was a ton of slang and disrespectful language (no swearing, per se...).  Again, it totally fit the set and scene, even the characters, so I understand it, I just wish it wasn't there... I know bad dislike.



Reasons to Read


If you are a parent of a young teen, consider this as a book to read and share - rumor has it this will be a major movie in 2016... You will want to have your voice in on this one I am sure.   This book takes a look at government and power but it also digs deep into the ideas of who to trust with your secrets and the importance of family loyalty.  What would you do to save your family?  How far would you go to keep a family member's secret hidden?

I even have a few friends who are high school teachers, and this is showing up more and more in high school reading lists.  

Do not let the YA genre scare you away if you have past the age where you can easily walk into the YA section.  Legend falls into YA category simply because of the ages of the heroine and hero - it will keep adults just as engaged, promise (as long as you like action books).

Why Christians might want to be aware of this one: This is a mainstream hit - so there is a good chance that if you serve with teens, this could be a book they read... it's a great way to discuss the need we have to be part of a family.  More importantly (highlight, as Spoilers are included) part of why this book gained so much attention, Metias is gay, and Thomas seemed to be interested in him.  While this relationship is hinted at in this first book, the series clears this up more and more throughout the series.  With society allowing these relationships to be mainstream and commonplace, we need to be able to discuss it, civilly with our kids so that we, as the church, don't push them away sounding judgmental.  


Reading List Rating

Five heart rating on Reading List

I have to give this book a five heart rating.  All of my dislikes are minor, and the likes totally outweighed them for me.  If I had all the time in the world to read, I'd probably reread this one a few times.  









My Suggested Audience

Fans of fast paced action would love this one.  

Dystopian and science fiction readers, you need to pick this one up.  Seriously, stop reading what ever you have on your table, and pick this one... in fact grab all three books. 

If you are a parent of a young teen, consider this as a book to read and share - rumor has it this will be a major movie in 2016... You will want to have your voice in on this one I am sure. I saw young teen, because this is grabbing the attention of thirteen and fourteen year olds.  I would suggest waiting until at least fifteen to pick this one up, but I know that is probably not going to happen.  I would guess that when this one makes it to film, it will be lucky to squeak by with a PG-13 rating... just too much violence and political mind games going on. 

Yes you will find these books in the YA section of the bookstores or library, but if you can get past the age of the characters, this could easy be in the regular science fiction aisles.  



"You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time." #Legend @Marie_Lu @Reading_List1


Are you a fan of action and fast paced books?  How much violence do you think is needed for an action book, when does it become too much? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!


Marissa @ Reading List






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***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.







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