Wednesday, January 15, 2014

It's Not the Most Original YA Dystopian on the Block, But So What?

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

June Iparis and Daniel "Day" Wing are both 15-year-olds living in a city that used to be one of the biggest, most glamorous metropolises on the west coast of The United States.  Now, Los Angeles is part of The Republic, a crumbling country that's always at war with its neighbors, The Colonies.  Military might is essential for The Republic's victory and June was born to lead great armies.  Hailing from one of the wealthiest, most important families in the area, she's a military prodigy, destined to take her place in the highest circles of Republican society.  Smart, beautiful and confident to the point of cockiness, June's got the whole world at her feet.  Day is June's polar opposite.  The city's most notorious outlaw, he's made an art form out of his rebellion and loathing of a government he sees as corrupt.  He may not be the most dangerous criminal on the streets, but he's definitely the most wanted.  Lucky for him, no one knows what he really looks like, let alone when—or where—he'll strike next.

When Metias, June's beloved older brother, is murdered, Day becomes the primary suspect.  In her grief and anger, June vows to see the criminal hanged.  As June tracks him across the city, she begins to understand that with Day, not everything is as it seems.  But is he telling the truth about Metias' death?  And if he is, what does that mean for June?  While doggedly searching for answers, June must decide who she can trust—not just with the truth, but also with her heart.

I read a lot of YA dystopians, some of which intrigue and entertain me, some of which do not.  Legend, the first book in Marie Lu's best-selling series, happens to fall in the former category.  It's not because the plot's overly original (it's not) or because the writing's breathtakingly beautiful (nope) or because the characters are so incredibly real (uh uh)—and yet, the story's very compelling.  I flew through the pages, practically spraining a wrist as I raced through the book to find out what happened next.  It's just intense and exciting like that.  In the end, I really didn't care that Legend felt like lots of other novels in this genre, I just enjoyed the read.  And, truth be told, I kind of love it when that happens.  

(Readalikes:  Prodigy and Champion by Marie Lu)

Grade:


If this were a movie, it would be rated:


for brief, mild language (no F-bombs) and violence

To the FTC, with love:  Another library fine find

4 comments:

  1. I just read this over the holidays and I agree with you. I don't even know why I liked it so much, because the plot seemed familiar. It wasn't anything new. But it was so catchy, for a book. I've got Prodigy waiting for me at the library so I'm excited to pick that up.

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  2. Sometimes it is fun to read a book that is fun even though it isn't overly original. :)

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  3. How funny that THIS is the book you most recently reviewed...I JUST picked this book up from the library today while i was browsing. sounds like an awesome series :)

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