If you’re going to write you need to read. It sounds obvious, but I guess it isn’t to a lot of people. My ears are always open to the next “it” book, and this time is was Legend, by Marie Lu.
Usually, when a book gets buzzed about before it’s even released it’s a no brainer. It’s a YA book, which I love reading. I’m writing an YA book so it would be kind of weird if I didn’t. It’s also another dystopian YA book. Yes, though dystopians are the new Vampire, I don’t feel as though it’s overdone because they are all. so. different. And Legend did not disappoint.
The biggest different between Legend and the other dystopians I’ve read (Hunger Games, Divergent are the two I’m talking specifically about) is that it is first person POV of two characters. There are two reasons why I love that. First, I ALWAYS want to be in the male lead’s head. ALWAYS. ESPECIALLY in Four’s head (Read Divergent. It’s ah-maz-ing) and beyond YA dystopians, even back in Twilight I wanted to know what was going on in Edward’s head.
The other reason why I’m SO glad Ms. Lu went this direction is because she HAD TO. This is the first story where there were two TRULY main characters One could argue that in Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments that’s the case with Jace and Clary (which is told in third person subjective multiple viewpoints) but I never feel “left out” of Jace and Clary’s head. I’m happy in their third person POV world. There would be no story if we weren’t IN June’s head and at the same time IN Day’s head. Much of that comes from their intelligence. Which leads into my next point:
You never read a book and think “oh the main character isn’t smart” but Ms. Lu went and told us HEY these kids are REALLY REALLY SUPER SMART! They’re smarter than you! And the best part of that was that they still sounded like kids. I think that is my one irk with a lot of YA fiction. They don’t sound like teenagers. (Bella’s vocabulary in the Twilight Saga, puts my daily word usage to shame.)
I love that it wasn’t drawn out. It takes place over a very short period of time (I think it ends up being a couple weeks at most). She could have added more content, but she really went with the cause and effect of ONE event and made it into a full length novel. Bravo.
The cons (because there have to be some). It got wordy at times, mainly when in June’s head. Yes, it can be argued that it’s because she’s a super smart fifteen years old, but if I find myself skipping over lines then the author is doing too good of a job. Next: I haven’t yet been captured by Day and June’s relationship. It’s not necessarily fair to call this a con though. The Hunger Games is just on a way high pedestal to compare to other books, and as for Divergent — well, Four is to me what Edward is to millions of Twi-hards. I heart me some Four/Tris-ness.
Overall it was a great book. There are some violent scenes, but none that rival the bloodbath at the cornucopia in THG, or the Dauntless training sessions. I know readers were bothered by those things in both books. Though it has it’s moments, in general it’s not fast paced, but it’s written in such a fashion (no chapters, just the time in 24H format) that it’s always moving. I read it in three days and for me, no book should ever take me more than five.