Saturday, April 28, 2012

Legend: Cue the Mission Impossible theme song

By Marie Lu
Hardcover, 305 pages
Putnam Juvenile, November 29, 2011

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, 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. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks 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 their country will go to keep its secrets.

I had the theme song to Mission Impossible running through my head the entire read. And like the movie, sometimes you didn't know what was happening but it didn't matter (too much) because you were just enjoying the scenes unfold.

Marie Lu's debut novel brings you non-stop action from alternating point of views from the murder suspect (Day) to his pursuer (June). Lu seamlessly weaves the story from each perspective so it felt like I was watching the scene through each character's eyes. Day and June are both genius masterminds who surpass unbelievable odds, know all the right fighter moves, and can survive a 3 story high fall. Some of you might be rolling you're eyes right now, and I don't blame you. It is a bit over the top, but sometimes you're just in the mood for that super-genius impossible mission...which I just happened to be in. 

One aspect I enjoyed about this cat-and-mouse-chase is that it makes you consider what you believe. June believes Day is the murderer, but when she meets him, she can't reconcile who he is with who she believes he is. Which lead to the question: Is it possible for people to overcome preconceived beliefs about others?

I appreciated that Lu's answer to that question wasn't so immediately resolved because answers like that one aren't so easy to figure out.

The book's main focus is definitely on the relationship at hand. If you're looking for a story more focused on dystopia, try Collin's Hunger Games, Westerfeld's Uglies, or Roth's Divergent. While I enjoyed the relationship entanglement, I was hoping for more background information. What tore up the United States? Who are the Republic? Who are the Colonies? (Is land the only reason for their dispute?) What does each side stand for/believe? How did Los Angeles turn to ruin? There are suggestions here and there but it would have made the story feel more alive if I knew what happened to society.

It's an entertaining read that will keep you turning the page and hungry for more!

Rated 4 Delicious Bites!

Legend is now available at booksellers everywhere.

Prodigy, the second book in the seriesis expected to come out January 2013! I can't wait!

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