The Wednesday Review: Legend by Marie Lu

For those of you who read last week’s review, the one on Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, and saw the ravings and quotes and rainbows about the book I read, I will just tell you this now before I scare you away.

    This will not be the same kind of review.

    First of all, this book is in entirely different class than that of last week. This is a fiction novel, not a writing manual. This means I have to consider all the finer points of this piece of literature. There is the plot, the characters, the setting, the tension, the structure, the writing style and one has to consider the genre that they are reading. Just for clarification, this book, to my knowledge, is a mystery + romance novel. If it was supposed to be a thriller, I must report to say that it is not in the same league as Robert Ludlum. However, this is a YA novel, meaning the writer is writing for a different audience, basically teenagers. Teenagers these days just seem to be looking for some action filled romance these days. See the Twilight series or the 50 Shades of Gray series?

    Of course, I’m not trying to categorize teenagers and say all of them go for this kind of mushy-gushy, generic, all-passion and little-understanding kind of novels. I happen to be one of the people who do not appreciate such stories. However, Legend does not disappoint.

    It is a good book, in its own way. It’s similar to the Hunger Games in setting, as we are in the United States, but in a time when the land has been fractured and split into The Republic and the Colonies. The plot is pretty standard, boy from the poor sectors, girl from the rich sector, girl hunts guy, boy gets girl, girl finds out who boy is, boy loses girl and girl saves boy. Reading the book, there are not really any gaping plot holes or settings, and Lu does not leave us in the dark about these things. There are plenty of conspiracies, and I did call this a mystery, but as to what that is, I won’t spoil it for you.

    If there is one aspect of this book I must complain about is the characters. Our protagonists and narrators, June and Day, are both geniuses in their own aspect. June is like a morally obligated Sherlock Holmes, and Day is a combination of Mr. Clean and Tony Stark without the money. I personally love how intelligent these two are, especially for their ages, but, these characters are TOO PERFECT.

    First of all, Day, who has been living on the streets, has been an outcast of society, his family is in danger, and he’s been screwing up the Republic for 5 years and HE’S WAY TOO DANG NICE. He is too virtuous for someone in the slums. Sure, he is a strong boy, and of course, a teenage novel must have, he’s drop-dead gorgeous, but he should not be some sort of rosy boy-scout who everyone loves because he has no flaws. He flirts with a girl once. He bets on a bar fight once. Other than that though, this boy is some angel who has everyone to mind, does not think of himself, and always has someone else’s interests at heart.

    I love this kind of person in real life. I really do. However, in a novel I want to see real people who I can believe in, the ones who are honestly frustrated and show a little dirt. Day is not that kind of character. June is only a little better. She’s becomes a deceiver, but she is too pure to let that deceive Day. She is sincere enough to get a well-worn criminal to believe in her. I’m sorry, I don’t buy it.

    Still a pleasure to read, but it could have been more. For that fact alone I give it 3 Stars.

    I think there may be a sequel, which will hopefully clean up the plot that was not tied up at the end of this first book. I will probably end up reading that book, once I have some money to spend. It looks promising.

    Friday is the beginning of the novel-writing series! Stay tuned!

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