Legend by Marie Lu has officially become a legend in my mind. From the very first page I was drawn into this story. First, a brief explanation of the setting:It is the future. The United States is long gone and most suspect that it never even existed at all. Instead, it is broken up into two sections: The Republic and The Colonies. These two sections are at war and each side is determined that they will win. The Republic is ruled by the Elector Primo, who is all-powerful and does not need to run in order to get elected. Yes, people, he can self-elect himself. Craziness. Anyway, all the children of The Republic must take a test called The Trial,which consists of an interview portion, a written portion, and a physical test, when they turn ten. Those who fail are doomed to poverty while those who pass are destined for greatness. Because many don't pass, the majority of the "sectors" are riddled with poverty-stricken hobos. There is another thing that haunts this "great nation" too: A horrible plague that infects many of those in the poor sectors that can't afford medicine or vaccinations. It's just a coincidence that the plague is only in the poor areas, isn't it? Maybe this Republic isn't as great as it seems...
Now, a summary of some of the main characters. Actually, only Day and June because they're the coolest:
Enter Day, the Republic's most notorious criminal. He steals, gambles, and is an overall awesome person.
Enter June, the Republic's greatest prodigy, their perfect little soldier. She is bathed in riches, attention, and a good education. But she's not exactly content. Her courses are never hard enough and when she tries to perform at her highest level, she gets in trouble. She, too, is an awesome person.
Now, why this book was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING:
First, let's start off with the two point of views. One chapter was told in Day's point of view, then the next was told in June's point of view. Doing this allows the reader to see all sides of the story and to really see what June and Day are like. I'm very glad she did this. On the outside, Day seems like a no-good criminal who is not to be trusted and should be killed immediately. Seeing inside of his mind, we get to experience the way he is thinking and see that he is not only what he appears to be. June would be another completely misunderstood character if this story was not told from her point of view. On the outside, she seems to be a rich, bratty, snotty girl with no regard for the rules and a cold human being. Being able to see inside her mind, we can see how smart and lovely she really is. Everything she thinks makes sense, unlike some of the other YA heroines that I can think of...*cough, cough Hush, Hush* Also, there are times when June and Day aren't together that are necessary to the story line and we would not get to see that if it were not double sided.
The heroine really made this book spectacular. June, the military prodigy, is said to be a genius and she follows through. Yes, people, she really is smart, just like people say she is. They don't praise her and build her up just to have a wimpy, stupid girl. She's actually smart, strong, and awesome.
Day also made this book amazing. He was good-looking (always a good thing, right?) and he was smart, sweet, and tough. He wasn't some wimpy guy who was afraid to take risks. His entire life was a risk and he tried to do the best that he could. He tried to help his brother when he could barely help himself. Just an all-around good guy if you ignore all of the crime and dirt.
From the first page, I could not put this book down. Literally. I just stayed up pretty much all night (even though I had school the next day) and read it until I fell asleep reading it. The story line is so awesome and the mystery is good. I also waited in anticipation for the moment where June and Day meet, the moment they talk, the moment they kiss. Everything between them was so precious, whether it was in the middle of a battle or just sitting there.
In most books with dual points of views, I always like one of them better. I skim through the part that I didn't like until I came to the section of the character that I like. In Legend, I gobbled up every word of both points of view and loved every minute of it. This is one of the best books I have read in a very long time.