Legend: A Dystopian Romeo and Juliet (kind of)

There was nothing wrong with Legend. That’s not a huge endorsement of the book, or a compelling first sentence, but it is my primary feeling after finishing this debut novel by Marie Lu. The narrating characters have distinct voices and interesting back story. There is a clear, and at times compelling, plot. The dystopian American landscape is intricately imagined, if not a little cliched. What I can’t figure out is if nothing was wrong, why did it take me more than two thirds of the book to get into it?

I might be reading too many of these kinds of books, but the setting felt very familiar to me. Society where you’re whole life depends on the results on a test all citizens take at ten. Day, the first narrator in the book and a poor boy from the slums, failed the test and instead of being pushed to the margins of society (or worse!) he devotes his life to enacting criminal revenge of the Republic. June, the other narrator, is a privileged girl who scored the only perfect score in history. She is enveloped in the high ranks of this military state, with the supreme motivation of protecting the society she’s flourished in.

What could these two have in common? Aside from their backgrounds, almost everything. What happens when both of their motives for revenge collide pushing the two characters together and on opposing sides? My title should give you a clue to this.

As I said before, this novel didn’t thrill me. When it comes to this type of book, I liked The Hunger Games Series and even Divergent more. The end of the novel did manage to catch my interest though, so I do have some hope for the next books in the series.

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