Wednesday, February 15, 2012

LEGEND by Marie Lu

November 29th, 2011 - Putnam
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.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

I had a B&N gift card from Christmas, and with much decision, I finally purchased this a little while back. It got pushed beneath other books in my TBR pile, and didn't come up until recently, but it finally did.

I've heard so much hype about this, and I was really excited, especially since the author is rep'd by the literary agent Kristin Nelson, whose blog I stalk obsessively, and you should too. So basically, I was happy. I sat down, took the jacket off (I do that because I'm OCD when it comes to books, and so I don't let "le precious" covers get dirty/scratched/pooped on by birds/burned by dragons/etc.), and prepared to read. At first I was like:

It was an off world, where America was a republic, and was severed between east and west. In the east, the good ol' Republic, and in the west, a rebel movement called "the Colonies". Immediately, I was caught by the author's political side to the story (a war torn America where rations of food, water, and electricity are at the bare minimum). But I also thought it was a little ridiculous that this was (yet again) another dystopian where there's a virus ravaging the nation. Now, I'm all for zombie-viruses. I mean, look at Carrie Ryan's THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH series. That's cool and all. But this isn't a zombie novel. It's supposed to be a realistic dystopian. So I was a little ticked with that. But I moved on, because I thought it was going to get better. Just one cliche, right?

Then the perspective moved from Day, the criminal, to this girl, June. I really liked her voice, but I felt that her situation was so cliche, as well. Her parents happened to be killed in a car crash years earlier, and she was getting in trouble at her school, and her uptight, who's super protective, comes to get her. What ensues is his taking her back home, during what seemed like a very forced conversation. It was also, again, cliche. It went something like this:

Older brother: "I was worried sick about you."
June: "It's fine. Come on."
Older brother: "I was at my job that I'm now going to give too much of a detailed name to, so the reader knows where I work and what I do, when I suddenly got a phone call from the school. Why do you keep on getting in trouble."
June: "I'm sorry. I love you. Don't be mad."

It was really annoying.

To give some backstory on how I read, I'll explain.... I swear I was born to be a tough literary agent or editor or something like that, because I'm a tough reader that don't take no crap. If a story/story's writing grabs me in 10 pages, I keep reading. If it doesn't, I put it down. I go until page 30, and if it lets go then, I put it down. I go until page 100, and if it lets go then, I put it down. After that, I don't stop until it's finished, unless it becomes like a STAB-MYSELF-THIS-BOOK-IS-SO-HORRENDOUS book. This book was an exception to my rule because I'd just heard so many good things. I was excited.

But I had to keep forcing myself to read. I read many books at a time, and the story just wasn't grabbing me, nor the writing, and so I went on to other books. I kept reading in short stunts, until I just stopped at around page 100, and realized.....

I really don't like saying bad things about books, especially when the book is a debut, but I really am kind of angry that this book has gotten so much praise. I don't understand it. Liked I said, it was full of cliches, the dialogue felt forced, but there were other things too. There was barely any description of the Republic. There was light grazing of the cityscape, and then there was some description of a school, but there was never any real gripping information about the world they lived in. One tiny tiny tiny thing that also annoyed me, was how June's brother Metias is killed. I think in the book, it says that a knife was thrown at his shoulder... Wait a second. He's supposed to be a BA lieutenant kind of guy for this war-monger society, and he dies from a shoulder wound?

Alright, well, my negative rant is over. Again, I don't like saying mean things about debut books, but I seriously do wonder how in the world it got so much acclaim.

See ya on Friday!


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