Marie Lu's debut YA novel, LEGEND, is the perfect dystopian novel to pull you out of your tryptophan-induced haze.
Why? The description on Marie Lu's website should be enough to convince you:
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.
Back in August, I gobbled up LEGEND in about two days.
Oh hey, cheesy Thanksgiving pun!
To be honest, I was a little leery of reading a dystopian with such buzz and so many starred reviews (was I setting myself up for disappointment?), but I wrote this post to tell you why I think it's worth the read! Without a doubt, LEGEND sucked me in, and the post-civil-war Republic that Lu created intrigued me. (For the violence-averse, be forewarned that the Republic's methods are brutal -- this is a truly villainous, sinister government.)
Primarily, though, I enjoyed the contrast between Robin-Hood-esque criminal mastermind Day and drinks-the-Republic's-Kool-Aid military darling June. Two prodigies with two opposing viewpoints and motives made for a unique read, and the teen genius element reminded me of Millicent Min and Jarod from The Pretender. I'm interested in seeing June and Day's relationship progress to a more nuanced level (LEGEND didn't provide much time for that, considering that June's hunting Day for much of it).
Looking forward in the series, I'm personally fascinated with the idea of the U.S. as we know it broken into separate, warring countries (though let's keep that safely in fiction, ok?), so I can't wait to learn even more about the neighboring "enemy" nation in the next book.
Lastly, I want to tip my hat to whoever decided to print June's and Day's narrations in different colors. I'm a fan, and I especially love that it was in my ARC, which made it feel all fancy. Just saying.
Marie, congrats on a great debut!
Are you ready to read LEGEND? It comes out November 29th, but from now through Thanksgiving Day (11:59pm EST) you have a chance to win one of two ARCs in an international giveaway right here! PLUS... each winner gets a SECRET ARC! There's something to be thankful for! (And we're thankful for the lovely Penguin folks at BEA, who provided our ARCs! We <3 Penguin!)
Have you read or reviewed LEGEND? Leave your thoughts and a review link in the comments! (Oh, and this is the first time we're using Rafflecopter instead of Google Docs for a giveaway, so let us know what you prefer!)
* For non-US readers: I know you won't be celebrating Thanksgiving next week, but all you need to do to get that Thanksgiving feeling is by eating more in one day than you ever thought you could eat...and then going back for seconds. Presto! Food coma!