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Confessions of a Bibliophile

An aspiring writer and bookstore employee with an incredibly bad book-buying habit... I'll read just about anything (so long as it will appeal to my interests in some way), but my main loves are YA and sci-fi/fantasy. I also like quirky history and science books and will book nerd. A lot. Currently in the process of weeding out my personal library. Find me on Twitter @princess_starr or check out my YA book, Snowfall, on Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/240027
Legend - Marie Lu As I mentioned in my Divergent review, the dystopic YA trend worries me as it feels like just another venue to shove romance in the reader’s face while capitalizing on something cool and interesting and ignore the possibilities of the setting. So, I was apprehensive coming into this book. It’s not OMG MUST READ NOW, but what Lu does with her set-up and setting intrigued me enough to possibly pick up the next volume. The setting feels like this is the kind of book Divergent should have been. Yes, we’re a post-apocalyptic version of Los Angeles, and the landmarks and street names are used, but they’re more mutated and used sparingly. The contrast between the elite world of June and the slums are clearly defined, and it feels like this sort of world could happen. My big problem with the setting is that most people don’t believe that America was a “united” country, but a lot of the state names are still similar. Also, there’s no real scope of how the States have been divided and split; Day talks about going to Arizona or New Mexico, and one of the Colonies’ town in New Orleans. I would have liked to have seen a bit more of this, but because most of the action takes place in LA, so hopefully there’ll be an expansion in the next book. Also, some of the slang and dialect, particularly the slum dialect Day uses, felt quite nature in its use and not overtly OMGSOFUTURISTIC. Of the two narratives, I liked Day’s storyline a little less than June’s. I got the sense of his situation, and how much he cares about his family, but I didn’t get the idea of how he helps the other inhabitants of the slums. I do like that he cares about Tess, and I liked how their relationship progressed. (Also, I liked his little flirting/getting information from Kaede when they first meet.) I also liked that he wasn’t trying to give the finger to the government, and that he had his own means to take care of. However, his narration style’s really flat, and I wished I could have gotten more interactions with his family to get a larger sense of that closeness.June’s interesting in her characterization. When I read the blurb, I thought “Oh, boy, another elite heroine who secretly hates her government and yearns for more. Joy.” This might make me sound callous, but I like the fact that she starts off as a super-soldier and that her whole mission isn’t “Well, the government makes me do this.” She does have the touch of the “the tough cop who breaks the rules and lives on the edge,” especially with her opening dismissal from college, but I liked seeing that she could actually be a badass and not just an informed one. However, like with Day, I would have liked to have seen more scenes with her brother, as that’s the catalyst for June’s mission. I got that the two were close, but I didn’t really get the full extent of things.The back-and-forth between June and Day was the best thing about the book, if only because they’re not super-special spies. They make mistakes, not try to one-up each other in feats of badassery, and once the truth is revealed, they do actually sympathize with each other. The only misstep I have with the book is the introduction of the romance angle. I could see Day being interested in June, but I couldn’t see the possibility of a mutual attraction right away. June being sympathetic, yes, and I could see her protecting Tess, but not falling for Day by the end of the book. The plotting of the book is a little obvious, and there’s some elements that Lu brings into the book never properly explains. As is de riguer with YA books of the sci-fi/paranormal/fantasy type, this is of course, a series, so I’m hoping there’ll be an explanation in the next book. (Standalone books don’t have to be regulated to contemporary YA!)Legend is a good book. It’s not spectacular, and the plot moves a little too quickly, but it’s a fun read. I’m interested in where the series is going to go next, so I’ll keep an eye out on these things.