I couldn't wait to get my hands on this book and I wasn't disappointed! The early hype was completely on target and well deserved. I love my dystopian novels, but was suffering a little hangover from over-doing it this year. With that frame of mind, I had a couple of reservations going in which were immediately squashed after the first few pages.
The Scoop: (Goodreads)
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.
Ahhh...June and Day. You guys are great! So, here's the scoop: June is a prodigy on the fast track to become a leader of the Republic. She is the newest inductee to my KAH (Kick Ass Heroines) club. (Minimal angst and whining, maximum butt kicking and smarts.) In university, she's a little Doogie Howser, who's too young and too smart to really make any friends. Her only buddy is her brother, Metias, and since they are orphans, he is a parental figure to her as well.
|NPH, you rock, but you can't climb a building in 1.5 seconds like June...|
Day is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks who has been on the run from the Republic for years and is their Enemy Number One (you see where this is headed, right?) Day is resourceful, smart and funny. He tries to take care of his family from afar without being detected, while simultaneously undermining the Republic.
Then, (no spoilers here, you know you read it in the blurb....) Metias is killed. (Although I secretly wanted this to be a lie throughout the whole story - maybe some Republic fakery - and hoped he would pop up in the end, "Tada! Just kidding, June!") Allegedly, Day is the perpetrator of this heinous crime, thus pitting June and Day against each other Romeo and Juliet style.
The heat is on as June is tapped to bring Day to justice and hi-jinks ensue. June and Day's relationship (you knew there would be one, right?) develops slowly and naturally out of mutual understanding, not some mystic lightening bolt of destiny, much to my delight. (You know I hate the Mystic Lightening Bolt of Destiny..)
|Ahhh. Mystical Lightening Bolt of Destiny you bring people together for no apparent reason and I despise you.|
I loved Lu's fast-paced writing style. The book is written from both main characters' POV and although this is sometimes irksome in other novels, I appreciated seeing the other side of the coin and I think it worked well here. I've read some criticism regarding stylistic similarities between the two POV's, but (full disclosure) I actually listened to Legend on Audible, so no problems for me since two different voice actors were featured.
As I said earlier, I was worried that I was a little dystopian-ed out, but Legend brought it all back to life for me. Lu has written a well-tailored novel about worlds and people I genuinely care about (you should have seen me listening in the car and yelling at my radio like a crazy person when Day or June was in trouble!) Sign me up for the sequel, stat!