#WednesdayYA - Legend by Marie Lu

Yeah, I already finished the Wednesday YA book club pick of January. I’m awesome. I’m not, I just like assuming I am. Wednesday YA is a book club made by Misty from the Bookrat, and Liz from Consumed by Books. They realized they had a lot of the same unread YA books so they decided to pick one they had in common every month and read it. And I won Legend in a raffle they had when they did their live show wrap up. And I read it. Which is why we’re here.

The plot:
Legend is a YA dystopia about two kids, 15 years old, June and Day. June is a privileged, rich, educated prodigy. She was sent of to the university at the age of like 12, and she’s on a fast track to an amazing military career. Day is a slum rat, and criminal. He is sort of presumed to be dead by his mother, but he is the most notorious criminal of the Republic. The Republic is what used to be the Western United States. They’re in a war with the Colonies, and there’s just a lot of disease and plague. They live in an oppressive regime, which is fine for the elite like June, but horrendous for people like Day and his poor family. One day their roads cross as Metias, June’s brother, is murdered, and Day is the prime suspect.

I liked it quite a lot actually, which is obviously good.

I actually liked the split perspective, I feel like it worked. The voices were distinct enough that I felt like they were two actual voices. That was a long road to nowhere. But sometimes different perspectives don’t work, and they feel similar. I feel like Day and June were different enough to be interesting. I think part of why it worked is because of how differently they experience the government. To June the government is tough, but they give her all the opportunities in the world because she’s rich and intelligent. Day is poor and failed his test so he was given no opportunity and pretty much evicted from society.

I liked how even though June was a prodigy she is flawed and she’s human. She has felt loss and she is alone and even though she refuses to let it, it almost breaks her. She’s cocky and arrogant and she takes unnecessary risks to prove herself. I think she probably has to prove herself. She’s a prodigy and she’s young so she has to prove she’s not too big of a risk.

Even though June is a prodigy it seems a bit too unlikely for her to become a military agent at the age of 15. She’s too young, no matter how awesome she is. I don’t know that it would have made sense if she was 17-18, but maybe it would have been a bit more probable. It just seemed unlikely to me. It was sort of built into the mythology, with the children of the Republic having this Trial at the age of 10, which basically decides their entire future, I would imagine it forces people to be mature at an earlier age.

Also Day had flaws despite being the most notorious criminal in the Republic. Again, how does a 15-year-old become the most notorious criminal? It’s unlikely. Surely there are adult criminals who are more notorious. Anyway. He is ambidextrous and he’s swift and agile, but he also has a limp and he’s sort of over ambitious. He is also… I guess not as pragmatic as he should be. I understand that he has a need to stand up to the man and fight back, but it seems like he has no sense of pragmatism, like dude chill out and take the smart road instead of the show-off-y road. Also his brother needs to be more selfish. Day is kind though. He has this kid following him around, they sort of take care of each other. He also looks after his family and sort of becomes their protector and he gives them food, which was endearing.

I didn’t love the love story aspect. I didn’t hate it and I saw it coming, obviously, because it’s how it works, but it was a bit insta-love-y. Not at first, which sounds weird, but bear with me. At first it was a lot more like just lust at first sight. They looked at each other and thought: “wow, he/she is gorgeous, I want to kiss him/her.” I think that’s probably more accurate than say Twilight. Then it became more after that, which I did appreciate, but it was a bit quick. But then I am bitter and dark inside.

I liked the world. It was quite good. It was sort of insidious, the government was creepy and cruel. It didn’t seem like people allowed themselves to feel, which I found odd. June’s brother’s commander seemed to like, not care at all when he dies. And I realize that there is a reason for that in the book, but no matter what you’d imagine she’d show some kind of emotion over losing someone she cared about, even if he was just her captain. The rest of the military seemed very Nazi-Germany: they followed every command and didn’t really seem to question any of the structures that kept the poor people in their place. And I think Marie Lu crafted a solid world. There are a lot of structures in place to keep people down when they are down, and to keep people in general in their place. And the people in the upper echelons seem to in general think that the poor people are in their place, and they’ve ended up where they are through their own fault. They don’t really see the structures that keep poor people in a less privileged position than them. It rang really true to me.


I liked it, it was interesting. I might read the others, I’ll see what I find out. I think I want to know what happens, but it’ll be some time in the future, obviously, but like, not in the near future.