Okay, so we might’ve failed a little bit on the January Book of the Month. It turns out that Let the Great World Spin is a wonderful book, but a dense one that none of us had the patience or time to get through in January. And it turns out that it’s not really February anymore, so we’re a little behind the times here. But we decided to jump back into the YA world for a quick dystopian thrill ride for February and read the Legend trilogy by Marie Lu for our Book(s) of the Month.
Also, changing things up a little bit from previous Book of the Month posts—this post is just going to be my (Jessica’s) thoughts on the books. Alex and Ali will follow up with their own posts describing what they thought of the Legend series. Depending on how this goes, our future Book of the Month posts may take the same form, spread out throughout the month as we each finish reading our chosen book, so that you all can see what we have to say sooner. (Also, Ali is on a boat in the Bering Sea with irregular internet connectivity, and Alex and I are in law school. So yeah, coordination is not our strong suit right now.) All of our posts will of course still be linked on the Book of the Month page for easy access.
The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy of Legend by Marie Lu way back in 2011 before its release, and I stayed up all night reading it. The YA dystopian genre is pretty bloated nowadays (and it was even then), but Legend stood out from the crowd. One of the things I like best about the Legend trilogy is the world-building. I went to an event where Marie Lu and a few other YA authors were speaking and Lu talked about her background as an art director in the video game industry, and it totally made sense—Legend feels like it would make for a great video game. (And it has been turned into its own video game!)
The series starts out in a dystopian version of Los Angeles, one of the cities of the Republic. The Republic arose in a sort of post-apocalyptic world (though it is certainly a dystopian society, not really a traditional post-apocalyptic one), in which rising water levels change the very geography of the world and nations disappear and reform. Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal; June is it’s most celebrated military prodigy. What happens when their paths cross is an explosive adventure with implications for their society at large, and eventually the world.
When we decided we were all going to read Champion this month, I went on a bit of a Legend binge because I hadn’t read Prodigy yet either. But I have to say, I’m kind of glad I waited to read Prodigy because I would not have been able to wait a year between Prodigy and Champion! I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think I ultimately enjoyed the Legend trilogy even more than Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy (which is huge, because I was a little obsessed with Divergent). Day and June have an incredible story together, full of emotional complications and amazing badass-ery. And the ending. OH THE ENDING. I thought it was perfect.