Is Robert a criminal mastermind? Is Bryan the Republic’s greatest recruit? No to both, but you can listen to them review Marie Lu’s Legend.
Bryan’s quick summary:
Teenagers June and Day were born on different sides of the track. While June is a perfect-score prodigy being groomed for the Republic’s highest military circles, Day was born into the poorest of slums, and his Robin Hood acts of bravery have made made him the country’s most wanted criminal.
When June’s brother is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect, their paths cross in a deadly cat and mouse game. Little do they know that the Republic has been hiding secrets from them both. Uncovering the dark truth could end their game well before a victor is crowned.
Legend is by Marie Lu
So what did we think? (From a reader’s perspective)
1. (Bryan) It’s a breakneck paced book. It’s short, and a lot happens during that time, which kept me bouncing along until our two characters met, and from then on I was entranced.
2. (Bryan) Lots of unexpected surprises! By keeping us guessing, it made me want to play detective and figure things out as I went along. Very tautly plotted and a great job by Lu.
3. (Robert) Can’t wait for this to be a movie – it could do as well as the Hunger Games, certainly the audience is the same. There’s some implied sexual content, and kissing, but nothing explicit. The violence and killing however is disturbing, so an older YA reader is recommended.
What did we think from a writer’s perspective?
1. (Robert) Well-written; explosive incidents throughout; two kicking-butt main characters and a fascinating dystopian setting, this is typical YA-land, and brilliantly done.
2. (Bryan) Fast-paced action and conspiracy-style mystery are great ingredients for a YA thriller.
3. (Bryan) I loved the life of the slums so much. I feel like we see the elite side in a lot of books, but I really felt like I was a part of Day’s travels through the smaller, ramshackle villages.
Bryan and Robert’s Famous Takeaways:
1. Dystopian, Orwell and Huxley are still just as good a read and still as relevant as always. So what if every YA novel these days has a bleak government-big-brother setting? If the story is well told; it’s timeless.
2. The intense characterization in Legend lifts this above the setting, which lessor writers or less well-edited stories might ignore. I (Robert) loved being in both Day and June’s heads!
3. The faster your book, the less likely readers are going to dwell on issues.
Prompt of the Week:
How would your life be different if you were born into the polar opposite of your income level? How would you have developed differently? Would you like that version of yourself? Why or why not?