The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu

The Legend Trilogy

Legend (Book #1)

Prodigy (Book #2)

Champion (Book #3)

By Marie Lu

            Day is one of the most elusive and sought after fugitives of the Republic. He’s so good at what he does that the Republic doesn’t even have an accurate description of his appearance let alone the knowledge of his true identity. June is the exact opposite of Day. She is the Republic’s shining star, their golden girl. She is the prodigy of the Republic and advancing through their military teachings and hierarchy at an unprecedented rate. What could be more interesting than seeing the lives of these two formidable characters intertwine? Marie Lu’s Legend Trilogy details the lives of Day and June as their two seemly separate worlds collide. The series is definitely dystopian in nature with insightful social commentary on our current culture of extreme capitalism and consumerism. The books also delve into the hard topics of death, revenge, justice, and what it means to selflessly love one another. I would call this series a mash up of The Hunger Games and the show Revolution meets the show The 100. If you enjoy action, this is the book series for you. If you enjoy realistic relationships, this is the book series for you. If you enjoy being taken on a ride with unexpected turns and endings that aren’t 100% satisfying because they have a ring of reality, then this is the book series for you.

I’m not going to go into detail about the books in order to avoid giving away any spoilers. Instead I’m going to give you the rough brushstrokes of what I thought about each one. In my opinion the first book, Legend, began extremely slowly. Tediously slowly even, then again it might just be that I am not the biggest fan of dystopian post natural disaster America tales. Dystopian might not be your cup of tea either. That’s not a problem. As I said, they aren’t mine, but I still stuck it out and gave Legend a chance, and I’m very happy I did. Once I got to page thirty or so, I was hooked. The storyline, the characters, and the depth of Marie Lu’s writing all pulled me in. I fell in love with how the book wasn’t only told from the perspective of Day but June as well. I really enjoyed the fact that the chapters were printed in different colors and fonts that added to the development of Day and June as characters. I know some might find the color choice for Day’s point of view a little off putting, but I relished it. The differing in point of view allows the reader to get into the minds of these two characters and to hear not only a strong male voice but an equally strong female voice. Overall, Marie Lu does a masterful job of introducing the characters and laying the groundwork for the greater plot of the story within this first book. The reader has no choice but to continue onto the next book.

If I thought the first book was slow going at the start, the second book, Prodigy, is like jumping onto an already going treadmill set to 50 miles per hour. There’s action, emotional turmoil, victories, and failures. Things happen one after another, and you can’t set the book down. Lu is able to add more depth to her characters, and the reader gets to explore who Day and June are to their core. I love how the point-of-view change between Day and June allows for the reader to pick out differences in their personalities. Specifically, you can really get a sense of how meticulous June is. How every time she enters a room she calculates every exit point or how many tiles there are on the ground or how long it would take to cross certain distances. You get to experience June’s prodigy, her calculating mind. We also learn in the second book how the United States as we know it today crumbled and just how the Republic and the Colonies came about. I, for one, was getting antsy not knowing the history behind this dystopian future that referenced the U.S. we know today.

Now I’ve strayed away from just giving the rough brushstrokes haven’t I? I’ll wrap this up quickly then. The third and final book, Champion, might not be everything you want it to be. There might be some tough calls and valiant efforts made that aren’t made without some losses. The ending might be a little too realistic for your taste. I will admit I wasn’t originally a big fan of the ending. My romantic tender heart wanted less reality and more dreams come true. That being said, after rumination, I adore the ending. It’s unexpected and extremely accurate. I wonder what you’ll think of the ending… so tell me in the comments!!! Half the fun of reading books is hearing what other’s thought of them! In conclusion, I am a major fan of Marie Lu as a writer and a definite fan of Day and June.

 

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The Cellar by Natasha Preston

Rose. Poppy. Violet. Lily. Four exceptionally beautiful, pure, and innocent women. A family cultivated by Clover and seemingly perfect in every way. Excluding the fact that all four of these women were kidnapped, renamed, and are being held by Clover in the cellar beneath his home.

the-cellar-review

The Cellar by Natasha Preston follows the story of Summer, a feisty sixteen year old who lives in the boring old town of Long Thorpe, England where nothing exciting happens to anyone, until the day it happens to Summer. Violently abducted and shoved into her kidnappers hidden cellar, Summer is forced to become Lily. She’s thrust into Clover’s “family” along with Rose, Poppy, and Violet because in Clover’s mind he is saving his “flowers” from the corruption and filth that taints the world. He is their protector and deserves their gratitude for his noble work.

Preston writes The Cellar from the point of view of Summer, her boyfriend Lewis, and even her abductor Colin, better known as Clover. The change in perspective allows the reader to put themselves in the shoes of all involved, to try and understand each mindset and their emotional journey. The reader experiences the crushing fear and despair that consumes Summer. They experience the manic drive propelling Lewis in his search for the girl he loves. They enter the deranged and distorted reality of Colin and are able to glimpse the rational he uses to commit different actions and why he believes he’s doing the “right” thing. The way Preston switches between characters is masterful and allows the reader a chance to breath. If there weren’t the changes in perspective or flash backs to before Summer was taken, I know I wouldn’t have been able to finish the book. I felt an overwhelming sense of unease and terror as I read through Summer’s point of view. A pressure built up in my chest as I read through Summer’s fears and feared for her myself. The pressure continued building the longer I read and soon I felt like I was suffocating because although this is a fictitious book, it’s a sad reality of our world that things like this actually happen. The segmenting of the book allows for the reader to step back and remember that the book is a work of fiction. It’s okay to breath.

This book is captivating, exhilarating, and impossible to put down. When I did finish The Cellar, I felt very unsatisfied with the ending until I realized that there was going to be a squeal entitled You’ll Always Be Mine which I plan on starting today. This book will keep you with bated breath, wanting to cry and scream at the same time, and riding a wave of anticipation. If you want to be swaddled in rainbows and butterflies, this is not the book for you. If you find yourself horrified yet fascinated by the heinous acts of this world, this is the book for you.