I’ve been checking out YA books for several years now. Not that I fit into the Young Adult category–I slipped out of that about 40 years ago. But I have written one YA book, and am considering others, and since it is really the only book market that continues to grow, it’s worth a gander.
I’ve read all the hot series–Twilight, Hunger Games, Divergent–and some that maybe aren’t as much on the radar. Because I’m not a teen girl and am somewhat of an old codger, the YA formula is starting to get me. Probably the unrequited romance bit is the part that turns me off the most.
I turned off from Twilight and to a lesser degree Hunger Games for another reason: the wimpy main female character. Oh, woe is me. I have two young men to choose from. Whatever shall I do? Oh, look. The government troops have surrounded us. Who will save me? Books 2 and 3 of Hunger Games falls into this trap for most of the first half of each book, and I got tired of it. But then again, I ain’t a teen girl.
But I am not alone in this. I have heard some female friends–fellow writers who also happen to be college students–who are looking for stronger female protagonists. And that is where this review comes in.
I have planned on reading Legend for some time, and finally got a chance over Christmas break. I was impressed, entertained, and impressed again. What’s more important, I am looking forward to the other books in the series.
Legend is a dystopian tale told by two 15 year olds–a boy and a girl–who live in the Republic in what used to be the western United States. The Republic is in constant war with The Colonies, the Eastern U.S. We don’t know much about the Colonies. We only know what is told from the perspective of Day, the boy who is a thief and most wanted criminal, and by June, the prodigy military cadet. The story shifts back and forth, told by one and then the other, giving us a contrasting view of their world: the desperate straits of the poor civilians, and the regimented, yet luxurious life of the military elite.
What I like best about this story is that it doesn’t answer all the questions. I found myself wanting to know more about The Colonies, and what it actually was. Well, I have to be patient, because like all good stories, you only know what you have to, not necessarily what you want to.
There is a bit of romance–if you can call one kiss a romance. The characters are well fleshed out. I found myself caring not only about the protagonists, but about their friends and family too, which is a good sign. And another good sign, I couldn’t figure out the ending before I got to it.
I highly recommend this book, and likely, the series. I will keep you posted as I read the next one.
I give it five out of five stars.
P.S. I just read they are already planning a movie….