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Sunday, December 11, 2011

In My Mailbox (3) - Secret Santa Edition!

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren
From my Broke & Bookish Secret Santa:
 The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
a box of chai tea (yay tea!)
some cool colored pencils

Thank you Secret Santa, whoever you are!! :)

Possess by Gretchen McNeil
The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally (kindle)
Destined by Jessie Harrell (kindle)
Birthmarked by Caragh M. O'Brien (kindle)

For Review:
Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Thank you Netgalley & HarperCollins!)

What did you find in your mailbox this week? Let me know! :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Legend by Marie Lu

by Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenle
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover, 305 pages
Source: Received for Review at ALA

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

    - Summary from Goodreads 

My Thoughts 
I started Legend with no expectations and end up being BLOWN AWAY. Seriously y'all, I haven't loved a dystopian this much since The Hunger Games
Characters:  The story is told from the dual perspective of our main characters, Day and June. Day is a "criminal" who is wreaking havoc on the Republic while trying to protect his family and his sick little brother. June, on the other hand, received a perfect score on her Trial exam (which determines one's fate in life) and is already in her final year of military college at the young age of 15. The Republic has grand plans to utilize June's intelligence in the military. While Day and June are both incredibly intelligent teens, they are from vastly different backgrounds. I liked Day right away Sure he's a criminal, but the boy has a good heart. It took me a while to warm up to June though. She has lived a life of privilege and has been sheltered from what is really going in in the Republic, and it shows! She thinks people from Day's community are dirty homeless people who just need to get up and work. Luckily, this changes as the book goes. By the last page, June has transitioned into a fierce girl who will do whatever it takes to make things right in the Republic, even if it eventually leads to her downfall. Plus, June's love for her brother, Metias, was touching.

Plot: The action was nonstop and the chapters are relatively short. June's brother, Metias, is killed early on in the book, and the story fires off from there. Day, being the Republic's #1 most wanted criminal, is the top suspect in the murder trial. June, sick with grief and seeking revenge, takes on the mission of finding him. Once she does, things get interesting. I don't want to ruin any surprises for anyone, so I'll leave it at that. Trust me though, you want to find out what happens next! 
World Building: The world described in Legend was intriguing. We have the Republic, which used to be the Western U.S. They are fighting against the Colonies. We really don't find out very much about the Colonies in this book, but I hope we do in the next book because I am dying to know what's up with that whole situation! As for the Republic, it is divided into different city type areas. Some cities are better off than others, and some cities experience more bouts of the plague than others (like the area Day is from). One thing I found interesting was the Trial, which all children have to take at the age of 10. This trial is a Big Deal, as it determines whether you will go to college or if you even score high enough to attend a school at all. Those who score very low on their Trials are required to work menial jobs, and a fate even worse than that awaits those children who fail their trials all together. While these details about the Republic were interesting, I wanted MORE! Maybe that's just because I'm a detail oriented person. Overall though, I did feel that I got a good image of the Republic and how the nation runs. I would LOVE to have a map though, because many different locations were mentioned. 

Final Thoughts
Again I will say, Legend blew me away. Who doesn't love a book filled with action, suspense, mystery, a crazy dystopian government, and a hint of sexual tension? I am anxiously awaiting the next installment in the series, and I urge all of you to go out and get your own copy of Legend as soon as possible! 

5 / 5 Stars

Gift Card Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Gift Card Giveaway Hop! This hop is being hosted by I am a Reader, Not A Writer & Attack of the Book.
The hop will run from December 9th - December 13th

Welcome to the Gift Card Giveaway Hop! I've just finished finals and am feeling pretty joyful, so I am offering ONE winner a $10 giftcard to Amazon, B&N, Starbucks, Itunes, OR for my international readers, a book from the book depository!

TO ENTER, Leave me a comment with
- Name
- Email address
- what's on your holiday wishlist this year. I'm curious :)

If you choose to follow me, that's awesome (I love making new bookish friends!),  but it is  NOT required! This is about sharing a love of books (and giftcards) with all of you :)

For those of you who celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, school being out, etc, I hope yours is AWESOME!

To enter more giveaways on the hop, check out either of the host blogs for the linky! 
The winners of the Gratitude hop are commenters #54 Sylvia & #96 Mariann. You both have been emailed. Please respond within 48 hours, or I will have to pick a new winner!
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