I first saw the Legend Trilogy at an endcap display of Barnes and Nobles. I thought to myself, “oh what the hell, might as well read another Young Adult trilogy”, and proceeded to reserve all three at my library.
The premise of the story was simple enough, and a little familiar: overconfident and malicious government suppressing a humble but divided population, strong male and female protagonists, and a subsequent uprising against said government/ power structure. I hate to be honest, but that’s just a theme I’m seeing these days.
Regardless, this trilogy completely sucked me in. Lu’s writing style seemed to thrive in the alternating narrators of Day and June. While not the most complex level of storytelling, the story and characters stand apart from other recent YA trilogies. For me, this is because they’re not pretending to be something they’re not. Each book’s narrative arc is just enough to keep the reader wanting more, just as the trilogy’s narrative arc does the same.
Lu has written something really remarkable in the character of Day. Not only is he one of the most honest characters I’ve read this year, he’s the most realistic (except, perhaps his age at the outset of the series). He’s not only a brave vigilante, but he’s a good looking kid who knows how to get the girls, which is completely ordinary. Lu doesn’t create ideal characters that live in a less than ideal world, like most others, she creates a balance between chaotic setting and circumstances, and pairs that with the confusion of characters, young characters at that, trying to wade through difficult times and grow up at the same time.
Likewise, June stands as the strong female protagonists that is needed to compliment Day. She has just enough selfishness in her to make the reader cringe at some of her decisions, but the perfect amount of loyalty to her emotions that makes her ideally complex.
If you’re getting sick of the recent YA trilogy hype like I was, I’d recommend the Legend trilogy. It took me by surprise, and I hope it will do the same to you.