Posts tagged ‘romance’

May 8th, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: Legend

Author: Marie Lu

Published: November 29th, 2011

Number of Pages: 336

Rating: 4/5


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’ 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. [From Goodreads]


You should have taken me with you,” I whisper to him. Then I lean my head against his and begin to cry. In my mind, I make a silent promise to my brother’s killer.

I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.


Legend is the sort of book that grips you from the first chapters. Unfortunately, it also is the sort of book that feels as though it is simply background for books to come.

I found that I sympathized with both characters, but Day was the one who truly hooked me. Every action he took was one I could understand, whether it was the right one or not, and I approved of his motivations a bit more than I did June’s. It was June’s development as a character that drew me to her. It’s evident from the beginning that she has to go through enormous changes, and I am particularly happy with the outcome.

The world created in Legend does not vary much from a classic dystopian society. You are constantly aware of the class differences, especially between the two main characters, and that, to me, was the most prevalent thing that set this world apart from others. I’ll admit that classes are an issue in most dystopian books, but I have never noticed them so clearly. I enjoyed this aspect now that I’ve taken more history classes and can relate their experiences to those I’ve read about in my textbooks. The issue of class separation is an ongoing one for mankind, and this book illustrates that.

Obviously, it’s been a while since I’ve read this, but I’m trying to remember all that I can in order to write a review. One thing I’ve never forgotten is the relationship between June and Day. It’s destined to be a disaster from the start, considering how and why they meet, but you can’t help but hope that it will evolve into something stronger and better. This is one of the primary reasons I’ll be reading the sequels. I want them to work together without tension, distrust, and suspicion.

There’s a secondary character I absolutely cannot ignore: Tate. She’s a darling, strong girl that first Day, and then June, find themselves attached to. She’s a beautiful young thing with a very old soul, and the book would not be the same without her.

The plot moves along at a steady, though not very fast, pace. Naturally, the most exciting bits were toward the end, when things seemed so dark and a terrible end so inevitable that my heart started pounding. Lu did a fantastic job of making me excited to read the rest of the books, particularly because I have a feeling that they will continue to become darker, more action-packed, and suspenseful. Not to mention the fact that June and Day still have a lot of developing to do.

Lu manages to surprise you with a handful of lines that are intriguing and poignant. I love being taken by surprise in the middle of the page by a thought that strikes me. Both June and Day have thoughts of that sort, and those were by far the best parts of the book.

I’d recommend it to people who are die-hard dystopian fans, like myself, but not to those who don’t enjoy dystopian in general. You need to have a taste for it in order to really enjoy Legend. The alternative to not reading it is going out and finding other dystopians and learning to love them, because I can assure you that, however average some of them may be, they have a way of inspiring you to consider the world and people around you, and they also tend to have heart-wrenching romances and incredible action scenes (a few perks). Give the genre a shot before tackling Legend.

November 2nd, 2011

The List by Melanie Jacobson; Review

by Madeleine Rex

Title: The List

Author: Melanie Jacobson

Published: March 1st, 2011

Number of Pages: 304

Rating: 3/5


Ashley Barrett doesn’t want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn’t care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college — the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that’s why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals — from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi — she’ll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master’s degree). But when Matt decides he doesn’t like the “leaving” part, Ashley’s carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down — or might set her free? [From Goodreads]


I needed the sensei of surf, the Obi-wan Kenobi of boards, the . . .oh, whatever. I needed Matt Gibson.


This the first LDS fiction I’ve read. And before you non-LDS people run away, let me tell you that the religion in this book would be very unlikely to make you uncomfortable. A non-LDS friend of mine is reading it as I write this and keeps laughing hysterically.

This book is not about religion – it’s about a girl who’s so set in her ways that she’s blind to the fact that there’s something better out there. Most noticeably, this book is funny. Hilarious. Period. I would be reading this during lunch and stop every three minutes to read something out loud to the other people at my table. The humor is the sort of witty, often sarcastic kind that I like. If you’re looking for a quick weekend read that will keep you grinning to yourself, this is it.

Ashley Barrett, the main character, is smart and, as I said, very funny, but I found some quirks in her personality that were slightly annoying. For example, she seems far too aware that she’s good looking, and I repeatedly found that she (as well as some other characters) seemed more like a seventeen year old than a twenty-four year old. However, the fact that she seems young makes her more appealing to the young adult audience, and I think it was a mistake to target this toward adults. Though adults can enjoy it just as they can other YA literature, there’s something very, very teen-ish about it.

The romance in the novel is totally delicious. Though it dominates the plot a little too much for my taste, I was glued to the pages when Matt showed up. They had so many moments when their dialogue (particularly the funny parts) was entirely synced and flowed from paragraph to paragraph. I’ll admit that it was a little over-the-top, but it certainly made me laugh.

Another aspect of the romance that was particularly novel to me and very enjoyable was the cleanliness of the romance. (I would expect no less from an LDS author, but Stephenie Meyer proved that expectation unfounded…) My friends with similar standards, though not members of the church, appreciated this as well. The romance is far more endearing when it relies less on a physical relationship. Not to mention the fact that this book is appropriate for teens of any age.

Over all, The List is cute but simple. The plot and characters have little depth (Matt was the deeper of the two main characters), but this book is perfect for a fun, easy read that will entertain you without causing you to passionately pull at your hair during exasperating moments. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a funny, chick-flicky book that is wonderfully clean and even uplifting at times.