BOOK REPORT for Prodigy, Legend book 2 by Marie Lu

Graded By: Jenny Bird

Cover Story: YA Coup
BFF Charm: YAY!
Swoonworthy Scale: 8
Talky Talk: He Said, She Said
Bonus Factors: Double Cross, Loyal Pet, Mercenary
Relationship Status: Everything I do, I do it for you...

Prodigy

Cover Story: YA Coup

With all of the Fancy Dresses and Big Faces to choose from in YA covers, the publishers of the Legend series decided to go with Embossed Military Symbol.  Thank the Sweet Baby Jesus for whomever made that decision. Down with the tyranny of embarrassing covers!

The Deal:

Spoilers for the first book in this section!

June and Day have just escaped Los Angeles with their lives when they arrive in Las Vegas and are taken in by the Patriots, who offer them sanctuary and help rescuing Day's little brother. There's only one catch: They have to help the Patriots overthrow the Republic and assassinate the new Elector Primo.

Now each of our heroes has to decide how far they're willing to go to change their nation, and determine for themselves the difference between revenge and revolution.

BFF Charm: YAY!

BFF

June is one of the most stubborn heroines I've ever had the pleasure to read. She's also a prodigy (heh), and has earned the right to BE stubborn, by almost always being right. She's analytical to a fault, and has a terrible time expressing herself, but I love her. I'd like to smack her upside the head sometimes, but I love her.

If June is the brains, Day is the heart, and I was amazed at his ability to love and forgive and keep on trusting, despite the horrible betrayals he'd suffered. It also doesn't hurt that he's a bad boy with a heart of gold and sexy swagger.

Swoonworthy Scale: 8

Hoo-boy! This is like the romantic equivalent to one of New York's hottest clubs:[http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/3b466d2cea/stefon-snl-weekend-update] It's got star-crossed lovers, outside interference, trust, steamy kissing, betrayal and a love quadrilateral—that thing where the author introduces both parties to people who are by rights better suited for them, but it makes you shake your book in frustration, because you just want them to figure it out….

Talky Talk: He Said, She Said

It's rare that a sequel lives up to its predecessor, much less surpasses it, but while I really liked Legend, after reading this one, I feel like Marie Lu used the entire first book to introduce us to her characters and world, create circumstances that would set them up for this book, and then she unleashed a double-barreled dose of awesome. Told in alternating chapters between June and Day, the author developed each character's individual voice more in this second book, which enabled this reader to fall ass over tit for both of them.

I got to hear Marie Lu speak at the Texas Book Festival last year, and thought she was charming, intelligent and incredibly kind. However, I've changed my opinion of her after the ending of this book. Marie Lu is a mean meany evil genius who likes to torture people before ripping their hearts out and leaving them broken. That is all.

Bonus Factor: Double Cross

Double Cross

With divided loyalties and betrayal hiding around every corner, this book has enough political intrigue for even the most avid Showtime fan.

Bonus Factor: Loyal Pet

Loyal Pet

I swear, the loyal pet gets me every time.  I worried almost as much about the fate of Ollie, June's white shepherd, as I did about June or Day.

Bonus Factor: Mercenary

Hans Solo

There are a lot of excellent supporting characters in this story, but none better than Kaede, the badass Patriot-for-hire with a penchant for illegal fights and piloting skills only outclassed by her own braggadociousness.

Casting Call:

Originally, I was stumped by who to cast for this series, because, let's face it, there just aren't a whole lot of actors in Hollywood with sufficient lineage to be able to play June or Day. So I did some research, and went with the actors the author herself had pictured. She's since updated her choice for Day to someone actually possible, but this is fantasy casting, dangit, so I'm sticking with the originals:

Hailee Steinfeld

Hailee Steinfeld as June

Leo D

Leonardo DiCaprio circa Romeo and Juliet as Day

Relationship Status: Everything I do, I do it for you...

This book inspired me to such highs and lows, and ignited that spark of revolutionary patriotism—not unlike listening to my president speak—that (while I was reading, at least) I was ready to pledge my life to it. Not many books'll make me bust out Bryan Adams lyrics, but Prodigy, for you? Yeah, I would fight for you, I'd lie for you, walk the wire for you, yeah I'd die for yoooouuuuu….

FTC Full Disclosure: I received my review copy from Putnam. Prodigy is in stores today.