Posts Tagged ‘Marie Lu’

Top Ten Series (Weishi)

I’ve seen a lot of tags like this (mainly on youtube) and it looked fun.

Disclaimer: I have not read every series in existence, so this list is literally my favourite series of this exact moment. It is very subject to change in the future. But it’s late and I feel like procrastinating so this is going to happen.

A few ground rules before we go onwards:
1. No Harry Potter, because that’s too easy.
2. I must have read multiple books from the series for it to appear on this list. So stuff like Ender’s Game or The 5th Wave where I can’t be bothered to read the sequels/they haven’t been released yet aren’t going to be here.
3. Only ten can appear – no more; no less.

This is sort of in order, though in reality it varies greatly depending on my feelings on individual books/series not being finished/genres that are hard to compare.

1. Chaos Walking – Patrick Ness
Also known as my favourite dystopian/science-fiction series ever. Possibly my favourite series ever (if you don’t count the serious nostalgic appeal of the HP series) and I can’t thank Yanni enough for shoving it into my hands.

2. Anna – Kendare Blake
Best Paranormal/Horror Romance that I have ever read. Mainly because the humour was perfect and the characters were fun and likeable and believable and Cas Lowood. Seriously, just read it for Cas. You will not be disappointed.

3. Skulduggery Pleasant – Derek Landy
Favourite Middle-Grade series that I ironically read once I was no longer middle-grade. And honestly, I’m thankful that I did, because my gore tolerance is not high and there is some throat-slitting/eye-gouging/body-slicing that goes on. Well, I suppose it is 11+. And yes, I do love PJO, but it’s the darkness and humour and overall characterisation that pushes SP to another level for me (not to mention the seriously brillant planning in the plot. A++).

4. Raven Cycle – Maggie Stiefvater
The writing and the characters and the dialogue and the world and just everything. Most realistic fantasy series that I can think of, and the only one where I am utterly convinced that it should be shelved as contemporary, not paranormal, because it is so believable.

5. Legend – Marie Lu
You will fall in love with the characters, and then Lu will tear your heart out. Repeatedly. And just when the first book can’t get worse, there’s the second. And when you think you’ve finally been through your utmost capacity of pain, Champion piles you in feels. I honestly recommend this book to anyone I know who likes dystopians or action or interesting worlds.

6. Unwind – Neal Shusterman
Which not only has a great use of third-person present that I’ve never seen done so well, but is interesting and full of very relevant questions and also likes to stomp on your heart.
And I haven’t read Unsouled. I’m sorry! I’ve been busy! I will, I promise, just let me get through House of Hades and Allegiant and all those other books that have been staring at me for months.

7. Skinjacker – Neal Shusterman
I wanted to not include the same author twice on this list, but I couldn’t. I wouldn’t know which series to bump down because I absolutely love both. Everlost and all its sequels are just so clever. Shusterman explores every single aspect of his world and asks the right questions to keep you thinking.

8. Percy Jackson – Rick Riordan
This is only referring to the first five books of the original series, and not the spin-offs. While I do like Heroes of Olympus, I haven’t exactly made my mind up yet on particular aspects, whereas I have some serious love for the Olympians arc. Percy and all his humour was what really made the series for me.

9. Underdogs – Markus Zusak
This one is a weird place for me, because the books vary a lot. While all are brilliant (as to be expected from one of my favourite authors), the first and third are weaker than the completely spectacular and heart-breaking middle book. However, I also know that Fighting Ruben Wolfe would not be as strong if it was not bookended by great character development and relationship arcs from the other two books.
In summary, this order idea isn’t really working out but I’m sticking to my choices because we’re nearly finished anyway.

10. Leviathan – Scott Westerfeld
The fact that this had illustrations (and absolutely gorgeous ones) bumped up my entire rating of this series. I love the steampunk setting and the world, and Deryn and Alek are awesome and endearing characters.

Do I have honourable mentions?
Nah, I don’t think so.
A lot of series I could put on here but 1. Haven’t read the second book or 2. the ending sucked. Endings are important, and if a series has a promising start but then goes swiftly downhill, I can’t do it. I can’t include it. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth no matter how good the first few books were. I won’t name any names here, but I’m sure you guys have a few (almost certainly accurate) guesses.

Champion- Marie Lu

Summary (from goodreads to avoid spoilers! 🙂 though there may be some spoilers to follow after the summary…

He is a Legend.

She is a Prodigy.

Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps-Elect, while Day has been assigned a high-level military position.

But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them: just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything.

Champion (Legend, #3)Cons

The weird ghost things, and religion connotations
It just didn’t fit really with book since the book is all about war and politics and dystopia and stuff. It just seemed a little washy to be honest with the ghosts. I did think it was kinda cute though but I personally just didn’t really like it that much because I don’t really believe in the afterlife.

The last part- the 20 years later thing
I loved what June did for Day at the end before the 20 years after. I thought it was so smart and cute and it made me truly feel how much she loved him. But the 20 years after part, while it gave hope and stuff, it made Junes sacrifice for nothing.


The ending
It was bittersweet. I loved it. But at the same time I hated it. I felt like the characters deserved a better ending, but as a book it couldn’t have ended better (though I didn’t really like the last last part of it with the 20 yrs later).

Characters- development
Anden: When he was like his dad he was terrifying. So that put me in a strange place as a reader, as he seemed to be both the hero and a villain. But that’s what good books should kinda do 🙂
June: In legend, while I did like her, I didn’t love her. I grew to love her more in prodigy. By champion, its like “whoa, when did you get so awesome?” I loved her and how much she actually understood everything, especially at the end. Words can’t actually express how much I love her now.
Day: I loved how far he would go to save his family and how he would even go so far to give up his own life but at the same time, that was his flaw; that he only really considers his own life that he is giving up, not all the other people who would be affected if they lost him.
Eden: he is such a cool kid: “Daniel thinks you’re really hot” is what he says to June on their first meeting. Such an awesome kid 🙂

Writing Style
There’s not much to say on this point, only that it was awesome. It explored the views of loads of characters so I felt as if I was with them at almost every moment of the journey.

There’s also not much to say on this point: the title and it being in the “pros” section is kinda self explanatory.

Romantic stuff didn’t get in the way
Usually for dystopia books either the romance or the love triangle gets in the way but as you can tell from the title of my sub-paragraph in this book it didn’t! There was still a little romance to make it interesting, but not enough that it took over the book and just made it soppy.

Favourite Quotes (warning could be spoiler hints below!)

  • “Sometimes, the sun sets earlier. Days don’t last forever, you know. But I’ll fight as hard as I can. I can promise you that.”
  • “You drive me insane June. You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I’m trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you? Billions of people will come and go in this world, but there will never be another like you” (the cutest quote of the whole series)”
  • “I can feel his presence here in every stone he has touched, every person he has lifted up, every street and alley and city that he has changed in the few years of his life, because he is the Republic, he is our light, and I love you, I love you, until the day we meet again I will hold you in my heart and protect you there, grieving what we never had, cherishing what we did. I wish you were here.”
  • “Day, the champion of the people, the one who can’t bear to see those around him suffer on his behalf, who would gladly give his life for those he loves.”
  • “I hear about you a lot too,” Eden replies in a rush, “mostly from Daniel. He thinks you’re really hot.”

Some books end their series with a sizzle or a pop, but not this. It ended like the New Year’s Eve fireworks with explosions of light and sound. 5 stars obviously.

The Young Elites (Cover) – Marie Lu



Ooooh, I was hoping it would be badass.

It’s very minimalist, so I don’t see much to talk about. But somehow this simple blend of the storm clouds and the rusting iron letters and ooooh look at that badass sword looks awesome.

Oh I am so so so excited for this book.

The Young Elites is coming out October 7th, this year, and it can’t come soon enough.

2013 Wrap-Up

I really didn’t read that much in 2013. Sure, I hit my goodreads reading challenge for the year, but that was mainly due to half of my entries being manga or short stories.

But I read enough books to find some absolutely brilliant stories. It was hard to cut this list down to only five, and I could do the whole “top 13 of 2013”, but I’m not sure if I even have thirteen books that I absolutely loved. So five it is.

1. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath –  As soon as I finished the book, I went back and re-read it; memorised quotes from it; thought about it for days. If that’s not a sign of a good book, I don’t know what is.

2. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater – A realistic, vivid fantasy with gorgeous writing. And yes, I did re-read this one. Twice.

3. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake – I have never been so emotionally affected by a book. Theseus Cassio Lockwood, why do you do this to me?

4. Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak – It was gritty and beautiful and made me tear up half a dozen times. I should expect nothing less from Markus Zusak.

5. Champion by Marie Lu – The final books in dystopians almost always disappoint. Champion, however, was thrilling, exciting, emotional, and above all, realistic. A brilliant conclusion to a brillant series.

We hope you’ve had an amazing year, read some great books, and we look forward to seeing you in 2014 for even more reading adventures!

Champion- Marie Lu (Cover)

Champion (Legend, #3)

It’s so beautiful.

From Goodreads:

The explosive finale to Marie Lu’s New York Times bestselling LEGEND trilogy—perfect for fans of THE HUNGER GAMES and DIVERGENT!

He is a Legend.
She is a Prodigy.
Who will be Champion?

June and Day have sacrificed so much for the people of the Republic—and each other—and now their country is on the brink of a new existence. June is back in the good graces of the Republic, working within the government’s elite circles as Princeps Elect while Day has been assigned a high level military position. But neither could have predicted the circumstances that will reunite them once again. Just when a peace treaty is imminent, a plague outbreak causes panic in the Colonies, and war threatens the Republic’s border cities. This new strain of plague is deadlier than ever, and June is the only one who knows the key to her country’s defense. But saving the lives of thousands will mean asking the one she loves to give up everything he has. With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

The only thing that I have against it is that Marie Lu said that “there are a couple of deaths” and “she cried while writing it” and “I enjoy forcing pain and suffering on my characters” :S

Legend (Legend, #1)Prodigy (Legend, #2)Champion (Legend, #3)

And guess what guys?

It comes out on fireworks day (kinda fitting right?), and that’s not even the best part of it.

Drumroll please

It comes out of fireworks day, this year.


November 5th 2013.

Prodigy – Marie Lu

Yanni, stop reading this.



Hopefully she’s gone now and we won’t ruin the book for her.

Oh come on. Let’s be honest. This is Yanni. No warning labels will be able to deter her. Speaking of warning labels….


This review is  full of me dealing with the emotional state the ending of Prodigy has left me in. Especially near the end of this. Blame Marie Lu and her evil genius writing skills. If you want a coherent, structured review with no rambling and no raw pain, then just leave. Save yourself from the horrors that lie ahead.


Prodigy is the sequel to the amazing amazing amazing Legend, where lots of stuff happens (seriously, I can’t be more specific. Yanni’s reading this, I know, and I can’t let her ruin it for herself).


If you haven’t read Legend, the quick answer to this is to go and read Legend, because you’re not going to understand what’s going on otherwise. Seriously, you won’t regret it.

For those of you who have stayed (and Yanni, who’s probably fruitlessly searching for spoilers which I WILL NOT GIVE TO HER NO WAY), here’s a summary.

The Elector Primo has died, and Anden, his son, has been chosen to be the new Elector. June and Day are hired by the Patriots to assassinate him. That’s really all I can share.


(Side note: If you think there are a lot of cons comparatively compared to other books with similar ratings as this one, it’s mainly because I’m grasping around trying to find bad things to say, so this isn’t completely a shower of praise and emotions. Also, most of these things are personal annoyances rather than actual problems.)

Love Triangles and Bermudalees

Bermudalee – Definition: A Love Triangle that is one sided. Named after the romance of Todd and Viola, from the Chaos Walking Trilogy, in which Lee wants to be with Viola, but she does not reciprocate those feelings, and eventually she ends up with Todd.

No, this is not an actual thing. I just made it up because it sounded cool in my head. (Because it’s BermudaLEE. Get it? Right, sorry, I should try not to make jokes. I just really love bad puns and funny words.)

What was the point of this again… oh right!

Prodigy has a LOT of love triangles.

For most people this would be fine, good even. But my personal growing dislike over love triangles in YA Fiction has caused me to put it in the cons.

Not that the love triangles weren’t done well, because they were. It’s just that in general, I can’t stand them. I can stand Bermudalees, for example the obvious one involving Pascao. (Though I don’t know if attraction to Day counts as a Bermudalee any more, since everyone who likes guys will instantly fall for Day. He’s like a freaking enormous magnet for romantic attraction.) However, my dislike of Love Triangles – and Love Squares, which did also feature – made me very conflicted about it. I dislike them so much that I’d just rather the third point would die, even if I like them as a character.

Now, I’m not going to name some points of the Love Triangle, in case Yanni hasn’t already pried this out of me, but believe me, they are more like Bermudalees. It’s obvious who will end up together in the end. (Or at least it was, until Marie Lu dropped the bombshell of an ending on us and left me and my emotions dead on the floor.)


Great writing, great character development by Marie Lu, and it really did make an interesting dilemma in the plotline.


Tess was like one of my favourite characters, (which makes her fate make sense, since most of my other favourite characters in Legend end up dead or kidnapped), and then Prodigy happened.

Seriously, Tess, you just had to make it so complicated. You just had to ruin Day’s resolve and fill him with doubt. You just had to insult my number one favourite character (if you haven’t guessed it, it’s June) multiple times and then be adorable and lovely the next instance, so that even I was conflicted about whether I liked you or not.

Seriously, great writing, because I ended up getting so attached to the situation, and only really good books can do that. Tess, why do you have to be so infuriating?


This is not a criticism. This is merely speculation. I am not saying that Marie Lu copied Suzanne Collins and Lauren Oliver, or vice versa. Complete and total speculation.

I read Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver not so long ago, and this may just be my weird brain picking up connections, but I couldn’t help but see lots of similarities between Pandemonium, Mockingjay and Prodigy. (Which is funny, because Pandemonium and Mockingjay combined kind of sounds like Prodigy… If you try really hard and delude yourself because actually no, it doesn’t sound like that at all).

(Another side note: I’m using a lot of brackets in this review; far more than I would usually use. I think by obsessive reading of this book has made me start talking like June.)

In Mockingjay, (SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT) Katniss is tasked with aiding the rebellion and assassinating President Snow, but finds herself feeling more like a pawn for district 13, and not trusting their motives. She ends up murdering Coin instead, and President Snow gets trampled by protestors or the crowd or something. Seriously, it’s been a long time since I read Mockingjay.

In Pandemonium, (MORE SPOILERS) Lena goes undercover from the Wilds, and ends up being kidnapped with Julian, the son of the mayor or president or something important. While undercover, she falls in love with him, and finds out this other thing about the savages that I can’t say because it’s a massive spoiler for Prodigy. And then her previous boyfriend that she believed to be dead, walks in on her and Julian making out (which just screams awkward).

So yeah. Let me put it this way. Day is kind of like Katniss; June is kind of like Lena. Not in terms of personality (god no, their personalities are so different), but in terms of situation. I can’t even give a comparison because that has way too many spoilers in it. Just believe me, the similarities are there if you look for them.

Seriously, I might need to rewrite this after Yanni reads Prodigy. I hate trying to keep stuff spoiler free when I just want to scream OH MY GOD THE BIT WITH THE THING AND THE STUFF WASN’T IT AMAZING.

Holy Freaking Waffles this review is getting long. As long as it doesn’t surpass the hush, hush word count, then I’m sure we’ll be fine.

God, I need to learn how to stop rambling.

Stop it, Weishi. (That’s me, by the way. I’m not talking to some random stranger in my head.) Get back to the point.


Let’s cover the basics, before we start going into lots of rambling details.

Plot – Awesome. At first I thought it was predictable, but it turned into much more than what I expected.

Characters – Heartbreakingly awesome. A lot of development happens in Prodigy, and we really see the good and ugly sides of these characters.

Writing Style – Awesome and completely fitting for the characters.

Conclusion – Awesome.

Day & June

I feel like they deserve they’re own section, because I love those guys so much.

Prodigy is told from two alternating POVs, Day and June, so we really get a good look at these characters. I always thought it was very interesting to see the similarities in their points of view – how it is very matter of fact, intelligent and observant – but also the large differences.

Day’s POV always consists of more slang and emotion than June’s, which is usually very blunt and factual (with brackets around details of her observations, whether it’s the time down to the second, or the exact height and weight of something from a glance). The writing is not very flowery or descriptive, but it’s not plain, either. Understandable, considering their characters. Day and June are two teenagers that have had to grow up extremely fast, and are a lot more mature than their years. They have been through horrible situations, and treated more like adults than children. They witness horrible deaths of the people close to them, and constantly have to be checking if they can trust anyone, or it might get them killed.

It makes sense that their narrations are going to be very realistic, analytical, and very blunt. They’re not going to have the flowing, descriptive, idealistic nature that’s present in Pandemonium or Matched – stories about the beauty of poetry, art and love being oppressed by an overbearing government, and our narrators struggling to bring it back. While I love this descriptive writing style, it just wouldn’t work in the Legend trilogy, with two characters who are completely the opposite of these idealistic dreamers. Many times, I forgot that Day and June were just kids, and found myself imagining them as in their twenties, because of the maturity that they were forced to develop, and the sheer lack of naivety and false hope in their voices, that they probably grew out of a long time ago.

June is my favourite character, for the reason that she is complete bad ass. She begins as cold, ruthless and a seemingly unstoppable military prodigy. A lot of these seemingly badass girls in YA Fiction usually have some sort of deep, emotional side buried under these false layers, and turn out to be more of an object of pity than action hero. June is not like that. You can’t exploit her, even with her deepest weaknesses. You punch her, and she’ll probably slice that arm off. She’s far from perfect, but her flaws (mainly of being very awkward and very disconnected from her emotions as well as her inability to show weakness) don’t change the fact that she’s a bloody ninja. You see her battling with her faults in Prodigy, and trying to face her insecurities, but never letting go of her badassery.

Day, in Prodigy, is driven by his emotions. He’s still haunted by the memory of his mother, his brother, his father, and that it was the Republic who caused his pain. He battles with trying to discern June from the Republic soldier she used to be. His own insecurities come out very severely in this book, and you see that Day (the seemingly unstoppable, infallible criminal) is making mistakes, because he can’t think logically. His commitment and unending loyalty to his family becomes the reason for a lot of his mistakes. (That, and his terrible timing with words.)

The End (also known as reader torture)

Oh. My. God.

It happened again.

It bloody happened again.

This is Skulduggery Pleasant all over again.

Throughout my reading of Prodigy, I kept feeling that this felt more like a final book, than a middle book. Everything was going to end up seemingly resolved and happy, which doesn’t usually happen in middle books. There’s usually some ongoing trouble that will finally be concluded in the third book, as the second book is usually set up for it. But no – Prodigy resolved it’s conflict about 90% in (I say it in a percentage, because I was reading it on my kindle, so I have no clue how many pages in it was). This did nothing but instil dread in me, as there were still three chapters for everything to go wrong.

And boy, did it go wrong.

In my head, there are three (maybe four, if you include Thomas and Metias) major events or revelations that happen during Prodigy, that made me actually gape in surprise. I don’t gasp and cover my mouth that much during books, unless I’m seriously hooked. The first was shocking, though slightly predictable. The second had me in complete surprise and horror. But the third… Those last three chapters…

Let me put it this way, I might later go climb into my bed and sob over the last chapter of Prodigy.

I did not realise my attachment to these characters was so strong.

Near the end of the book, there is a massive fight that happens (verbal, not action and explosions and stuff), that put me through being so angry and so upset at the same time. I thought that would be the worst of it.

Not even close.

The last chapter makes me want to curl up and delude myself that it didn’t happen.

And the worst part?

I’m not sure if it will get resolved. As much as I want to believe that good will come out of it, I know how cruel Marie Lu can be. The second horrific plot twist goes like this. Marie Lu hands me a character, makes me slowly admire and love her, gives her a completely epic scene, and shows me how invincible and indestructible this character is that I may have to bump off June to give her this top spot.  A few paragraphs later, she’s murdered this character she’s made me love.

Writers are cruel.

There is some part of me that believes the ending can be saved in the next book, and that everything will be good and happy again, but another part that’s telling me that something even worse will happen, and I will have to curl up and cry.

One Last Thing

I don’t know how to function any more.

I don’t know what to do without the next book.

A year. An entire year.






Help me. Dear god, how am I going to go through with life when THOSE LAST CHAPTERS HAVE HAPPENED.





I don’t think I have enough sanity left to find quotes at the moment.

Can I just go and cry my poor, broken heart out?

I’ll update this later, but right now, I’m too emotional to go back and find quotes. Just looking at that chapter will remind me of my pain.

Here, you can have my broken wailing instead.


Holy Waffles, this review is massive. I will cut this down when I can process logical thoughts once again in my brain.


I want to give this zero shuriken stars for ripping my heart out, then expecting me to wait a year so I can wallow in my misery and seriously question building a time machine to read the next book as soon as possible.

But I can’t do that. I love this book and hate it for turning me into a mushy pile of feelings.

5 shuriken stars. It might have started out as 4, but it rose to that rating by the end. The ending deserves nothing more than 5 for being able to get that response out of me. Anything that can make me this invested and on the verge of toppling into a complete emotional breakdown is worth something grand.

Now excuse me while I go rock in a corner and sob my heart out.

Prodigy (cover)- Marie Lu

Prodigy (Legend, #2)IT LOOKS AMAZING!!!!, Perhaps even better than Legend!!! Perhaps…
This book is scheduled to be released next year, on January 29th… and I CANNOT WAIT…  I wish it would just hurry up and be out!!! Legend was such a good book!!!

Summary (from Goodreads<– one of the best book websites!)
The Elector Primo of the Republic has died, with his son assuming power over what’s left of the USA’s West Coast as it teeters on full-blown chaos. June and Day join up with Patriot rebels so they can rescue Day’s brother and head east for the Colonies. In order to help, though, the rebels want June and Day to kill the new Elector, who may pose an even greater threat than his father.

The rest of this review is probably going to be me rambling…
As I said before… I LOVE THIS COVER!!! To me, it seems more of a “Day” cover, in contrast to Legend which was more of a “June” cover… As in, the cover of Legend, is very straight and elegant, and the cover of Prodigy is still elegant, but in a different way; it seems more rebellious, with the spray paint, and more like street- life sort of thing… (Do you understand what I’m trying to get at?)
I also love how this cover also looks really similar to Legend:
Legend (Legend, #1) Prodigy (Legend, #2)
Do you kinda see what I mean? It has the same sort of layout, but completely different styles! If I saw this in a book shop I would totally see how they are written by the same author and in the same series, without looking at the tiny writing!

So, my predictions!:
I think Day will find is brother (Hopefully not too late…)
He and June will make some new friends, of whom, someone will die… (I’m saying that not because I’m a negative person(!), but because it is a YA novel…, and so many people die in those types of YA Dystopia type books…).
Tess will join Day and June again (at least, this is what I’m hoping to happen!)
Either Day or June will get arrested…

So… anyway, those are my predictions, so if the book comes out, and I’m right, I can say “I told you so!”, but I won’t… 😀 because I don’t like saying that phrase… So, if you guys out there, have any predictions, feel free to leave a comment!
Only 8 months!, I just realised… that sounds ages… 😦