Barnes & Noble has released their best new book of 2013 list and Marie Lu’s sequel to Legend, Prodigy, has made the list in the teen category!
Here’s the complete list from Barnes & Noble:
— Allegiant (Divergent Series #3) by Veronica Roth
— Asylum by Madeleine Roux
— Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
— The Elite (Selection Series #2) by Kiera Cass
— The Fault in Our Stars (B&N Exclusive Edition) by John Green
— The 5th Wave (Fifth Wave Series #1) by Rick Yancey
— Inferno (Chronicles of Nick Series #4) by Sherrilyn Kenyon
— The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
— Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys
— Prodigy (Marie Lu’s Legend Series #2) by Marie Lu
— Requiem (Delirium Series #3) by Lauren Oliver
— Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein
— The Runaway King (Book 2 of the Ascendance Trilogy) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
— Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson
— The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan
Marie Lu will be signing for fans in Redondo Beach, CA at Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore on Saturday, December 7!
Marie told our very own TFGeekGirl that she will be signing the bookstore’s stock of CHAMPION, so those who cannot attend the event should still be able to get a signed copy! Call (310) 542-6000 to order or inquire!
Want to get to know author Marie Lu a little better? Check out this interview Goodreads conducted with her, where she discusses Champion, writing romantic scenes, and more!
Our very own Ellie attended YALL Fest last week and was lucky enough to discuss CHAMPION with Marie Lu!
Why did Marie choose build her world the way she did? What inspired the ending? What happened to the characters we all know and love after the epilogue? We asked it all!
Please note that the majority of the questions contain SPOILERS. The spoiler-free questions are above the cut and the spoilers are hiding under the cut. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Now that your final book in the trilogy is out, how do you feel about it being out there and being finished with it?
Marie Lu: It feels really weird! I always compare it to how parents must feel when they send their kids off to college because on one end you’re really relieved, like “Oh thank God, they got out of the house and they’re off to do their own thing!” And at the same time, you’re sad because they’re out of the house and now it’s like an empty nest. I feel a little bit like that. I feel like my characters are not mine anymore and they’ve gone off to live in the real world. Wherever that is! (laughs) Wherever characters go off after stories end. And I feel like they’re not with me anymore and they’re off somewhere. They kind of belong to the public now. It’s kind of a weird, wistful feeling.
What have you learned about the whole writing process throughout the series and would you change anything if you could start over?
ML: I’ve learned that writing changes over time, especially for someone like me who’s a pants-er. And I realize that characters change too. When I first started writing June, i didn’t identify with her at all so I had a lot of trouble getting into her head. She’s smarter than me and it’s really hard to write a character that’s smarter than yourself, so I would have to stop constantly to do research about her chapters. Towards the end of it, I kind of realized that I had been writing about myself all along. Not that I have her genius analytical side or intelligence, but that she kind of reacts to situations the same way that I do. We deal with grief and stress and panic the same way. I began putting bits and pieces of that into her and I didn’t realize until the last book when I really started to connect. At the end of it, I think June is my favorite person out of everybody because I really understood and sympathized with her. So it was like evolution for me too.
What it one thing you want readers to take away from this series?
ML: I’d like them to take away that even if you live in a very dark place, you have the potential to change that and that you can come out of it and be okay. I think that was something I really wanted Day to experience because he, more than anybody, came from a place of such hopelessness and he was so poor, but he managed to come out of that. I get a lot of reader emails from people who struggle with real life issues and I want them to know that you can make it out of anything like that.
It’s been over a week since the third and final book of the Legend trilogy was released, and maybe you’ve held off on reading it for one reason or another. Maybe you’re scared of reading how it will end, or maybe you’re still catching up on other books (of which we can certainly understand), or maybe you just have to wait for that next paycheck.
Whatever the reason, we’re going to give you some of our thoughts on the final book that could encourage you to make Champion the next book for you to read.
The introduction of some new characters and areas are not too expansive to where you feel lost. The focus is still maintained on the characters that we know and love as well as the situations that we’re familiar with already. That’s not saying there isn’t growth in the world that Marie has created, because there certainly is, but she just doesn’t overwhelm, or basically tease, you with what else is going outside of June and Day’s perspective. She gives you enough glimpses of life outside of the Rebuplic and the Colonies to make it interesting for you, but still manages to contain the world enough to where you don’t get confused.
The war and the politics and how this future is really makes sense to me. There’s a lot of devices and things in there that we are familiar with and I can see how the future that Marie has created can be conceived from the politics and the technology and military of today’s culture. What I like the most about this part is that there is not really one area or city or territory that is vastly superior to the others, although a case could be made about one certain territory in particular, but still, I’m sure there are flaws there as well. That might be one thing that the young adults could really learn from this book as far as countries go. Neither the Republic nor the Colonies are favored in the way the people are being treated in either society, and there’s much to learn about that that could be seen in today’s society.
Day and June. Oh, my dear Day and my dear June. There was nothing that they said or did that strayed away from what we already knew of them. They both harbor very strong feelings for each other. They both harbor strong doubts about the other and they both are challenged with the thought of whether they can even be together if they really wanted to. There was the established consequences of their past actions towards each other and their families, so of course, there’s always that “elephant in the room” for these two. How Marie deals with that in this book is pretty amazing – both heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.
I ended the book with tears in my eyes, from both sorrow and joy. Sorrow for what was lost, and joy for what was to come. I found hope again, too. It was earned in one of the most sacrificial ways possible. Deservedly so, I think. So, yes, I can see hope for a future that would fill in those losses with love and fulfillment.
You can read the full review here.
The problem with YA series (I want to write “seri”, even though that’s wrong) as a whole is that endings get tricky. Everyone wants to be shocking and thrilling and unexpected. In doing so, authors sometimes seem to lose sight of what it’s all about. Thankfully, Marie Lu is not one of those authors! She gives us action and twists without completely throwing out the rule book and THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS!
CHAMPION picks up several months after PRODIGY. Impending peace between the Republic and the Colonies comes to a screeching halt when the Republic’s plague, once believed to be contained, begins spreading throughout the Colonies. With a powerful new ally on their side, the Colonies prepare to overtake the Republic.
Politics are a much bigger part of the story in CHAMPION, but they’re an exciting part. Day and June’s personal battles are entwined with politics so deeply that your heart aches for one or both of them whenever a political struggle surfaces. Both characters are torn between saving the Republic and doubting it can ever be fixed. But alongside all the politics comes the heart-stopping action everyone loves from this trilogy. Things never get dull. Ten points to the author who knows how to balance out a story!
The one thing that confused me politically is The Patriots. You never really find out how they got to where they stand and why they choose to give up their former goal of reforming the United States. Did they forget all about it just because they were used under false pretenses in PRODIGY? All the same, I love their involvement in this book. Pascao and Tess are my buddies now!
Without giving too much away, this book gives us some insight into how the rest of the world works. The ravaged Republic and the commercialized Colonies are great settings, but seeing how the not-so-war-torn world functions really puts things into perspective and makes it even better.
Best part? The ending was pretty superb! No, things don’t wrap themselves up in neat little packages. But it’s beautiful and touching. The epilogue killed me, in the absolute best way possible. It pulled at my heartstrings but ultimately left me with HOPE.
You can read the full review here.
Prodigy made it through the Opening round of the Goodreads Choice Awards. Now it’s on to the semifinals!
New books have been added into the mix to shake up the Semifinal round, so make sure Prodigy continues its strong showing by voting here!
Congratulations to Marie Lu for her book, Champion, being named one of the best YA books of 2013 by Amazon.com! It was listed among 19 other notable YA novels.
Oh, you know you love our little play on words!
We’ve been so caught up in all the CHAMPION glory that almost forgot to mention that PRODIGY is up for a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Young Adult Fantasy!
CLICK HERE TO VOTE!
Currently, the Goodreads Choice Awards are in Round One of voting, but this round ends TONIGHT! So spread the word to all your follow legend lovers and do it quick!
Marie Lu posted on her Tumblr her playlist of songs during the drafting and revising of Champion. I’ve gathered them up for you to listen to here.
She by Abney Park
We Are Pilots by Shiny Toy Guns
Soldiers by Drowning Pool
Mad World cover by Gary Jules
Those Without Fear by Audiomachine
Do You Hear the People Sing from Les Miserables
Illuminati by Audiomachine
I Can’t Make You Love Me cover by Bon Iver
Dragon Rider by Two Steps from Hell
Last Agni-Kai from Avatar: The Last Airbender
The Boy Who Trapped the Sun by Cooper Down
Imagine by John Lennon
I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston
Promise by Thomas Bergerson