Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Marie Lu's Champion book cover. Review by Mara @ Mara Was Here.
TITLE: Champion
AUTHOR: Marie Lu
GENRE: YA Dystopian Sci-Fi & Romance
PUBLISHING DATE: November 5, 2013 by Putnam Juvenile

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.

With heart-pounding action and suspense, Marie Lu’s bestselling trilogy draws to a stunning conclusion.

Book Review

“We can heal. Perhaps we can return to that same place we once stood, when we were both young and innocent.”
Well, this series went from 0-100 real quick.

Champion was a really good book compared to the previous ones in the series, and I’m definitely glad it gave me a rather satisfying-well-not-really-satisfying-because-WHAT-THE-HELL-DAY-JUNE-THY-COUPLE ending. Let’s start off with the character development.

POVs are still indistinguishable, but I’ve learned to live through it

I have to admit, Day and June are just reaaaaally too much alike. They’re both smart, yes. They both have the few selected people they love, yes. They’re strong and courageous, yes. And that may be a good thing. But the thing is, they speak the same.

It would have been good if there was something distinguishable in their narratives that would make me determine who’s speaking in a pinch, but that’s not the case. As I’ve said from my Legend review, I’m glad I read the series on paperback because Day’s POV is styled differently from June’s, which makes it easier for me to know who’s talking. But if I was reading this book on my phone, I’d most probably have a hard time with it.

Then again, I’ve already talked about June and Day’s POV a hundred times already before, so let’s move on.

I became attached to Anden

“Tell me there is still good in the world. Tell me there is still hope for all of us.”
Let’s just put aside the fact that I honestly can’t spell Anden’s surname without Googling it first and talk about how he actually was in the book instead: He’s kind, smart, and strategic (June and Day may be more strategic than him, but still). I like that he wants to change the Republic for the better than continue on with his father’s legacy. He knows what’s right and wrong and is courageous enough to stand for what he thinks is right. And I love him for that.

Day’s clich√© illness

“Hi,” he says. “I’m Daniel.”
“Hi,” I reply. “I’m June.” 
SPOILER ALERT. If you’re still reading Legend or haven’t finished Prodigy, then please do skip this part and continue on to the next, thank you.

I have to say, that part where Day finds out he’s dying at the end of Prodigy definitely didn’t sink in well with me. I was like, “Oh, SHUCKS, why’d you have to go there?!” I didn’t think the series would be the type to use that kind of plot twist at all, and I’m not saying that as a good thing.

I mean, sure, Day dying might be a bad thing for both the Republic – because the people need someone to look up to and they pretty much can’t be courageous enough to stand up for their country if their leader is dead – and himself – because it would be hard to tell the truth to June. Plus, he can’t just die earlier than Eden will – the kid still needs someone to take care of him! But let’s just say I didn’t like the fact that Day broke up with June because he didn’t want to hurt her with the truth. I mean, really. I do not want to read about contemporary-like relationships right now while there’s a war going on and everybody else is worrying about whether they’ll live until tomorrow or not. I mean, it might be realistic, but come on.

And yet, I do have to admit that the ending brought me real tears. Like, real-real tears. My-mom-went-inside-my-room-and-saw-me-crying tears. God, I don’t even want to talk about it. BUT IT WAS TOO HEARTBREAKINGLY SWEET. I know I didn’t like Day and June’s relationship from the start BUT HEY, I’m a sucker for those types of endings.


I also love Tess

Oh, this little near-sighted girl that I wanna hug and squish and take care of forever. SHE IS TOO KIND. And I like the fact that she’s indebted to Day forever. Like, she’ll take care of him and never leave his side no matter how angry with him she is. She might leave for a while (like what she did in Prodigy), but I knew she’d come back anyway. Hah. Real friendships work like that.

Day and June’s relationship… Wellll, meh

“It hurts every day, the absence of someone who was once there.”
Again. Sorry, I ship June with Anden way more than with Day. #sorrynotsorry.

Like in the previous books, their relationship was standing too much on dangerous ground. It might have been the type that I love – because star-crossed love is my bae – but it just didn’t work well with me in this series. The love was too platonic and felt really empty for me.

June and Commander Jameson’s last battle

“Time heals all wounds. But not this one. Not yet.”
It was definitely satisfying. I liked how it went and how it ended. I hated Commander Jameson even from way back in Legend, and I’m saying that in a good way. I think we should have gotten more scenes with her being evil and all that, though.
“I scream for everything that has gone wrong. I scream for everything broken in our lives.”

Let us please talk about the ending and how it ended and just PLEASE TELL ME I WASN’T THE ONLY ONE WHO CRIED.

God, the tears were real. I love those kinds of endings (even though it pains me a lot to read them. Hey, I’m a masochistic reader, okay?). I just. UGH. I’d love to say so much about it but I don’t want to spoil any of you so PLEASE JUST READ IT AND LET US CRY TOGETHER.

Oh, and those last two paragraphs. THOSE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS. ASDFGHJKLDFGHJHL.


This book definitely deserves 4 stars from me. Though there were still things – *cough* like Day and June’s relationship *cough* – that frustrated me to no end, I can’t ignore the fact that I liked the book. Even more than Legend or Prodigy. I’m glad I decided to stick with this series because – and I’m going to say it again – THAT ENDING AHHHHH.

A must-read if you loved the first two books or if you lived through Prodigy and are contemplating whether or not you should continue on with the last book.
author image

Mara @ Mara Was Here

*Pops confetti* Congratulations, you've reached 'till the end of this post! I'm Mara, 15, and I love anything bookish and graphic designing. I also spend 90% of my life fawning over fictional boyfriends and smelling books. Thanks for hanging out at my blog! (And yes, that's me sniffing Six of Crows in our car.)

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