by Marie Lu
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*5 Emotionally Charged Stars*
“You’re the scariest, most clever, bravest person I know, and sometimes I can’t catch my breath because I am trying so hard to keep up. There will never be another like you. You realize that, don’t you?” I tilt my face up to see him. His eyes reflect the faint lights from the JumboTrons, a rainbow of evening colors. “Billions of people will come and go in this world,” he says softly, “but there will never be another like you.
Wow. Just wow. I must admit I was skeptical about this final installment. I had enjoyed the first two books and had planned on continuing the series after that bomb that Lu dropped on us at the end of book two, but as days and months passed, I grew less and less interested. There are so many new releases in the month of November that I had on my list to read, so the idea of putting other books on hold to finish this series started to sound less appealing than I had earlier imagined. But as November fifth came and went, I decided to pick up Champion and give this series one last chance to blow my mind….and boy was I impressed.
Another long, ominous pause. It fills me with dread so icy cold that I feel like my fingers are turning numb. The plague. It’s happening. It’s all come full circle.-Day
I don’t even know where to begin. Every character has had such an impact on the story, and yet they are all equally marked for death. Every single second is a ticking clock for Day, and June is none the wiser. Having gone their seperate ways at the end of book two, among other things, June is finishing her training and Day is leading people in a totally different area than she, until one day when fate brings them back together because of a virus outbreak that the Republic can’t control…and Day holds the missing piece.
No matter what happens in the future, no matter where our paths take us, this moment will be ours.
One aspect of these stories I have never touched on is the alternating POVs. A method Lu has implemented since book one, we have grown accustom to the necessary switch that has always let us know what’s going on for each extreme-the poor sectors and the rebellious side that Day leads, and the Republic government and military side where June has always resided. What I loved most about the alternating POVs, aside from what I mentioned above, is the seamless way that Lu transitioned from character to character, building up the suspense with each switch of views. Every new chapter had a purpose, a reason we were in one or the other’s head, making for the most emotionally advantageous scenario. It wasn’t always a dramatic switch, but that made it all the more alarming when something shock-worthy happened and the chapter faded out to the other character, leaving us hanging and wondering what happened.
I gaze back at her, slowly falling-as I always seem to do-back under her pull. Don’t make me do this, please. I don’t want to say it out loud to her; it might mean that it’s actually true. But she looks so sad and fearful that I can’t keep it in. I let out my breath, then run a hand through my hair and lower my head.-Day
Over the course of this series, I have had difficulty 100% connecting with June and even sometimes Day, but in Champion, June became one of the coolest, most memorable female leads I have come across in a while. Such a strong, remarkable, and significant character, June fights for her country and grapples with what is right and wrong and ultimately what she would do in each person’s situation. I loved her strong personality and inspiring method of deducing every scene, proving to be intelligent beyond her years and able to put her feelings into perspective…and when faced with a difficult decision, will she be able to make the right choice, even at the cost of her own happiness?
There’s love in her tragic words, in the folds of that thin metal ring. Isn’t there?-Day
Can one mistake really destroy a lifetime together?-Day
And then there is Day-fierce, the people’s champion. Compassionate, loyal, caring, and humble, but most of all, he will fight until the bitter end for the people he loves. Once coined the name ‘Day’ because he walks in the sun and is grateful for each new day that he lives, I think that nickname is perfect for this final installment where every battle might mean that it is his final day, both on the battlefield and with his own personal medical issues.
No matter how much money the Republic throws at me, I will forever be the boy from the streets.
And I’d forgotten that a boy from the streets is no match for the future Princeps.
A beautiful ending that both stumped me and took my breath away, I found myself crying happy, sad, and hopeful tears that left me speechless for this stunning conclusion-an ending that was in the stars and completely unexpected. While I walked into this story with no hope of a happy ending whatsoever, I am thrilled to say that it was always supposed to end this way and I couldn’t be happier. I finally fell in love with Day AND June, and finally felt invested in the fight for their lives in a world where none of them were safe. I can’t say I loved every single book in this trilogy, but I loved Champion, and this will be the book I look back on and remember in the future with fond memories.