Author: Marie Lu
Released Date: November 29th 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
MY REVIEWLegend is set in futuristic Los Angeles, now a Republic at war with its neighbors. Did I enjoy this book?
Yes, I did.
I was captivated from the beginning, and the opening sentence is one of the best I’ve ever read: My mother thinks I’m dead.
I was hooked.
And the second sentence makes you even want to read more: Obviously I’m not dead, but it’s safer for her to think so.
Why is it safer for her to think so? You have to read this amazing book to find out for yourself.
Legend is action-packed, has lots of suspense, the plot is fast-paced, the writing is good, and it has a little touch of romance. Well, I was happy I wasn’t reading another Romance novel categorized as YA. The book is written from the point of view of two characters: Day, the most wanted criminal in The Republic; June, prodigy of The Republic, only citizen with perfect scores (1500) in the Trials. Even though I thought the world building lacked in some aspects, I still loved the book, still had mental pictures of the settings in my head. I loved being taken to the streets of the Lake sector, a place I can as well call ‘The Ghetto’. The street life kept reminding me of Dickens’ Oliver Twist and James Colliers’ Chipper, except that characters in this one were older.
I loved the POV switch between June and Day. It lets you know what’s going on in their heads. If the book were written from the POV of Day only, I think I’d hate June. I didn’t have any problem with recognizing each character, although Day’s narrative was printed in bold letters.
Day’s voice is that of a tough, bad-boy, street-hardened guy, while June’s is softer, contemplative, and strong-willed. Both characters are resilient, but if I have to choose who I liked best, then I guess it’s Day. I admire his sacrificial spirit, always been there to help his family. And that’s another thing I loved about this book – the close family ties. I cared so much about it.
Legend has other lovable characters. There’s Tess, Day’s sidekick. She’s younger, vulnerable, and near-sighted. But she’s strong. She knows how well to fix an injury with bandages. I cared for her just like I cared for the main characters. Then there’s Kaide, another tough girl, who gets into skiz fights. And I liked John, Day’s older brother, who supports and is very protective of his family.
If there’s something I didn’t like about Legend, then it’s the world-building. I wish I had more mental images in my head like I do when reading other good YA Dystopia books. I also thought the word-count was too low, compared to other YA Dystopia novels.
I can’t wait to read Prodigy. But I hope it’s more enjoyable than Legend. That being said, I present my five Stars (*****) to Legend, and I commend Marie Lu for this wonderful debut. I’m also looking forward to the movie.
Yeah, I think it’s typical of good YA Dystopian books.