Legend by Marie Lu
Steph’s Rating: 5 stars
Dani’s Rating: 5 stars
Overall Rating: 5 stars
Publisher: Putnam Books
Publication Date: November 29th, 2011
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.
Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.
Legend is a somewhat typical, cliche dystopian novel, but somehow Marie Lu was able to get it across in a way that just makes it deserve every one of these 5 stars! Usually I’m not a fan of cliche stories, but I found Legend very engrossing. Lu’s writing creates a distinct air of suspense and forebodement, and I could not put this book down!
While I say Legend is cliche, I really mean its plot does not have the most original ideas. It has your typical secretive society that is trying to brainwash its citizens into thinking that it is the best and ultimate nation. There is a class system, and the law isn’t just or fair. The aristocrats get everything, and the poor get dirt. In Legend, this state is called the Republic, or the west side of the former U.S.(which had split into the Republic and the Colonies after an environmental disaster) The Republic is at war with the Colonies, and much like the government in 1984, they seem to be in perpetual war with their neighbors.
What made this book stand out to me were the stellar characters, and their dual POV’s from two flip sides of the Republic: June and Day. The near-nobility, and the criminal. From completely different worlds and situations, these two are thrown together and must uncover the truth of the Republic that has deceived not only them, but everyone.
June is a prodigy, a girl who is in a prestigious college at just 15 years old. She’s the only one who has ever got a perfect score on the Republic’s Trial, the test given to sort you into a class. She’s smarter than anyone in her age group, and excels even beyond her upperclassman. Her life is set: she will be an officer in the military, where all intelligent people go. Another one of those strong heroines who don’t need to depend on anyone to get things accomplished.
Day is the most wanted criminal in the Republic. He failed his Trial, but is a prodigy in his own way at the same time: he’s never been caught, and nobody knows what he looks like. He steals, but his motives aren’t as bad as you may think. He’s from the slums, and money means the world to him.
I think I need to dedicate another paragraph to Day. I love him, like seriously. He earned a spot on my boyfriend list. He is just 100% H-O-T. While the Republic calls him a terrible person, he’s actually funny and flirtatious. I was all giggly while reading his POV’s!
When Day is framed for killing June’s brother Metias, the two who were really never supposed to meet or even have contact with each other suddenly find each other in a mad and desperate chase. June swears that she will get revenge for her brother, but she doesn’t know the truth. She realizes the Republic might not have been so forthcoming, and with an uneasy alliance with Day, they must find out what the Republic has been hiding the whole time. While it is a little predictable on what the Republics hidden secrets are, it was great to see June and Day find out for themselves because it was like a splash of water surprise moment that I just truly enjoyed reading.
I love both of the character voices. They are two completely different perspectives of the same world, and I loved how the reader knew what was coming up when the characters themselves didn’t. It created a very good sense of foreshadowing and I found myself reading Legend deep into the night, because I just had to make sure everything was going to be okay! I was so nervous the entire time because June and Day both got a soft spot in me and I just didn’t want anything bad to happen to either of them while they were hunting each other down! Legend makes your heart pound faster and takes your breath away. A must-read!
Dystopian novels all have common traits that give them the label “dystopia”: A protagonist living a sheltered life in society,and the second protagonist and also love interest living a not-so-good life. Thus, Legend was dubbed a “dystopia”. I didn’t think Legend was very cliche compared to some other dystopias I have read. What made Legend an amazing novel is Marie Lu’s writing and, as Steph said, the characters June and Day. This isn’t one of those YA dystopian books where the two protagonists experience “love at first sight”. Hatred, fear, and revenge somehow morph into trust and...love.In the second half of Legend, the action really starts to build up. Secrets are revealed about the Republic, the antagonist Commander Jameson, and a not-so-innocent side character named Thomas. The readers’s questions are still not completely answered at the end of Legend, but that’s where the sequel, Prodigy, comes in! I agree with Steph, truly a MUST-READ!