Saturday, 18 August 2012

Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend (Legend, #1)

  Legend by Marie Lu
  Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
  Publication date: November 29th 2011
  My rating: 4.5 stars


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 set in a futuristic Los Angeles, part of the Western states that is now at war with “the colonies” or the Eastern states of what was formally the United States.  This world has been ravaged by climatic disasters and plagues.  This world is one of rigid social classes and brutality. 

Fifteen year-old, June and Day come from very different worlds; June is the darling prodigy of the Republic and part of the elite that live in Los Angeles. Day is The Republic’s most wanted criminal. This doesn’t stop June from admiring the antics and stunts pulled by Day as statements against the Republic’s rule.  He’s sort of the people’s hero, and June wants to be just as good so she can catch him when she becomes one of the elite guards of the Republic.  No one knows Day’s true identity because according to The Republic, he’s dead. 

At age ten all have to submit to a Trial.  The score you receive determines your place in society.  Ones with high scores have access to higher education and opportunities for wealth and station.  The ones who score below that are not so fortunate, and work in menial jobs of service.  If you score really low, the Republic carts you off immediately to “labor camps” (at least that’s what they say) and you never see your family again.  June had a perfect trial score and Day scored very low.   

June and Day’s worlds collide when her brother, Metias is found murdered and Day is fingered as the prime suspect.  June makes it her prime goal to catch Day and bring him to justice, making him pay for the hurt he’s caused her and the life he took.  But all is not what it seems and June’s world and beliefs are about to be shaken. 

I was surprised by the brutality of this story.  The way the Republic and guard treated the people gave me shivers of fear.  The common people are looked upon as dirt.  June holds the same opinion of the people, at first. Easy to make judgments when you live in a world far removed from the lower classes.  Her opinion starts to change when she goes undercover and “walks a mile in their moccasins,” so to speak.   When June first meets Day, she’s unaware of who he is, and Day is also in the dark regarding her identity.  This allows them to form an attachment to each other before they figure things out.  I loved the slow build of their connection which made the romance, even though a small part to the story, really good.  I must share a swoony quote: 

He kisses me gently at first and then, as if he’s reaching for something more, he pushes me against the wall and kisses me harder. His lips are warm and so soft—his hair brushes against my face. I try to focus. (Not his first time.  He’s definitely kissed other girls before, and quite a few at that. He’s—he seems like he’s short of breath….)

This story is told in both June and Day’s POVs, therefore it was easy to connect to each of them.  It’s a good thing it was told like this, because if I didn’t get in June’s head, I probably wouldn’t have cared for her.  She was so biased in the beginning, but you can see why it was so through her POV.  I loved Day’s character and his loyalty to his family, even at great cost to himself.  I felt horrible for Day and all that he and his family had to endure.  It’s truly heartbreaking some of the things that happen.  I was thoroughly disgusted by one of the characters actions.   I hope they pay in the next book!  The pacing in the story keeps you glued to the pages and I read late into the night to finish!  My only complaint with this story is that June and Day didn’t feel like fifteen-year olds.  They came across as much older, but maybe this is due to their environment; growing up fast in a harsh world. 

At any rate, this was an amazing debut for Marie Lu, truly impressive!  I can’t wait to read Prodigy to see what happens next!



  1. :) I love these stories where different social classes get to meet and fall in love! I'm glad both POV's are done in this book, so we can get to know both characters intimately. Defiantly want to read lengend soon! Wonderful review Rachel!

  2. I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Rachel. This looks like a book I would really like, so I'll be looking out for it now. And I love it when both POV's are written, especially when one of the characters is male. They are so interesting and different to girl leads. :) xxx

  3. You know I still have yet to read this book! I know. *hides in shame* Sounds amazing though, and that quote! *swoons*

    Great review!

  4. Yayy! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one, Rachel! I've been on tenterhooks over whether or not to pick it up, but your review - and that swoon-worthy quote - have totally convinced me that I havee to read this! Thank you so much for the helpful and absolutely fantastic review!(:

    Ivy Book Bindings

  5. i have not read it jet. eeep. great review

  6. I still have yet to read this. It definitely sounds intriguing and original, and it's gotten so many great reviews. I know what you mean about reading from a younger perspective, I've had the same problem myself. Glad you loved this overall. Lovely review, Rachel! :)

  7. I agree that this was an impressive debut. I'm glad you enjoyed it too, Rachel! The romance in this was really well-developed and I'm hoping we get to see more of that in the next book. Lovely review! :)

  8. Hi!
    I just came across your site and it is really lovely! I happily followed you and will enjoy reading your updates. You can find me over at Rainy Day Reads, It would be great if you could stop by and I would love to have a fellow book lover as a new follower.
    Christine x
    Rainy Day Reads

  9. I remember reading Legend earlier this year and LOVED IT! My copy was the US edition so Day's POV was printed in gold colour and it mesmerized me! I never had a book with fonts printed in gold before so it made me like Legend even more even though I haven't actually started reading it at this point ;) But when I finished Legend, it completely took my breath away. Day and June were AMAZING characters and I just can't wait for the sequel!

    Awesome review, Rachel! ♥ SO glad you enjoyed it!

  10. Somehow it reminded me of Hunger Games and Divergent haha, so one more book for me to read? Yep! :) It sounds interesting and I heared that they will released in Brazil, my country \o so I'll buy it ^^

  11. I was pleasantly surprised by this one too, Rachel, and I loved June and Day both. I get what you mean about June, though, I think I'd have struggled with her myself if not for the insight into her thoughts. I'm super excited about Prodigy, I bet you are too. :)

  12. Fantastic review, Rachel! I need to start this book really soon! I keep seeing this one and hearing positive things about it. I can't wait to meet June and Day (Yeah, especially Day)! LOL! Glad to know you enjoyed this, Rachel. I have to move this up a bit higher on my tbr. :)

  13. I am super excited that you enjoyed this! just WAIT until the bathtub scene in PRODIGY. :D :D :D


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