Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 305 (Hardcover)
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.
Before I became a book blogger, LEGEND was the book that always eluded me in book stores. At first, I would always see it, but never bought it due to a lack of interest. Then, I would want it and the book stores would never have it. They'd be sold out because Lu's storytelling skills are that superb. Then, in all honesty, it's the book I began to forget about because there were newer books I wanted more. Once I became a book blogger, I began beating myself up for waiting to read this one for so long. So I set out to get myself a copy through trading and once I was successful, I started the book mere days later, though the review was scheduled quite a long time after that.
Either way, in my opinion, this book lives up to the intense hype surrounding it and stands out among the cliche dystopians that are all over the young adult literary scene these days. And, to be completely honest, I don't know how to formulate coherent thoughts when it comes to Day and June's story.
Day and June...gosh, do I love them. They're kickass in-your-face defy-all-the-rules-and-get-away-with it heroines that make the perfect "criminals." I felt for Day's cause and it was really easy to love him, to watch him fall for June and to see the intense brotherly emotions he felt towards Tess. And June, ah, June. I felt for her, too. Lu's writing is so vivid that I could practically feel all of her loss alongside her and I could feel her intense need for vengeance against the individual that she thought was responsible for such a huge tragedy in her life. Then I can further respect the fact that when she realized she made a mistake, she accepted that she was wrong, but she did something about it. She didn't let someone's innocence get ruined because of her misguided and emotional actions, and that is something I very much love. I also love the strong cast of supporting characters, specifically Day's older brother, John, and the love he feels for Day and what he does for the country.
The world-building was unique as well. The Colonies, oddly enough, are on the opposite side of the continent than the original colonies. As a history buff, I found this sort of ironic. They're fighting against The Republic to recreate the United States, but the Republic wants to stand alone and maintain their abusive political powers through the Elector and strong military that works to find Prodigy's like June--people that are insanely intelligent and athletic so they are nothing but essential to the country's survival.
I recommend this one to anyone. It's a quick, unique read that is easy to get through and I can't imagine many people having anything negative to say. It's an easy yet scary world to immerse yourself in, and it's one that is leaving me eagerly anticipating more.