Friday, March 9, 2012

Legend (Legend, #1) by Marie Lu

  • Title: Legend
  • Classification: Young Adult (Ages 12 and up)
  • Genre: Dystopia
  • Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam Juvenile (November 29, 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 039925675X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399256752
Notes: Contains violence.
Sexual content: Does not go beyond kissing.
Author's Website:

"Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time...You try to walk in the light."

The world is not what it once was. The United States and all its idealism is gone, a thing of the past some speculate never existed. What was once the US is now divided between the Colonies and the Republic. The border that separates the two runs from Dakota to West Texas. 

In the Republic, which resides on the western half of the dividing line, when a child turns 10 they take the Trial. It's a test that determines your intelligence, strength, endurance, etc. Your future depends upon what score you achieve on your Trial. Those who fail, are taken from their parents and are sent to Republic's labor camps--but that's just a lie. If the truth was to get out...

Day knows first hand what happens to those who fail. He isn't supposed to exist. He's spent his life living off the streets and making trouble for the Republic since they sent him to the supposed 'labor camps'. He's known as a 'legend' for his ability to shake things up and never be caught. If he has his way, things will change. He's one of the most wanted, not to be mistaken for most dangerous, people on the Republic's list. They have no idea who he is and he intends to make sure it stays that way. 

June is the only person to have ever earned a perfect score on the Trials. She's the Republic's prodigy. When her brother Metias, her last living relative, is murdered, Day is the person whose fingerprints are found all over the crime scene. She vows, "I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine." Day is about to meet his match.

This book reminded me so much of the 'Hunger Games'. It's not really that the story line is that similar, it's just that it has the same sort of vibe as the 'Hunger Games' does. So rest assured this is not a 'Hunger Games' clone. It also contains a hint of a Hitler type mentality where there is a wish to create a perfect, or at least more perfect, society or race.   

Day is the kind of hero you can't help liking and sympathizing with. He's smart, thinks things through, loves his family, and has been terribly wronged. He's trying to make a difference which is difficult to do by yourself, but he definitely has done more than most would suspect someone could on their own. 

June starts off being a very cocky type of character. She's smart and she knows it and has the test scores to back it up. The Republic has big plans for her and she is looking forward to serving her country. She, however, is about to get the shock of her life and her rose colored glasses are about to be shattered. She'll have to sort out fact from fiction and come to grips with what she finds.

Thomas, another key player in the book, reminds me a little of Liesl's boyfriend Rolf from 'The Sound of Music'. Granted he's not June's boyfriend, but something about his personality just planted the image of Rolf firmly in my mind. He was Metias' subordinate before Metias' death. Metias is the one who recommended Thomas be assigned to the prestigious city patrols. A position Thomas never would have obtained without that recommendation. He plays a key role in the story and his part slowly unfolds as the story progresses.

This book contained a lot of action, drama, mystery and just a hint of romance. I love the world Ms. Lu created and can't wait to read the next book in the series. The only thing I would have liked to have seen that was missing, and this is very common in Dystopian books, is what happened to the US. Maybe we'll find out in one of the sequels? Here's hoping. I gave this one 4 1/2 out of 5 roses. I highly recommend this to anyone who loved 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins and/or 'Unwind' by Neal Schusterman. I thoroughly enjoyed it.


  1. Great review! Really glad you liked it!!
    Farah @Majibookshelf

  2. Another one I must read. I love dystopias but only recently began reading YA..i am having a blast gobbling them up..great review..i will grab this one as well

  3. I'm so mad at myself for not reading it when I borrowed it from the library! Great review :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning The Pages


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