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. – Goodreads
I’ve been rather unimpressed by some of the dystopian books popping up in the past year, but Legend definitely stepped up to the plate with its awesome.
Set in a future Los Angeles, Legend grabbed me from the very beginning. I loved being able to clearly imagine landmarks that I’m familiar with in this new environment. Who doesn’t love to see a little destruction of their city in fiction? I do wish there had been more history on the formation of the Republic, but the rest of the story was so good that I’m willing to wait and see what information Marie Lu supplies in the next installments.
I usually hate alternating POVs, but Marie Lu knows how to make it work with Legend. The transitions were seamless and I never felt that switching between the two characters stalled the story. I won’t lie, though, I was a little alarmed to discover that Day and June were only 15. Eeek, so young! However, that little detail was easy to overlook as I continued to get to know them. June is a prodigy and at the top of military rankings. Day, on the other hand, while equally smart, is from the slums and the most wanted criminal. Despite the difference in their upbringings, they share in having similar motivations and the two together made an incredible team. Legend definitely set up the beginnings of a romance, but there were more important things going on so it wasn’t a large focus. That said, I’m looking forward to see how their feelings continue to grow.
Oh, and this book made me weepy! Congratulations, Marie Lu, you succeeded in breaking my heart. If feeling June’s loss of her brother wasn’t enough, there were a few other scenes that made me an emotional mess. I loved that, on top of all the action and fast pacing this book contained, Lu had the core of this story centered around loss, sacrifice, personal ties, and family. My heart definitely suffered but these themes made me love the book all that more.
The film rights for the book have been optioned and, um, yes, this would be brilliant to see on the big screen. Bring it! I don’t usually like to say “Fans of (fill in the blank) will enjoy this” but, as a fan of both, I do think fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent should be as equally gripped with both the energy and heart of Legend as I was. For me, this book was definitely a standout from a lot of recent YA dystopian releases and I’m eager to see the story move forward in the rest of the series.
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