Legend by Marie Lu
Synopsis: 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.
Why I Picked It Up: I’ve had it on my TBR list for a while, and my brother found it in a pile of his old books and let me borrow it.
I don’t think I am going to give it back.
What I Liked…And Didn’t Like: Oh goodness, it’s so hard to review a book I loved so much. I’ll tackle the negative first, and then I’ll rant about how much I devoured this book.
Let me begin with the first negative thing that struck me – Metias. He was very under-developed when he died, and so I did not feel any sympathy or natural emotions when June found him.
That was pretty much me after his death. Also, it was weird to see June vow to avenge this character-that-we-just-met’s death. But then later on in the book he gets so much more development and I realize how good of an older brother and important role model in June’s life he was. So I went back and reread his death and saw how much more it makes me feel when I actually know who Metias is.
The other thing I didn’t like was Thomas. I can’t say a ton without giving it away, but even without that part he creeped me out because he reminded me of Gretchen’s brother in Prisoner of Night and Fog. So yes, he displayed psychopathic behavior, and that in itself is enough to make me uncomfortable whenever he is in the scene. Basically, to Thomas and Commander Jameson:
Okay, and now for the fun part. Aside from the things above, this book was perfect.
June is your epic, kick-butt, fiery, agile heroine. Day is your rough-on-the-outside-more-on-the-inside bad boy.
How can I complain?
I adored that Day and June were born on opposite sides of life, and at one point toward the end June or Day says something like, “What if we had been born in each other’s place?”. That really made me stop and consider about my life, how I am living like June, with everything provided for me, instead of like Day, scrounging to live.
Oh, and this is a very tiny note, but I really liked how Day would call people “cousin”. It’s how people in Hawaii greet each other, and I thought that was a nice little tidbit.
The plot. Oh my word, the plot. It weaved through heavy topics and humor simultaneously, dove into poverty, ran into wealth, and just when you think everything is okay it plummets head first for danger. In short, one of the best plots in YA I’ve read all year. And possibly last year.
Whenever I saw it lying in my “to review” pile, I gave it a look much like this:
Yes. It was that good.
Can we also talk about why this book isn’t as popular as Divergent or the Hunger Games? I don’t get it. Honestly, I think I liked this book even more the Hunger Games (don’t worry, I still love THG).
Alright, I think that’s enough praise for now.
You Should Know: No language that I can remember. There is kissing, but nothing more than that. Violence can get a little descriptive at times, and there is a lot of it.
Who I Would Recommend It To: Fans of Divergent and the Hunger Games, come get it. Dystopian lovers, you need it in your lives, too. And everybody who hasn’t read it – READ IT.
Final Grade: A
I wish someone had made me read it sooner. I missed out on years of reveling in its awesomeness.
Legend, I welcome thee to my favorites shelf.