Author: Marie Lu
Genre Dystopian, Young-adult
Series: Legend #1
Hardcover, 305 pages
Publication: November 29, 2011by Putman Juvenile
Source: Purchase for my own reading.
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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.
Legend is set in a futuristic Los Angeles, where the United States no longer exist. There is one type of ruling government, which is The Republic. Anyone who is against the republic is known as The Patriots. The Republic issues a trial/test that everyone must take at the age of 10, to determine their fate in life. If you get a high score, you’re looking at a college education and working with the republic, like a top military figure. If your score is average, you will get something similar to a high school education, and a low score will result in a manual/poor labor. Finally, if you’re worst of the worst and you fail the trail, you’re sent away to a “camp”.
The story is told in the first-person perspective, with alternating chapters between our hero, Day and our heroine, June. The layout for this book is very unique, Day’s chapters are written in gold and June’s chapters are written in black. I have never seen this type of format before in any books I’ve read which makes this novel stand out more. Legend has a Romeo and Juliet feel to the novel, where June is the Republic’s prodigy child and Day is a poor street-smart kid who is the Republic number one most wanted criminal. The way they think and act is almost one in the same, but at the same time are total opposite, with June living in the life of comfort and Day wandering the streets for whatever he can find and sell. As I mentioned before June and Day are one in the same except their gender and where they live, but they are both likeable-kick ass characters.
I pretty much loved everything about this novel; it’s full of action, mystery and a sprinkle of romance (yay for no love triangles!). The only flaw is the world-building and the ages of the characters, I wish I knew more about The Republic and The Patriots. Also the characters are both 15 years-old and the way they think and act are so mature for their age, and at times makes it unbelievable. Theses are just small flaws that don’t take about from the great storytelling. While Legend is somewhat predictable at time, it’s still a gripping read that will keep you on your toes and flipping through the pages till you reach the end. I can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Prodigy which hits stores January 2013.