February 3, 2013

Review of Legend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu





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.

add to goodreadsLegend (Legend #1) by Marie Lu
Publication Date:  November 29, 2011
Publisher:  Putnam Juvenile

Available for Purchase:


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Gabby NewI’ve heard nothing but good things about Legend by author Marie Lu and have seen that fans of The Hunger Games and dystopia in general are supposed to fall hard for the novel. Obviously, I had high expectations of the novel (who wouldn’t when you find out that a book is supposed to be as good as The Hunger Games) and when it comes to having high expectations I am always very picky. It’s hard for me to put my emotions on Legend into complete sentences so I’ll just use one word: Amazing. Legend is everything that a dystopia should be and more. There were badass characters, intense government control, romance and so many plot twists that left me dying for the next chapter. I loved Legend and while I wouldn’t want to live in the Legend Universe, I can say that I adored being in the minds of both the wanted criminal, Day, and the Republic’s Prodigy, June.

Legend takes place in a post-apocalyptic universe where the United States is no more and is instead ruled by the new government the Republic which is at war with the Colonies. Main characters June Iparis and Day are both living inside of a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles where plagues are seen each year and where poverty is a common thing. Day and June come from different worlds entirely and it’s murder that brings the two characters together. Every child in the land ruled by the Republic take their Trials which is basically a huge exam that determines a person’s future based on their scores. While Day failed him, June is the only person to do the one thing that nobody else has done: She got a perfect score and is destined for greatness.

June and Day are brought together by the murder of June’s brother and it doesn’t take long for the two to meet. It doesn’t make sense to Day how he could have possibly killed June’s brother, but she’s intent on believing what the Republic has told her and that is that Day stabbed him in the heart.  June finds that the Republic may not be telling her or the public the whole truth and that there may be something more and darker that the Republic has been covering up. June and Day work together to uncover the secrets behind her brother’s murder as well as what the Republic has been hiding, but in doing so the two slowly begin to fall in love.

What I think really separates Legend from other YA dystopias would actually be the Trials. It’s something that is mentioned in the novel a ton and is something that changes the lives of characters in the novel drastically. The Trials are basically a huge exam that decides whether you get a good life or one that will suck and most likely result in your death, the two characters in the novel have different views on the Trials especially since they come from two different sides of the results. June who got a high mark was destined for glory and Day who failed miserably was going to die no matter what would happen to him. I’m hoping that in future novels we learn more about the Trials and possibly even see a few of the questions that may be used (what can I say? I’m curious).

I don’t think that I can put enough emphasis on how unique Legend is in its plot, but it’s unique as an actual book. It’s always awesome when the actual text in the novel has some sort of color other than black and I was surprised to find that every single chapter in Day’s POV in the novel has gold colored text. Not exactly something crucial to the story itself, but nonetheless I still found that something really cool. However it does take a few chapters to adjust to the color I found.

While Legend is a dystopia it isn’t the kind that rubs the fact that it’s a dystopia in the reader’s face. I wasn’t sitting there with every chapter re-reading about how the world ended and how apocalyptic the plot was, I’m actually quite shocked with the fact that the backstory to how the United States ended up the way it is, is barely even expanded on. Obviously it’s left my mind wondering and I’m really hoping to find out just what happened to Earth in the sequel Prodigy.  The romance in the novel was one that I personally enjoyed and while it did kind of have a love-at-first-sight ethic (something that always has the potential to irk me, it didn’t in Legend thankfully) I loved the way that Day and June’s relationship worked. They put behind the fact that June betrayed and pistol-whipped Day in the face and continue on with how in love with each other they are. Soooooo cute.

I’d recommend Legend to readers who are looking for a story that they won’t want to put down and want a story that leaves you dying for the next book. Fans of dystopia will definitely love Legend and everything it has to offer. After reading Legend the next dystopia I read will have some major standards to live up to.

About the Author:

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

Connect with the Author:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Heard a lot about this book but haven’t been convinced to pick it up until I read your review! The concept of the Trials seem so interesting, really want to find out more so definitely will check it out when I can :) Great review!

  2. Thanks Charlotte! I will admit that we had this book on our shelf for awhile. I wish I hadn’t waited this long to read it! Such an epic read.

  3. Paula P.

    I want Legend now. Your review makes me want to drop what I’m reading now and quickly(I mean quickly) get to nearest bookstore. Thanks for great review!

  4. lol Thank you Paula! You need to get on this one ASAP!! =)

  5. Maryam

    I’ve been wanting to read this for so long now but I still haven’t got my hands on it! I’m still just as excited to read it though, it sounds like a great read.

  6. I have been trying to get the first book from my library, no suck luck yet. This sounds really good. Great review.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  7. Alexa

    I have to agree with you on this one. The plot was so amazing and I really loved Day. The story wasn’t all out in your face the world is ending and I liked that.

    Thanks for the great review, I hope you enjoy the second book once you get a chance to read it. :)

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