Legend

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3.7 (2)
 
4.2 (18)
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Legend
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
November 29, 2011
ISBN
978-0399256752
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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.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Editor reviews

2 reviews

Action-Packed Dystopia!
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
What I Loved:
Marie Lu's debut is jam-packed with action. Where the derring-do in Divergent comes across as over-the-top and done merely because of how cool it sounds, the action scenes in Legend belong. Both Day and June commit seemingly impossible acts all of the time, but they also have the experience and the injuries to show for it. They do not come by their skills easily; they work for everything they earn, despite being prodigies.

Everyone who reviews this book gushes about Day, and, much as I like to feel unique, I cannot help but do the same thing. Day's chapters were my favorites all the way through. He's just such a noble criminal, and he reads very much like a boy. My love for Day is also inextricably bound up in the beauty of the formatting for his chapters. Day's sections are printed in a golden font, which might prove difficult to some readers, but which I love wholeheartedly. Also, and this is a bit of an odd criticism, but I think it's cool how June's chapters have a practical black font, and Days' are more ornate and unique, to represent their upbringings.

June is a tougher character to like, as she's meant to be. Where Day is the rebel with a heart (and font) of gold, June works for the evil dystopian government, and is rising quickly through the ranks. June believes wholeheartedly in what she's doing, and is determined to prove herself by catching Day, the killer of her brother. June grows as a character throughout, becoming someone you continually root for to make good decisions.

What Left Me Wanting More:
With slews of books coming out marketed as dystopians that really are not, I will have you all know that Legend truly is. The dystopian elements work quite well, though they are not all that unique. Having read so many of them, I recognized the various twists from other works and was not caught off guard by any of them. Many readers will likely not have so much knowledge of the genre, though. Nor did my knowledge of where the book was heading impact my enjoyment of the novel in the slightest.

I do agree with a criticism I've seen around and about that Day and June both read too old. According to the novel, they are both fifteen. They are prodigies and I get that, but they should still be in puberty, and I'm really supposed to buy that they're the most powerful people in all of the Republic? I get that they're prodigies, but how are there no adults that can even begin to give them a run for their money? Every time the text mentioned them being fifteen, it would throw me out of the story because it just seemed off. The novel might make a bit more sense with 17-18 year old main characters.

The Final Verdict:
Legend has well-written action scenes, solid world building, and convincing dual perspectives. I am so glad I have a copy of Prodigy ready to start soon, because I do not want to wait to learn what will happen to the characters next!
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New Dystopia Tale
(Updated: December 09, 2011)
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Legend's plot is similar to the other dystopias out there but it does have some qualities that I really enjoyed. First, I loved how Lu was able to show us a futuristic world that just happens to be in Los Angeles. I've lived in Southern California for over twenty years and was able to picture the backdrop. I also love how she's able to go back and forth between two protagonists. June is the only one in the Republic to score a perfect score during the trials. The trials are like a huge coming of age ritual in which the authorities determine who will go to school and those who will end up in poverty or worse. After her older brother is killed she's out to get Day, the other protagonist in this story. Day lives on the streets and tries to help his mother and brothers from the plague that is never ending. When both characters do meet it's not what I'd expected. This is when the writing goes up a notch. Lu's writing and pacing make this dystopia stand out along with her rich details and multi-layered characters. You can feel the violence in this society that's not as extreme as Hunger Games but still has enough to resonate that this is a society built on war.

I know some say the beginning is confusing but I liked how Lu jumps right into the action and builds the suspense that builds until the huge climax. There's elements of mystery along with a chemistry between two very unlikely characters.

The only complaint I had is the premise of a futuristic society with those fighting against it has been done alot so there are some parts that are predictable. The pacing, dialogue, and characters make up for this. Also a revelation took me off guard.

If you love dystopias, for sure pick up a copy of Legend.
Good Points
1. Likeable characters
2. Great backdrop
3. Dual POV that works
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18 reviews

 
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1 star
 
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Overall rating 
 
4.2
Plot 
 
4.3  (18)
Characters 
 
4.2  (18)
Writing Style 
 
4.2  (17)
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Enjoyed the dystopia, characterization, themes of family and friendship and their growing connection
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I wanted to read this one because I have been in a string of contemporaries, and wanted something different. It has been a bit since I read a dystopia, and I have heard great things about this series from a lot of my blogging buddies, so I picked it up from the library.

I was interested in the world building and the US that is no longer the US as we know it. There is a dual perspective from Day and June, two very different characters but ones that also share more similarities than one might think.

They are both motivated by family, and they are extraordinary in their own rights. June is a female and she is in the top percentage of the test they administer, she is put into the military after her brother dies, and her first mission is to catch her brother's killer, who all signs point to Day.

Day is a fugitive, he failed the tests they give, but he has also given the government the slip. He has staged protests, destroyed or delayed military operations, and he was caught in the hospital trying to get a cure for his parents, who believe him to be dead.

The action and pacing got going pretty quickly, and that is what sucked me in besides liking the main characters because they are flourishing despite tough backgrounds. I was a little confused at the military set up, the testing, the way they were dealing with the plague, and what the different factions were that the main military is trying to fight. But I knew that that world building would kick in and just went with it.

There are some major secrets being kept of course, and as June opens her eyes more to what is around her, and listens to her conscience that a lot of it isn't right. She starts to look more into the death of her brother, more into the mystery that is Day, and she uncovers a lot of things. Day is informed about the government and the war, he has a lot of street smarts, and he realizes that he may just have met his match with June.

I enjoyed the budding romance, but also their cognizance of the issues it presents when they realize the other's true identity and what they are affiliated with and what that means to them personally and seems that they are at odds.

I will def be continuing this series, and so glad that I gave it a try even though I had some doubts, I kept seeing good reviews for Marie Lu and this series by bloggers I trust. Fate put it on that library shelf and I am glad.


Bottom Line: Enjoyed the dystopia, characterization, themes of family and friendship and their growing connection.
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Incredible dystopea
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Love it love it love it!!!
If you love dystopeas as much as I do, then this will probably end up on your list of favorite's. I thought it was so good. The characters were easy to fall in love with and so intriguing, you're not going to be able to stop reading. I love the world itself, the republic of America is so cool and captivating. I especially love how she uses cities we know of today, the whole book takes place in LA, and since I've been to LA its so cool to imagine the city's future.
This book is so action packed, you won't be able to put it down. I've grown to love Marie Lu's writing style, it makes you feel like you're watching a movie while reading it.
The plot itself may have been one of the best parts. I love the protagonists, June and Day, and that ones a Republic prodigy and ones a wanted criminal. You get the same story from two very different point of views, allowing you to become obsessed with both characters. Definitely a must-read.
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So-so dystopian, entertaining story
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
For me, Legend was a fast-paced, entertaining novel, but not a particularly good novel. I thought this was something like an action movie—great in the moment, but doesn’t make a strong impression or really do well under close scrutiny. There are a lot of dystopian novels in the world, and unfortunately, I think this is more or less the same as the rest, just with a different first impression.

Like many dystopian societies, the world Marie Lu creates in Legend doesn’t really have enough of a foundation. She throws out these terms, but doesn’t make the setting believable. In the former United States of America, there’s the Republic and the Colonies, which are at war. There’s some kind of plague, and at one point, it’s mentioned that there were a lot of volcano eruptions. And…that’s it. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, dystopia without world-building is like a car without wheels. It just doesn’t work.

And then we have the two narrating protagonists, Day and June. I think they’re nice kids. The story from their perspectives was easy to read and follow along with, and as characters, they’re just fine. Except for the fact that they’re complete Mary Sues, the both of them. Both of them are The Most Special Of All The Special. Super agile, super strong, super intelligent, super crafty, super super super. Both Day and June were good at anything and everything, and at 15 years old basically make every single adult in the world look like a lobotomized gorilla. How convenient!

Spare. Me.

And then, naturally, there’s this borderline instalove situation we have going on. The L-word isn’t used, but comments like “I’ve just met you, but I feel like I know you so well!” were liberally sprinkled throughout the text. Gross. Oh, and remember: these people are freaking 15. I’m sorry, but no.

I have every reason in the world to dislike Legend (as you can see). It’s not very good, to be honest. It’s full of overused tropes and obvious details. It’s also extremely vague in terms of how the heck did this society even come into existence—the most important question of all, if you ask me. I don’t know why this book works as well as it does.

As much as I’m not impressed with Lu’s overall efforts here, I think she’s extremely good at writing a compelling piece of fiction. Legend is an extremely easy read, and it’s hard to put down. I recognized flaws while I was reading, but still found myself enjoying the bigger picture. The action movie quality this book possesses makes it hard to grow bored or become completely dissatisfied with.

Legend is a so-so book that I still managed to enjoy, perhaps in spite of myself. Since it’s Marie Lu’s debut, I’m hoping future books in the series will show improvement. In any case, I found this book to be entertaining, but hardly worthwhile on an intellectual level.
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An action packed dystopia that reads like a movie
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I’m a sucker for anything that has the sales pitch “if you liked The Hunger Games, you’ll like this.” While it may seem like all new dystopian novels are being described in this way, Legend is one of the few that I believe truly lives up to this comparison. It’s a quick, fun read that immerses the reader in action-filled scenes straight away.

The events of Legend take place in a futuristic Los Angeles with a strong military presence working to combat the spread of Plagues that are affecting the poorer sectors. The worldbuilding is more visual than explanatory; it’s easy to picture this dystopian world, though there isn’t much description in terms of what happened to bring the United States to this state. The Patriots, the Republic and the Colonies are frequently mentioned, although their backstories aren’t ever completely fleshed out. Hopefully the sequel will dig deeper and provide more details about this world that Marie Lu has created.

The story is told through the alternating perspectives of June and Day, who are both prodigies in their own right, though one is being trained for the military while the other is a wanted criminal. They are from completely different backgrounds, and as the reader we get to experience both of these environments firsthand through the dual narrations. Both protagonists were strong, intelligent, resourceful, and likeable, though their voices were often interchangeable – if it weren’t for the gold text (which took a bit to get used to) indicating that Day was narrating, I likely would have kept mixing him up with June. The secondary characters were likeable too, but they weren’t as well-developed as June and Day; they seemed more like plot devices than actual people, though that may be due to their lack of page time.

Overall, Legend is a very enjoyable read with a movie-like feel to it. Between street fighting, government plots, riots, and escape scenes, there was never a shortage of excitement to keep the plot moving at its quick pace. It’s easy enough to get wrapped up in the story, and makes the few issues I had with it easy to overlook. I can’t wait to get my hands on Prodigy!
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Perfect
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Love June!
Good Points
This book had me at the edge of my seat the whole time wondering where it's going to take me, not that I'm complaining, Great!
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A Must Read! Lu's World is Absolutely Engrossing
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Steph’s Thoughts:

Legend is a somewhat typical, cliche dystopian novel, but somehow Marie Lu was able to get it across in a way that just makes it deserve every one of these 5 stars! Usually I’m not a fan of cliche stories, but I found Legend very engrossing. Lu’s writing creates a distinct air of suspense and forebodement, and I could not put this book down!

While I say Legend is cliche, I really mean its plot does not have the most original ideas. It has your typical secretive society that is trying to brainwash its citizens into thinking that it is the best and ultimate nation. There is a class system, and the law isn’t just or fair. The aristocrats get everything, and the poor get dirt. In Legend, this state is called the Republic, or the west side of the former U.S.(which had split into the Republic and the Colonies after an environmental disaster) The Republic is at war with the Colonies, and much like the government in 1984, they seem to be in perpetual war with their neighbors.


What made this book stand out to me were the stellar characters, and their dual POV’s from two flip sides of the Republic: June and Day. The near-nobility, and the criminal. From completely different worlds and situations, these two are thrown together and must uncover the truth of the Republic that has deceived not only them, but everyone.

June is a prodigy, a girl who is in a prestigious college at just 15 years old. She’s the only one who has ever got a perfect score on the Republic’s Trial, the test given to sort you into a class. She’s smarter than anyone in her age group, and excels even beyond her upperclassman. Her life is set: she will be an officer in the military, where all intelligent people go. Another one of those strong heroines who don’t need to depend on anyone to get things accomplished.


Day is the most wanted criminal in the Republic. He failed his Trial, but is a prodigy in his own way at the same time: he’s never been caught, and nobody knows what he looks like. He steals, but his motives aren’t as bad as you may think. He’s from the slums, and money means the world to him.


I think I need to dedicate another paragraph to Day. I love him, like seriously. He earned a spot on my boyfriend list. He is just 100% H-O-T. While the Republic calls him a terrible person, he’s actually funny and flirtatious. I was all giggly while reading his POV’s!


When Day is framed for killing June’s brother Metias, the two who were really never supposed to meet or even have contact with each other suddenly find each other in a mad and desperate chase. June swears that she will get revenge for her brother, but she doesn’t know the truth. She realizes the Republic might not have been so forthcoming, and with an uneasy alliance with Day, they must find out what the Republic has been hiding the whole time. While it is a little predictable on what the Republics hidden secrets are, it was great to see June and Day find out for themselves because it was like a splash of water surprise moment that I just truly enjoyed reading.


I love both of the character voices. They are two completely different perspectives of the same world, and I loved how the reader knew what was coming up when the characters themselves didn’t. It created a very good sense of foreshadowing and I found myself reading Legend deep into the night, because I just had to make sure everything was going to be okay! I was so nervous the entire time because June and Day both got a soft spot in me and I just didn’t want anything bad to happen to either of them while they were hunting each other down! Legend makes your heart pound faster and takes your breath away. A must-read!

Dani’s Commentary:

Dystopian novels all have common traits that give them the label “dystopia”: A protagonist living a sheltered life in society,and the second protagonist and also love interest living a not-so-good life. Thus, Legend was dubbed a “dystopia”. I didn’t think Legend was very cliche compared to some other dystopias I have read. What made Legend an amazing novel is Marie Lu’s writing and, as Steph said, the characters June and Day. This isn’t one of those YA dystopian books where the two protagonists experience “love at first sight”. Hatred, fear, and revenge somehow morph into trust and...love.

In the second half of Legend, the action really starts to build up. Secrets are revealed about the Republic, the antagonist Commander Jameson, and a not-so-innocent side character named Thomas. The readers’s questions are still not completely answered at the end of Legend, but that’s where the sequel, Prodigy, comes in! I agree with Steph, truly a MUST-READ!
Good Points
Characters are SUPERB!
Plot is quite intricate as well.
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Very Good!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
This book hooked me from the start. The writing style was unique in the way Day's POV was used in a different font and colour! Never seen any other book do that. The story of the forbidden love (kind of) captured me. Watching the friendship, and as well trust you might say, develop between the characters of Day and June was very captivating. The writing was very well done, I was able to picture everything perfectly and feel the emotions of the characters. My love went straight to Day, but for June it's slowly developing as her character seems to develop as well. Highly recommended!
Good Points
Great story line!
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What A World!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I got sucked straight into this world from the first page. The world is crumbling around June and Day, and the setting just came to life. I could smell the stink of the Lake area, feel the burning of the sun as it beams down on LA, hear the protesting against the government. The imagery was endless, and I can't wait to see what's next!

Oh...and the boy!

Every time I read a dystopian novel, I find myself amazed how authors can make a dirty, sweaty, bloody boy so sexy! But Marie Lu managed to do it! I absolutely loved Day--he's tough and doesn't let anyone walk over him. He's passionate and goes with his feelings; and he's cool and calculating. I fell in love with him!
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Total Love!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
I expected to enjoy Legend, but I did not expect to LOVE it.

First of all, our main characters are fantastic. I absolutely loved the strength and intelligence that June and Day both possessed. They were clever and bright. The story's told from both of their perspectives and their voices were really unique and distinct.

And this story? God, this story. It was this roller coaster of awesome and I don't even really like roller coasters. So...a water slide of awesome? Yeah, we'll go with that. There were all these twists and turns and the synopsis does NOTHING to cover all that happens. So much action and adventure and amazing.

And the romance? srfknhdfhjndfhg THE ROMANCE. I'm such a sucker for forbidden romance, y'all. I knew this would be a major source of joy for me, but not to the extent it was. It was adorable and wonderful and SA-WOON.

Marie Lu is honestly an incredible writer. Like I mentioned, it's told from two perspectives. Not only does she have her own voice as a writer, but both characters had their own voice. And I'm so emotionally invested in this book because she's just such a masterful writer.

Basically, I love this book so hardcore, you don't even know. I'm dying for Prodigy and I just...I need all of you to read Legend so you can suffer through to January with me, okay? And then when it's released and I have to keep waiting to read it, I need you to tell me it'll be okay and someday I will get to experience it's awesome. Got it? Good.
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Full of everything awesome!!
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
This book is full of everything, mystery, action, rebellion, suspense, and little twists in the plot every now and then. The mystery surrounding Metias' death was pretty clever, and I thought it was pretty harsh that....that would ruin the story if I told you. The dual views of Day and June was pretty clever, and so you got two sides of the same story, and in the middle part of the book, I tried to put the facts together to see what would happen at the end. It was way different to what I expected!!!

I think June was pretty hellbent about her brother's killer, a girl like her should of stopped and thought about what she was doing, and try to solve the puzzle. Instead she was so focused on hunting down Day that she did not see the real truth, and that would of changed everything. I think the author did this so June will be a one minded person, and that was pretty clever.

I think the romance between Day and June was obviously going to happen, so there should of been a bit more twists surrounding that. It was also to sudden, it was sorta like an insta-love kinda relationship, and it should of been more of a love-hate thing and then finally realising at the end of the book that they were perfect for each other, but the author did not, so I think it lost some marks there.

This book was full of dark secrets that helped twist the plot, and strong characters that are written amazingly. This book is worth your time if you love science-fiction and possible futures full of corrupted governments who think they are the only way to move forward. This book was pure awesomeness!
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