Legend 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.
“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”
If I could describe Legend to someone who has never read it in one word, I’d describe it as your “typical dystopia.”
It has your typical “kick-butt” female protagonist (and her trusty sidekick), your typical romance, and an evil government that needs to be overthrown.
I just realized that “typical dystopia” is 2 words. Oh well, too bad. Deal with it.
However, there were many things I did enjoy about Legend – despite the fact that I feel it wasn’t anything special or specifically memorable.
First, I enjoyed the setting that Lu enforced. I found it very easy to visualize future L.A. as Lu described it, each sector was clearly marked out in my mind, almost like a map. However, despite the good visualization Lu gives her readers of future LA, she neglects to give a backstory to help the reader understand why the United States ended up becoming divided into two parts.
What I also liked about Legend was that I actually felt not only for the main characters (the main characters June and Day were very well developed), but I actually felt something for the secondary characters like Metias, Day’s family, and Tess. This gives me such a connection and helps me as a reader understand the story better. Bravo to Marie Lu on that!
I enjoyed the alternating perspectives Marie Lu chose to use. (She alternates chapters between Day and June). Day and June have a unique style and it’s easy to pick out which chapter is narrated by whom (despite that the book tells readers anyway). This was helpful, where as most authors who choose to “double-narrate” eventually make their books “narrated by one character,” all the voices blending together. Fortunately, this was not the case with Legand.
So why is three stars than?
Clearly speaking, there was not much I disliked about Legend; it just surpass my standards.
All in all, it is your “typical” dystopia, not so much surpassing standards in terms of “quality,” but with many good characteristics. It might just hold my interest just enough (thanks to the ending!) for me to want to read the sequels Progidy and Champion.