Thursday, March 08, 2012

REVIEW: Legend by Marie Lu

Title: Legend by Marie Lu
Pages: 368
Publisher: Razorbill UK (Imprint of Penguin)
Publication Date: 2rd February, 2012
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: Razorbill UK (for review)

Summary (Goodreads):
The United States is gone, along with its flooded coasts. North America's two warring nations, the western Republic and the eastern Colonies, have reached a breaking point. In the midst of this broken continent and dark new world are two teenagers who will go down in history....

Born into the slums of Los Angeles, fifteen-year old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. A mysterious boy with no recorded image or fingerprints. A boy who should no longer exist. A boy who watches over his family until one evening, when the plague patrols mark his family's door with an X--the sign of plague infection. A death sentence for any family too poor to afford the antidote. Desperate, Day has no choice; he must steal it.

Born to an elite family in Los Angeles' wealthy Ruby sector, fifteen-year old June is the Republic's most promising prodigy. A superintelligent girl destined for great things in the country's highest military circles. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country--until the day her brother Metias is murdered while on patrol during a break-in at the plague hospital.

Only one person could be responsible. Day.

And now it's June's mission to hunt him down.

The truth they'll uncover will become legend.
The book follows what you might call a 'traditional' dystopian storyline, and although at times it got a little predictable, I had a great time reading it. It is set in Los Angeles in the future, and goes like this: 15-year-old June Iparis is part of the Republic of America's army, and after her brother (who is a soldier) is killed trying to capture their most-wanted criminal, she sets out on a mission to avenge her brother Metias's murderer. 16-year-old Day is a celebrity of sorts, but not exactly for the right reasons. Day is a notorious delinquent. He is cocky and bad-ass, but also cares deeply for his family, which is why he was at the scene of the crime (Metias's death) stealing plague medicine. The two of them would probably be really great friends had they not met under these circumstances. Awwwwww.

The story was told in alternating point-of-views; June and Day. The characters were possibly my favourite aspect of the story. I enjoyed reading from both perspectives and thought that even though both characters are from completely opposite sides of society, their voices were startlingly similar, and they were certainly and entertaining pair to read about. June and Day were pretty kickass and smart and the two as individuals were very well-developed. I wasn't completely smitten with the romance between them though. June was portrayed to be this brave, independent, intelligent young woman for most of the novel and then she has to go and ruin it by falling in love. And with the guy she is meant to be hunting. Probably not the smartest decision ever, but then love is love, right? (And okay, I am probably more on Day's side than June's, Lu just made him sound so lovable despite his bulletproof persona). I thought Tess was sweet, and I really liked June's brother, Metias, even though we only really had a short time to get to know him.

Legend is fast-paced and exciting, it will have you hooked from the first first sentence--a very good debut novel. I'm really looking forward to reading the sequel! I think Legend is nearing the top of the post-apocalyptic-dystopia subgenre in YA, and it will definitely appeal to fans of books like The Hunger Games and Eve by Anna Carey.

Apparently the novel is loosely based on Les Miserables, but I haven't read that yet (do have a copy on my Kindle though), nor have I seen the play, so I can't comment on that. Sorry!

Thank you to Razorbill UK for providing me with an ARC of this book to review.



  1. I've got Les Mis on my Kindle, but haven't read it. I really want to see the play, too. I'm not sure about this book, it doesn't sound like one I'd usually go for, judging by the blurb, but your description makes me want to read it.
    I love THG and really want to read Eve, so maybe I'll give this one a go,.,
    Great review, sorry my whole comment is me contemplating reading this!

  2. I kind of liked this book, but I just wasn't feeling it as much as I wanted too, I guess. Not to say it was bad, but I just wanted more. But I loved Metias and Tess and Day! Great review :)


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