Legend by Marie Lu
Published by Putnam Juvenile, an imprint of Penguin
The Republic is a region in the west of what used to be the United States, a nation constantly at war with its neighbors. Fifteen-year-old June was born into one of the wealthiest families in The Republic, and she’s being trained to be a member of one of The Republic’s most talented military factions. Fifteen-year-old Day was born into a poor family in one of the worst parts of town, and now he’s The Republic’s most wanted criminal. On the surface, these two have nothing in common, but they cross paths when June’s brother is murdered and Day becomes the number one suspect. While June is desperate to avenge her brother’s death, she comes to realize that her and Day have one shocking thing in common, and this realization leads her to question everything she’s always believed about herself and her country.
I know there are a million and one YA dystopia novels out there, but let me add my voice to the chorus of those that have been saying that Legend is actually very good and worth diving into. The fact that the reader gets to hear this story from the perspectives of both Day and June is refreshing, and as a reader, I liked both of them quite a bit. To me, the concept – once you get to the heart of the story and find out what it really is – was clever and original, and actually quite terrifying.
The action in Legend is paced quite well, in such a way that I never got bored but also didn’t race through the book either. Lu sets the story up nicely, and I really felt that I got to know the characters and their world quite well while enjoying where the story was taking me.
The thing is that I went into Legend knowing very little about it, and I think you should too. So I’m going to stop now and say that if you enjoy a good YA dystopia, Legend will really fit the bill and I would recommend it. But beware because this is, of course, the first in a series! I enjoyed many things about this one, though, and I sincerely look forward to the second book.