Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Legend by Marie Lu


Author: Marie Lu

Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons

4½ out of 5 stars

The whole world tilts as you lose your grip, sending you flying through the air.  The wind whips your hair around as you scramble to find a purchase on the building.  A windowsill, ledge, anything, that could slow your fall.  But your hands only feel smooth glass, and you try to turn your body to shield your precious cargo.  You came all this way, risked so much, you’re not about to lose it all now.  With each passing second you descend a floor, getting closer to the ground.  3… 2… 1… impact.  You try and roll as you hit the concrete, but all you can hear is the glass underneath your jacket clinking violently.  Bruised and battered you run to the sewers, dragging your twisted ankle, leaving a trail in the dust.  This is your last chance.  Don’t mess it up.

Day has lived a life of crime.  At fifteen years old, he is already the Republic’s most wanted criminal.  Living off the streets, no one knows quite who the mysterious juvenile is.  His crimes have made a fool out of the Republic countless times, but other than that, has he really done anything wrong?  Some say no.  He’s never harmed anyone and his crimes are more akin to pranks than felonies.  He gives the people hope.  But the Republic is out to crush him.

Fed up with his crime spree, the Republic decides to send their newest recruit after Day.  The bright, military prodigy June Iparis.  Raised in a wealthy family, with everything at her beck and call, June is the perfect image of the Republic.  Though she may have trouble following orders, there is one order June is determined to carry out: track down Day.  After her brother, Metias, is murdered, all the clues point to the notorious Day.  June wants nothing more than to avenge her brother’s death.  But to do so she’ll have to go into the field and integrate herself into a world she has barely met.  Will June capture Day and make him pay for what he has done?  Or will June find out that there is more to Day than meets the eye?  All is revealed in Marie Lu’s debut novel of two unlikely teens’ journey to realizing what it is they’re really up against in, Legend!

Legend takes the world as we know it, and hurtles it into the future, a place much like the one today.  In a society with a huge rift between the poor and the wealthy, this is a book that takes a look at honor to oneself, versus honor to one’s country.  Both Day and June must cross the line, and decide exactly what it is that they are fighting for.  Told from alternating points of view, Legend gave me a thorough look at the lives that had been planned out for Day and June.  I recommend this book for both boys and girls, who will both find something to enjoy with its healthy dose of action, and some romance on the side.

June and Day are from completely different worlds.  In an unlikely string of events, the two end up being thrown together, without even realizing it.  It’s through their interactions with each other that they learn more about themselves than they ever have before.  The two don’t even realize who the other is, but that doesn’t affect their relationship at all.  Instead I think it helped it.  It was interesting to see how caring and compassionate they were to one another when they didn’t know their true identities.  However, once they realized who they were, things changed.  When June and Day were stripped of their backgrounds, and the lives set out for them, they became different people and were able to see past the illusion that obscured the true Day and June.  They got a chance to get to know each other for who they are, and what it is that fuels their actions.

The world in which Legend is set is reminiscent of other dystopian books, but it still managed to stand out on its own.  June and Day live in the Republic, which is ruled by the glorious Elector Primo.  A society of have and have-nots, the elite live in grand apartments with every need taken care of, while the common citizens barely have enough to make it by.  The Republic is at war with the mysterious Colonies, and the citizens are brainwashed to hate the Colonies.  With JumboTrons that flash ads, electro-bombs that disable guns, and various sectors in which citizens live, the world of Legend felt both futuristic, yet very similar to today’s own society.  Those living in the slums dealt with the same problems that people do today, and the wealthy had luxuries, but not many.  One thing that was the same for both the poor and the rich was that at the age of ten, every child is required to take the Trial, which determines their education for the rest of their lives.  Only one kid has ever gotten a perfect score, 1500, on it, and that was June.  Overall, the world in Legend was immersive, but it would have been nice to have some things explained, such as the reasons behind the great rift between the Republic and the Colonies, and more history on their world in general.

Both June and Day tell their stories throughout Legend, which gave me a chance to see their world from both of their perspectives.  The chapters alternate between Day and June, with different fonts and font colors respectively.  The alternating colors and fonts didn’t bother me while reading, and reminded me of The Neverending Story, in which different font colors were used to symbolize reality, and the world of Fantastica.  Although the changing fonts may bother some readers, I felt that it only added to the story.

Legend is action-packed and introduced me to a dystopian world unlike any other.  Deception, lies, and deceit surround Day and June’s lives, but somehow they are both searching for the truth underneath it all.  Join June and Day as they reveal the startling reality that connects them in, Legend!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

My signed copy of Legend from Bridge To Book's YA In Bloom Event!  Thanks so much Bridge To Books and Marie Lu!

Check out the Legend website at www.legendtheseries.com.
Check out Marie Lu's website at www.marielu.org.


  1. I like the way you set the scene and your descriptions keep getting better and better. This sounds like an interesting read and I'd love to see how they interact despite their different roles in society. It almost reminds me a little of the Hunger Games. Great review!

  2. TESSA! I loved this book so much too -- I think it was one of the most captivating dystopians of last year because it was so original and awesome :) I loved seeing the sweet reactions between Day and June, and I actually really liked how the different perspectives were in different fonts too. You're completely right when you say it added to the story!

    Beautiful review, Tessa! <3 You're so lucky you have it signed -- Marie Lu rocks! ;)

  3. I always love the way you open up your reviews!! Sounds like I would like it if it's similar to the Neverending Story. Also, how awesome that you have a signed copy :)

  4. Hey Tessa!
    I tried to leave a comment before, but Google threw me off *grrrrrr*. Anyway, I really enjoyed this one as well :) The part where June and Day were together, kind of away from the Republic, and it was just them, really did give them a chance to get to know each other. I loved it when Day rescued June from that Skizz fight. Also was a big fan of how much they both cared for--and saw the vulnerability--in Tessa.
    Hope you're doing well!
    Ninja Girl


Hi, and welcome to From The Bookshelf of T.B.!

I can't wait to hear what you have to say! I do my best to try and respond to your comments, so check back often. Comment away!