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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hunger Games watch out - this is Legendary!
15-year-old Day has lived on the streets since he took the compulsory test known as The Trial (where every child's value to society is tested) and failed. He should have died then, but somehow he escaped and has been fending for himself on the streets of Los Angeles ever since. But Day has so much more to care about than where his next meal will come from and avoiding the...
Published 22 months ago by Paper Doll

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of [...]
I was very excited to read Legend as I'm a huge fan of the ideas behind dystopian stories and this one has had rave reviews. I did enjoy it, but unfortunately not as much as I'd expected to. Saying that, the book was entertaining enough, had several good points to it and I would still like to read the sequel. I believe that the film rights to this book have been bought,...
Published on 27 Feb 2012 by Stepping Out of the Page


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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hunger Games watch out - this is Legendary!, 24 Feb 2013
This review is from: Legend (Paperback)
15-year-old Day has lived on the streets since he took the compulsory test known as The Trial (where every child's value to society is tested) and failed. He should have died then, but somehow he escaped and has been fending for himself on the streets of Los Angeles ever since. But Day has so much more to care about than where his next meal will come from and avoiding the police: for the Republic of America's most notorious criminal, life is one rebellious act after another. The world Day inhabits is in the future, a bleak future where the United States has been divided into two - East and West, or the Colonies and the Republic. The Republic is responsible for the death of Day's father as well as for Day's living conditions, and Day will do whatever it takes to bring the government down. His only friend is Tess, a girl he found wandering the streets and who quickly became his best friend. But Day's world, and his plans for the Republic, come crashing down around him the day he sees a three-lined cross on his mother's door which can only mean one thing: either his mother or one of his brothers has caught the plague.

Meanwhile, June, also 15, is the Republic's Prodigy. Ever since scoring perfectly on her Trial, she has gone from strength to strength in the eyes of the Republic and is set for an important career in the military, just like her older brother Metias. But then Day, in his efforts to procure a cure for the plague, kills her brother and June becomes more determined than ever to find Day and arrest him. But while Day is consumed with anger and a burning hatred for the Republic that comes with being poor and downtrodden, wealthy June has a naive innocence concerning the Republic and it is this that will ultimately land both her and Day in more trouble than either bargained for.

This is a thrilling dystopian tale which fans of Hunger Games and also Veronica Roth's Divergent will adore. This is without a doubt the next big thing, the next Young Adult series we've all been waiting for. Lu writes beautifully and she brings Day, June, Tess, Metias, and all the other characters to life. The first person perspectives of Day and June are refreshing and enlightening; these are two people who begin the story believing they are chalk and cheese, but when they bury beneath the lies of the Republic and discover the person beneath, June's inner master criminal is unearthed while Day's inner prodigy is discovered. They couldn't be more alike if they tried.

I admit, I loved Day the most. I love handsome YA heroes and Day doesn't disappoint. He will go to the ends of the earth to help those he loves, and his bravery and desire to change the world making him all the more loveable. He's rough around the edges, because of course he lives on the streets, but this too is appealing.

But it is June that the plot hangs on because it is June's naivity that brings trouble and tragedy to Day's life, and it is June that it is left with the difficult decision that will change lives forever: does she side with Day, this charming young man who has opened her eyes to the way of the world, or the Republic, the state she was brought up to honour and respect above all else?

There are plenty of mysteries to discover in this book, plenty of plot points you'll be dying to try to work out. After all, this is the Republic of America and secrets and lies are their speciality. You know those books that are so good you're desperate to finish it and find out what happens, but at the same time you desperately DON'T want to finish it because then it's all over? Legend is one of those books. I don't understand why Legend isn't bigger than it is: Legend deserves to be Hunger Games big. But when I was trying to find Prodigy (the sequel) on the high street, I couldn't find it anywhere, which was very disappointing. Believe me when I tell you, though, you will not forget Legend. This is a book to remember.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of [...], 27 Feb 2012
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This review is from: Legend (Paperback)
I was very excited to read Legend as I'm a huge fan of the ideas behind dystopian stories and this one has had rave reviews. I did enjoy it, but unfortunately not as much as I'd expected to. Saying that, the book was entertaining enough, had several good points to it and I would still like to read the sequel. I believe that the film rights to this book have been bought, and I do think that it has a very cinematic feel, maybe making this better off as a film.

Legend is set in the urban setting of futuristic Los Angeles and follows two protagonists, Day and June. There is a war in America and Day and June are on opposite sides. June is a prodigy, a soldier who works with the Republic. Day leans more towards the Patriot side, he is a Robin Hood character who steals from the rich to give to the poor. He is also the most wanted person in the Republic. There is a plague that is ravaging the country and has infected Day's family. There is a lot more to the plague than a simple virus outbreak though, and several people come to realise this throughout this book. Whilst attempting to steal a plague cure, Day is accused of killing June's brother. June then makes it her mission to capture Day.

The plot itself is interesting and there is a lot more to still be explored in the sequels to this book. I don't think that the plot was anything particularly new, at least not so far, but it'd be unfair to judge that just from the first instalment. There were quite a few similarities to other Dystopian books out there. The world building could've been stronger - The setting wasn't terribly clear and I would've liked to know more about the two sides at war and exactly why, but again, there is room for exploration of this. Lu does start to hint at some reasoning by the end of this book, which makes me anticipate the second book to really see what's going on.

For me, the strongest aspect of this book were both Day and June. They both seemed to be strong characters and well formed. Day was loyal, brave and compassionate and June was a brave, self-determined character. I thought that they were both very likeable. Despite both having different views and upbringings, they were morally quite similar. They were also both logical and clever, though I think that they jumped to conclusions too often. I felt that the way that they worked things out so quickly and without much evidence sometimes weakened the book. Whilst we didn't learn all that much about other characters, including Tess (Day's friend), Matias (June's Brother) and Day's family, I thought that they were very solid and intriguing.

What I didn't like about Day and June was the insta-love. As soon as they met, they seemed to fall in love, which seemed unrealistic and felt a little 'lazy'. There was certainly potential for chemistry between the two characters, and I did see some as they interacted. I do like the two characters though, and together they did work well. The fact that their relationship was forbidden added to the suspense. I do look forward to seeing how their relationship progresses later on.

Legend is an action packed and reasonably fast paced book that I think the majority of young adults will enjoy. If you like a lot of action and perhaps a 'thriller' feel to your reads, you will probably enjoy it. Although this wasn't one of the best dystopian books that I've read, it was decent enough and I would like to see how the rest of the series pans out.
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41 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Legend - Marie Lu, 8 Jan 2012
Length:: 3:32 Mins

A video review of Legend by Marie Lu. For more book reviews by me, or other book-related videos check out SableCaught on youtube.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I adored this book!, 6 Feb 2012
By 
Book Passion for Life (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Legend (Paperback)
"You're brilliant," he says. "But you're a fool to stay with someone like me." I close my eyes at the touch of his hand. "Then we're both fools."
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This is the second dystopian book I've read this week that has completely surpassed my expectations and I have to say, Legend is a powerful, addictive and fast paced novel that is action packed, with an explosive storyline and a love story that will leave you begging for more.

June and Day are both 15 years old who both live in completely different worlds and both will do anything for the ones they love. The only thing is, Day is the worlds most wanted criminal and June is the super intelligent girl working for the Republic. When Day breaks into a hospital to try to find medicine for his sick brother, he is accused of murdering June's brother, Metias. So June makes it her mission to hunt down Day and capture him so he can no longer run around the streets of Los Angeles'. However, when June finally meets Day for the first time, he's not like how the Republic have made him out to be - he's kind, sweet and not at all a monster but who is the real monster in this story.....Day or the Republic?

I'm so thrilled to have loved this book as much as everyone else because I'd heard a few mixed reviews recently but after reading the first two chapters, I was hooked. Marie Lu captivated me from start to finish and made me want to continue reading about the story and characters even when I finished the book. Now I have a long and painful wait until September for the next instalment.

What I noticed and loved about this book was how very unique the characters were. Both June and Day are portrayed as very different characters but if anything they are more alike than anyone else. They are very smart, very brave and very loyal and even with everything going on in their crazy world; they manage to stay true to themselves. What I had to keep reminding myself through-out this book, was that they are only 15 years old. Sometimes they appear to much older and I personally think 15 is a little young for this book but with June being a super smart kid and Day being Day, I guess it fits with the story and it's something I can overlook.

Now the romance in the book isn't the main focus of the story, it's the back story and something you know is there but doesn't truly reveal itself until the very last moment. I have to say, I wished for more romance BUT the ending did leave me very content and satisfied, so I have very high hopes for the next book.

Overall, Marie Lu has created a fascinating, dangerous and thrilling world with Legend, one full of exciting twists and turns, full of betrayal and full of hidden secrets that will have you sitting on the edge of your sit until the very last page. A must read for any dystopian fan! I loved it!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but with some issues, 20 Nov 2013
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Although I did enjoy this book there were a few things that stopped me from giving this 5*'s.

The main characters - Day and June - were only supposed to be around 16 years old. However, for most of the book they seemed a lot older. Not just for what they were doing but how they spoke and what they thought. Maybe this was a result of their situation and the 'world' that they grew up in forcing them to be older than their years. Whatever the reason it was sometimes hard to take and keep in the back of my mind that they were so young.

The switch between the the points of view didn't phase me and actually gave me more of an insight into each character and their back story to really understand how they had arrived at their current lot in life.

One character that did grate on me was Commander Jameson. Unfortunately she tended to come across as a bit cartoony - and at some point reminded me of the character Christopher Lloyd played in Roger Rabbit. Especially at the end of the film where he's outed as a cartoon himself. I feel that she could have dialed down a little and not be so over the top.

Despite these points the story moved along quite quickly and was easy to read and did keep me engaged to the end. Day and June were likable characters (June more so after learning a few home truths later in the book) and I rooted for Day and wanted him to win!

I'm assuming that the follow up book will explain more about the Colonies and the war and how the Patriots fit in to the whole Legend 'universe'. It would have been nice to read a bit more about it in this book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hit and Miss, 19 May 2012
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This review is from: Legend (Paperback)
God, am tired of reading dystopia.
Once upon a time, it was a brilliant genre - fresh, orginial, exciting. Now its just fallen flat on it's face in it's race to become the next big young adult genre.
Seriously, we've only just got rid of the Paranormal Romance section at my local bookstore; I felt i could breathe a sigh of relief - those days of carbon copy, poor Twilight imitations were gone. I no longer read "A girl moves to a town and meets a mysterious boy. Drawn to him, soon she discovers the shocking truth behind blah blah blah" on the back of EVERY SINGLE YA novel. I no longer wanted to hurl them from the shelves.

And then came along dystopia. Sigh.
I know why it came along obviously - because of a little series called The Hunger Games.
I read THG when it LITERALLY first came out back in 2008, and then each sequel on the day they were released. I was like a proud mother watching it become huge - I just wish it hadn't brought this whole genre with it.

The problem is, none of these books are as good. I can't count how many - including Legend - involve some Hunger Games reference on the front, promising to be better. It just makes it look all the more stupid when it isnt that good.

And I feel sorry for Legend, to be honest, because whilst it's been the metaphorical straw that broke the back of my dystopia tolerance, it could easily have been Divergent, or Eve that was subject to this rant.

Okay, moving on: Legend.

The writing in itself is enjoyable. Maybe not the fastest pace, but easy to get involved in, easy to picture the scenes Lu is setting. I'm not the biggest fan of having two narrators as I find it disjoints the story, but here it worked well, even if June and Day were very similar in thought patterns and actions

One of the main issues I have with dystopia is a complete lack of world building. Society is under some form of injust oppression, our old world broken down due to X, Y or Z and two people try and bring down the system, whilst conveniently falling in love. But WHY has society become the way it has? Why do people stand for it? Yes Lu does an ok job of giving us a back story, but its muddled and implausable. Something about a flood? And colonies? Meh, I want DETAIL.

And then we have the main characters June and Day. I cant say I particularily loved either. June could have easily been Tris from Divergent, Day was just Alex from Delirium with some serious - and unlikely - parkour skills.
The only character I really liked was Metias, June's brother. I loved how much he looked out for June, how unbegruding he was about it. And then he gets killed within 20 pages. (No, its NOT a spoiler, it says as much in the blurb). Annoying.

I don't understand why Day is so hunted. Sure, he's a futuristic Robin Hood, but what's he done that is so bad that he's the most wanted criminal?

June remains pretty undeveloped throughout, although I cant say she annoyed me particularily. I liked her guts, her strength. She could grow on me I think.

The first half of the book is dull. It crawls along - dragging out a plot that would normally only last about a third of a normal book across 300 pages makes room for a lot of filler - and there's nothing in there that hooks you.

The second half is much better though, as the plot gets more complicated, secrets are revealed and the true enemy unveiled (not that it wasnt screamingly obvious from page 1, of course).
There was a teeny smidge of plot copying, from Lemony Snicket's ASoUE:The Wide Window of all places, but I didnt mind too much because it fit in with the plot well.

The ending of the book was average, I'd say, picking up in the very last few pages. I have to say, I felt physically sick when I read what had happened to a certain character.

I guess another sticking point for me was June and Day's relationship, or lack thereof. I am sick and tired of insta-love which has become the norm with this genre. There was nothing that happened between June and Day that explained why they were 'irristable drawn' to each other, at all. They had one kiss together. ONE. And that was because Day was drunk. Romance? I think not.
In fact, June was pretty much a bitch for most of the time. After certain events had happened, I cant understand why Day would give a damn about her, quite frankly.
Even at the end they were about as in love as a box and a shoe.

So, yes. Added to my pile of pointless Dystopias. It wasnt terrible by any means. It wasnt great, either. I'm unsure whether I'll bother to pick up the sequel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars limp and lame, 3 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Legend (Paperback)
I really wanted to like this, and I really don't like writing bad reviews. But in all honesty the characters were underdeveloped and unbelievable, the romance between them felt forced and flat, the storyline awkward and writing style boring. Having said that, I did finish reading this book: won't be finishing the trilogy though.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of A Trillian Books, 26 Jan 2012
By 
Amazon Customer (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Day is thought to be dead by his family, and the government. Instead he lives at large in the slums of Los Angeles, doing whatever he has to to survive ... and causing more than a little chaos along the way. He's the Republic's most wanted criminal, if only because they don't know who he is - there's no records or ID for him and he regularly changes his appearance to throw them off track.

June has had a privileged life. She lives in the rich part of town and thanks to her perfect score in the Trial she graduates from one of the top universities at a younger age than most even start there. Life isn't all great for June though, her parents died when she was young and she's been brought up by her older brother, Metias.

Day and June's destinies meet when Day breaks into the hospital for medicine for his younger brother. Metias is killed and June swears to seek revenge by hunting down Day.

Legend is the first book in what is sure to be a great series. Set in an intriguing world where the USA is divided into the Republic (west) and the Colonies (east), nations at war with each other for so long that the 'United States' as a concept is long forgotten, living on only as rumour. There is so much more I want to know about this story world and as such, I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

Duel narration from the two main characters, Day and June, provides clear insight into both of their personalities and with a combination of a hot, rebellious boy and a strong, intelligent girl, what more could a book need?Well, there's conflict, the obligatory 'bad guy', surprise twists, puzzles and an adorable side-kick in the form of Day's 'adopted' sister, Tess.

My only slight 'bad' point is that as the first book of a series set in a complicated world, it's a little heavy on the explanations at times. However, this is to be expected and even appreciated as it gives a clearer understanding of the setting. On occasion though, I was desperate to get back to the action.

A great start to a series that's surely going to be one of the top dystopians of 2012.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed, 20 Aug 2014
This review is from: Legend (Paperback)
So, Legend brings us yet another dystopian world to explore. This one is the 'Republic Of America', a country fighting a perpetual war against the neighbouring 'Colonies'. The country, as a result, is very militaristic - all the best jobs are involved with the military and all the best students are sent to the best universities where they train to become soldiers because 'better soldiers make for better chance of victory against the Colonies.'

Every child takes a Trial at the age of 10, and this test will determine the rest of their lives. A mix of physical and academic tests, the Trial measures a child's ability and each person is then given a score out of 1500. The education and opportunities you will receive in life depend on your score - it's the difference between university and a successful, happy life or being barred from school and destined to a life in the slums. And those who fail are taken away from their families and sent to labour camps for the rest of their lives.

A perfect Trial score is practically unheard of; only one person has ever achieved it and that's our story's heroine - June. This makes her somewhat of a prodigy and she is the only fifteen-year-old senior in a university meant for sixteen and up. She is very lucky - as well as being smart, she is from a wealthy district.

On the other end of the spectrum is our other protagonist, Day, the Republic's most wanted criminal. He's from the slums and he failed his Trial.

Legend alternates between Day's and June's perspectives and we find that, despite their differences on the surface, they are actually quite similar - both very brave and fiercely loyal to their families.

In my opinion, it took a little too long for June and Day to actually meet, I was waiting for the bit where they finally met each other and this didn't happen until nearly half-way through the book. Also, I didn't feel like I was sucked into Marie Lu's dystopian world - it never really felt completely real to me.

However, Legend was fast-paced and full of action and a very exciting read. I wouldn't say I loved it but I definitely liked it a lot. It was full of twists and turns and mysteries - where do the children who fail their Trial really go? What's really behind the plagues that keep breaking out all over the Republic? And the biggest question of all for June - is the country and government that she trusted and believed in so much, and fought so hard for, really what it seems?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good first book!, 17 Aug 2014
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My introduction to Legend was amongst the myriad of dystopian YA fiction that is seemingly spewing out of the US at the moment - not that I'm one to complain seeing how much I'm drawn to these books at the moment. With its dual narrative style and different approach - such as subtlely introduced themes and a lack of world-building (in comparison with many of its contemporaries), Legend certainly finds its own place within the genre.

I loved the character and voice of Day - consistent and coherent, he was understandable, passionate and his narrative was a cool mixture of youth and a worn understanding of the status quo. The reputation that preceded him did seem a little inconsistent with the boy we came to know, but I think this still worked really well. Whilst I appreciated the strong June, her narrative felt a little underdone, as if a few chapters of her thinking were missed. There were moments where the reader was just meant to accept her conclusions had been made behind the scenes, rather than following her process of working them out - a silence that was never there with Day's narrative. Whilst I felt attached to Day, June seemed a bit more illusive, you couldn't really pin her, or her next move, down. This may have been an intentional move, but the two parts did feel rather different in the amount of attention and connection I could have as a reader. So whilst Lu succeeds in making her characters clearly separate entities, the attention and subtleties in Day's narrative were lacking from June's.

That said, I really did enjoy Legend. Personally, it wasn't as unputdownable as The Hunger Games or Divergent, and it wasn't as well fleshed out as other dual narratives like Malorie Blackmans insanely good Noughts and Crosses series. However, it was really well written, intelligent and intriguing and I wouldn't be surprised if the next book in the series had me hooked!
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Legend by Marie Lu (Paperback - 2 Feb 2012)
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