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on 24 February 2013
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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on 27 February 2012
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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on 8 January 2012
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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on 6 February 2012
"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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on 20 November 2013
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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on 2 February 2013
On the run and undercover, June and Day meet by chance. Irresistibly drawn together, neither knows the other's past. But day murdered June's brother, Metias, and she has sworn to avenge his death...

This review might contain little spoilers, so i suggest that you either keep on reading if a) you'v read this book, or b) you don't mind to be a little bit spoiled.

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 rumor. 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.

Day and June. I love how we don't immediately latch on to them as characters, and then as they get closer to each other, we get closer to each of them. It's really interesting how the government doesn't know how Day looks like, so his pictures are always different on the jumble tram. He's a wanted criminal in their society. Wanted for being awesome, lol.

We don't really know how Day looks like, until June sees him and tells us. And we don't really know how June looks like, until Day tells us. A really fun build till they meet. I still kind of like Day better, and i liked June too, but i think she was just too cold-hearted sometimes. I really, really disliked the Commander, oh wait, what's her name? Oh yeah! Commander Jameson. She was very cold, and so was Thomas. In fact, i think i disliked Thomas THE MOST. He was so 'urgghh'. He was kinda that creepy person who likes you, and who's actually a serial killer. Then we'v got June's brother, Metias, who i wish we could have known more. I wish he would have stayed with us a little longer, because he seems FANTASTIC. To be honest, i think he was my favorite character in this book. From what i'v heard of, he gives the feeling of an extremely caring, loving, protective and a very nice person. I love how smart our main characters are ( June and Day), and how observant they are. They're both like Sherlock. They both can pick things up and know the history of *click fingers* you. That's awesome!

I'm very interested about what's happening in the Colonies. Why the Republic is constantly in war with them? It had to be going on for at least 100 years now, because even parents have no idea that the United States was a real thing. So what caused the split? Cause it wasn't slavery. What was it? And what's going on?

There were so many epic stuff happening at the end. One after the other, after the other. But it ended just like i was hoping it would. Thanks for that! I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

Overall, Legend was an incredible and a bewildering read. That characters were all different and awesome, and the world that Marie Lu has invented was simply unique and spectacular! Definitely recommend this to everyone who loves dystopian, action and a touch of romance. I'm going to order the next book as soon as possible. :)
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on 8 January 2013
June Iparis is an over-achiever, confident and daring. Why shouldn't she be? She's the only person known to the Republic to have gained a full score on her Trial, the test taken at the age of ten which determines your skills, and therefore your future. Managing to gain admission into one of the top universities - at the age of only fifteen - has made her one of the most admired. June knows her future is successful.

Day, on the other hand, failed his Trial, and is currently quite high on the list of the Republic's most wanted. He comes from a low class family and has been surviving, on the run, for five years.

I like June. She's someone who's used to getting what she wants, and when she doesn't, she goes out and gets it herself. Including revenge for her brother's death. I also like Day. He's someone who's willing to do anything to support his family, even if it means having them believe he's dead.

The book is split into two parts, despite the fact that's it's barely 300 pages. When I was reading it I was really surprised by it's small size. So much happens in Legend that I couldn't stop wondering how Marie Lu managed to cram so much in. I don't even think 'cram' is the right word. I never felt as if the book was too fast paced or too slow.

The dramatic irony in this book was killing me. When Day and June first meet, the reader is aware of who both of them are, but the characters themselves aren't. I think all the dramatic irony was made possible because of the switching character perspectives. Normally I absolutely hate it when an author does that. Why?! Why can't they just stick to one person? Why do they have the make it so confusing? Only a few books are the exception... this book is one of them.

Lu writes with emotion. I felt that I could easily sympathize with all of her characters. Her writing was really convincing and not boring. If that helps.

In the end, I did enjoy the book. I liked it. Really liked it. The only reason I'm giving it a 4 instead of a 5, is because it didn't fully amaze me. It wasn't something that lingered on my mind. I still really like it, though.

4/5 stars - Really like it. Go read. :)

Quote:
"What a joke! Poor little rich girl's fallen in love with the Republic's most famous criminal."
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on 30 June 2012
Legend by Marie Lu really had a lot going for it. I enjoyed it immensely and just love the world Lu has created. It is yet another Dystopian YA yet somehow this book seemed different, but I cannot quite understand why. It is similar to a lot of other YA books like The Hunger Games and Divergent but it also has touches of other things. Les Mis, Romeo and Juliet and especially Robin Hood come to mind.

The Main characters (Day and June) were awesome. The whole idea of this book and of these two characters is that they are super smart, the smartest people in what is left of America. It was nice to see two characters relying on their brain instead of luck, brawn or other people. I loved that they were multi-ethnic. Day is part Mongolian which was nice to see. Too many books focus solely on white characters.

The romance between them was nice, it was sudden but natural, not `I am suddenly in love with you and cannot bear to live without you' like you see in so many other books. It wasn't the most chemistry filled romance I have ever read, nor the most passionate, but it suited the tone of the book. Maybe there could have been a little more fizzle but for me the book wasn't about that so I didn't need anymore.

I loved the corrupt government in this book. They really are awful, violent and mean. Lu was spot on in creating a menacing dictatorship that is easy to hate. She doesn't shy away from their brutality but shows it in a way that makes sure you understand how unjust this society is. She shows you not only the streets of the poor but the luxuries of the rich so you can compare the two and see how unfair things are for yourself.

The only problem with the government and the setup is that I am not sure how things ended up the way they did. There is very little history given or explanations about how America was almost destroyed or why the government is fighting a civil war.

Another problem I had was with the ages of the main characters. Both June and Day are 15 years old. I cannot think of a moment in the book where either of them do something, or say something that makes them seem any younger than 17/18.If the Author didn't keep reminding me that they were 15 I would have just thought of them as older. (In fact I still did, in my head they were 17/18 the whole way through.) It seemed silly to have these characters that look, act, talk and walk like 17 year olds but make them 15.To me there is a massive difference between a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old. I just thought it would have been easier to make them older so that the Author wouldn't have to keep reminding the reader that they were young.

I also think that maybe June and Day's voices were a little too similar. There was not that much difference between them, they sounded the same and at times it was distracting. I think it was an effort from the Author to show that they are literally the only two people like them in the country, but it come off as to samey.

Other than that it was a quick and enjoyable read and I cannot wait for the second one to come out.
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on 18 April 2012
First of all I'd like to thank Lindsey from Puffin books for sending me this paperback copy to read and review. I had heard good things about this dystopian novel so I was really excited to be offered the chance to read it.

Second of all I'd like to say wow! This is such a gripping read, I was hooked after just a few pages and from then on I struggled to put it down. I found it really easy to visualise everything that was happening, it felt like I was reading a movie.

The story is set in an America of the future, no longer The United States it is a very dark and different world to the one we know today. Plagues, wars and children being forced to take trials that will affect the rest of their lives are just some of the horrors that this future world has to endure. Controlling all of this is a government full of secrets and corruption, it's no wonder there are people who attempt to fight against them to discover the truth.

This brings me onto Day - handsome, brave and desperately seeking justice for the wrongs that have forced him away from his family. I loved his use of the word `goddy', this is now one of my new favourite words! June is intelligent and also brave, you can really sense her feelings of loss and confusion as she struggles to figure out who she can and can't trust.

The story alternates between Day's and June's point of view, they are both strong characters who are not afraid of danger and this made for such an exciting read. My heart was literally pounding with fear for them whenever they got into tricky situations.

When Day first meets June he has no idea who she really is and vice versa. You could tell that there was a connection between them which would obviously complicate things for them both and I couldn't wait to see how they would react when they found out each other's true identity. I did keep forgetting that they were only fifteen because they both seemed very mature, I think perhaps the events of their childhood are responsible for this and in my opinion this would explain their maturity.

The last few chapters were really tense and had me on the edge of my seat, there were a few shocks and some really sad moments that all added to the emotional atmosphere of the book.

This was an engaging, action-packed story that I couldn't get enough of - I can't wait to read the next book in the trilogy.
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on 27 January 2012
Legend was action packed from the word go. I loved the action, the drama and the humour that was rolled into one in this book. Marie Lu did a fantastic job of balancing all these elements and carving a fascinating and gripping story.

Lu has created a really well thought-out story with Legend. Things pop up in the final few chapters that were briefly mentioned right at the beginning. The smallest thing ties in with the plot so well, and there are no loose ends left to be tied.

The world that these characters live in is as fascinating as the characters themselves. I am a sucker for a good dystopian world, and Marie Lu didn't disappoint. Details of the world were revealed as the story progressed, and there are still lots of things left to build upon in the next books in the trilogy. I'm really looking forward to learning more because I think there is still so much history to be explored.

I loved both Day and June and reading from their alternating points of view was a great experience. I love how clever both of them are, and I love their similar traits and their individual personalities and views. There were times when I went from hating June to loving her again within a couple of chapters - I won't give any spoilers!

I am so happy that Lu wrote such well rounded and complex characters. Day provided some great humour at times with his sarcastic dialogue, and I was laughing out loud quite a bit during this book! Day and June's stories start of separately, and they begin to merge about a third of the way through. This is when I got completely hooked on the story and I couldn't put the book down.

I do feel that their relationship progressed a bit too quickly for my liking. I enjoy a good build up, and while there was no insta-love, they did 'fall for' (their words, not mine) each other quickly. They were also quick to forgive each other for various things, whereas I was expecting some underlying hatred to make its way to the surface for various reasons towards the end.

The ending of the novel was fantastic. It had me on the edge of my seat, and it even made me cry a couple of times. The book doesn't end in a major cliffhanger, which I am happy with and yet it doesn't stop me from wanting to read the next book NOW! I think if there had been a giant cliffhanger, I would be pulling my hair out (Delirium, anyone?)

I can only hope that the next book is going to be this amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am really looking forward to seeing where there Day and June will go next. I also need to know what happens with a certain 9-year old character, as it seems as though Day and June are leaving him/her/it *tries to remain spoiler-free*

I think every dystopian fan should give this book a chance. The plot isn't completely unique, but the world holds its own and is like nothing I've ever read before.
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