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Legend #1


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What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Alternate Cover edition for ISBN 9780399256752

305 pages, Hardcover

First published November 29, 2011

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About the author

Marie Lu

38 books134k followers
[Note: Many apologies, but I'm woefully bad at checking my Goodreads emails! If you'd like to send a note/msg, please catch me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/Marie_Lu . Thanks!]

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

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Profile Image for NickReads.
461 reviews1,195 followers
March 1, 2022
“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time. -Day”



☆☆☆☆☆5 LEGENDARY STARS!☆☆☆☆☆

You can find the full review and more about this book on my blog!

Okay so before I start this review I want to say that I missed reading dystopians.The last one I read in June I think and this one reminded me how cool are they,and how much I enjoy this genre.Such a fresh book for these rainy cloudy days.Awesome!

“I don't know if anyone's ever told you this", he begins. He doesn't blush, and his eyes don't dart away. Instead I find myself staring into a pair of oceans - one perfect, the other blemished by that tiny ripple. "You're very attractive."

I've been complimented on my appearance before. But never in his tone of voice. Of all the things he's said, I don't know why this catches me off guard. But it startles me so much that without thinking I blurt out, "I could say the same about you." I pause. "In case you didn't know."

A slow grin spreads across his face. "Oh, trust me. I know.”



The book was badassy greatly thrilly epic.I enjoyed every bit of it.It was also confusing because when I think about the characters,they are only fifteen and they are like Einstein smart and Bruce Lee strong,and when I was their age I didn't even know how to boil an egg.Way to build my self-esteem.But come on that's why I am a reader.To read about things that seem so unbelievable to achieve,but in the end proving that everything is possible.That's why I love reading.

“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 are both fools.”



So where to start?...I read this one in 2 days.It's a full action pack filled with thrilling breathtaking scenes,smart decisions,emotions and caring messages.I also enjoyed the romance here.It was different.

“Forever and ever, kid, until you're sick and tired of seeing me.”



So what I really liked about this book is that the words match characters' age.You don't get to read here about young people quoting like they are 60 years old academics with full degrees,but you have a proper smart fifteen year old conversation between them.Also the way they expressed their emotions and affections it was so awesome,because I was fifteen once and I did the same way(Of course I was not a first class assassin with 1500 points in his trial)

“If you want to rebel, rebel from inside the system.That's much more powerful than rebelling outside the system.”



The beginning was interesting,like all dystopian books out there,because you get introduced with the world and it's problem and ways they rule things.I must say a lot of dystopians look the same in the beginning to me,because all of them include viruses,or mind controllers,government with people who look nice but they are evil,but I can't complain about that,I enjoyed this book so freaking much.

“The memory fades, and I’m left hanging on to the ghosts of his



The plot if well build.Also the world the author created is awesome and I want to see this book being a movie.It would make a brilliant one,because there are glass breaking,roof jumping,guns and tranquilizer.I mean who doesn't like tranquilizers ,they are like the hipster version of cuffs,because we all know cuffs are way to mainstream.Okay let's not get carried away.As I saw the plot was quite unique and I wouldn't change a thing.

“June has never looked more beautiful than she does now, unadorned and honest, vulnerable yet invincible.”



The story follows a boy named Day who is the most wanted criminal.Because of his family situation,one day he needs to break in the hospital to get medicine.He does that but heading out he get's in trouble.With officers and guns and everything he manages to get out.Almost at the end of his escape he faces a police captain and to get away he throws a knife to him.He doesn't look back and heads for his sake.In the other side a girl named June is notified that her brother,the captain,was found dead in the hospital and Day is the main suspect.Now she,the girl with the strongest skills,with the highest points in the Trial ever promises to avenge Day,even if it is the last thing she does

“You try to walk in the light.”



The characters were awesome described.I like reading about them both.And this was one of the first books I saw an equal between the boy and the girl.They were equal in every way possible.That made the book way more interesting.



June was great.A badass beautiful fifteen year old heroine.She is hell of a smartass also,and she sure knows what she is capable of.



Day was also a great character.I liked his sense of humor.He was also strong and too smart for a fifteen year old.

“My mother used to hope that I would rise up from my humble roots. Become someone sucessful, or even famous. I'm famous all right, but I don't think it's what she had in mind.”


I recommend this book to every reader out there.Is one of the best books I have read in 2014 and I have read pretty brilliant ones this year.If you want an action pack book with a lot of smart thinking in it , you should pick this up.


*Pictures from the review are not mine, I took them mostly from Google images or Tumblr*

If you enjoy my reviews and want to support my writing journey, please consider buying me a coffee. Happy Reading:)
Profile Image for Marie Lu.
Author 38 books134k followers
April 23, 2011
Well, it's mine....so, er...yeah, a little biased. :) Shameless. I know, I know!
Profile Image for Giselle.
990 reviews6,355 followers
August 11, 2016
I'm such a sucker for dystopians. I love the energy, the rush I get from them. When I got my copy of Legend I was thrilled. Now I know I had a good reason to be. This is one of the good ones. A dystopian well worth reading!

We've got two narrators: the notorious criminal, Day, and the noble citizen, though a little rebellious, June. Day has escaped death before, and he's only trying to survive while taking care of his family, especially his sick brother. June got a perfect score on her Trial and she's trying to get revenge for her brother's death. Their paths cross and the story takes hold in the most unprecedented way.

I truly enjoyed both of these narrators equally - which rarely happens. They both have great characteristics that make each POV really interesting and addicting. I couldn't wait to find out how their situations would play out. It was brilliant. We go through the story on both sides, night and day, and we're persuaded to root for each of them the all the same. It was original and well thought out.

The plot was typical dystopian; the world is completely changed and a new government has taken over, and they may or may not have everyone's best interest at heart *cough*. The reason for the present peril and what happened to the world wasn't explained as much as I would have liked. I hope the next installments discloses more details. We did get enough to still make sense of it and enjoy the story, though.

It was fast paced, which is always welcome in this type of book. There were no slow or boring parts, and it also didn't go in the direction I imagined it would. Which is great because it took me off guard and kept me really glued to the story.

This is another one not to miss, folks!

For more of my reviews, check my blog at Xpresso Reads.
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
June 24, 2018
so i did, i almost gave this book four stars. but then i said to myself, "self - you have to stop giving these YA dystopias your knee-jerk four star ratings just because you like the genre and you like to see teens in peril, you sick twist." and it's true. these things are pure candy for me to read. and i don't even care so much that the majority of them lack that believability factor. i tend to star-rate within this genre based on enjoyability rather than literary value, because i am neither a professional reviewer nor a teen.

but although i enjoyed this one so much, i gotta be more critical every now and again.

is this book fun? yup.
is the writing stellar?

well, that's the thing. it has great action sequences and a fine premise, but the characterization is a little weak.

it is told as a split-narrative between a young girl and a young boy. but their voices are completely interchangeable. not to the extent that you ever mistake one for the other, because their circumstances are completely different, howevs they do indeed sound like one character split into two. this would have been fine - two star-crossed lovers from different sides of the tracks that are in reality one soul split in two - oh true love and all that. but in order for that to work, there would have had to have been really strong secondary characters to show that the author had serious chops and was actively making that point. but all the other characters come from the avatar school of thought: "i am on this side of the issue so i am perfect and good." "i am on the other side of the issue so i am terrrrible."

some nuance wouldn't have hurt.

i just didn't get a good sense of individuality here at all. no one is complicated enough.

as a mystery novel in which the answers unspool at a reasonable pace and keep the reader interested, it is fine. more than fine. but when you sit down and start thinking about the characters themselves, you end up with beigey porridge.

as a retelling of les mis, which i am told this is supposed to be a nod to, it is completely unconvincing. seriously - if that is why you are reading this book, you are going to be mystified. if anything, it is more like romeo and juliet. the one with leonardo dicaprio and that chick from my so-called life. with more cage-fighting.

i'm not gonna lie, i had a great time reading this, but i think that if every book is going to be a variation on a theme, we gotta start raising the bar. because while this is fun, it is not really a game-changer.

i am not saying "don't read this," because this is a really high three, but the flaws have got to be addressed for the integrity of the goodreads.com community.

so - yeah - read this. but read it with some pop rocks and cherry dr. pepper, and an awareness that it's not going to stick to your ribs.

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Arlene.
1,164 reviews639 followers
July 22, 2011
Are you kidding me!?!? What just happened?!?

This book is ABSOLUTELY UNPUTDOWNABLE!! Yes, I realize that’s not a word, but I have to admit I’m a bit sleep deprived seeing as I stayed up all night reading this FRICKEN AMAZING book!! Okay let me just tell you now, this review is going to be an absolute, incoherent gush-fest. I haven’t felt this pumped about a YA dystopic novel since the The Hunger Games came to town. Mind you, I’ve read some pretty awesome stories since, such as Divergent, Blood Red Road, and Burn Bright. But when I’m taking this book with me to run errands so I can read in between red lights, I know something fantastical is going on, and there’s no way in HALE I’m stopping! GIVE.ME.MORE.NOW.P.L.E.A.S.E!

Marie Lu has created a book where the voices are powerful, the narrative is commanding, and the plot is explosive… all the way to the absolute end. Legend has shot up to my top spot in highly addictive series. This book was nothing short of riveting making it worthy of applause, standing ovations and literary accolades. I’m giving it everything I’ve got! I anticipate this novel getting some well deserved buzz, and I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. E.X.C.I.T.E.M.E.N.T.!

~okay breathe~
With Lu’s debut novel, she’s created this moment in time, over 100 years into the future, where the United States has split between the Colonies and the Republic and natural disasters have drastically changed the landscape of California and its surrounding states. Plagues are diminishing the population; and two sides of what was once one country are fighting each other using biological warfare, lies and anything and everything in their arsenal for land and power.

This story is told in alternating POVs between Day (Daniel Altan Wing) who is a criminal on the run from the Republic authorities, and June Iparis a recent graduate of the Republic academy who is placed on a mission to hunt down Day. When these two characters collide, secrets and conspiracies force them to take a closer look around them to find their true enemy and an all out manhunt explodes.

Being from Southern California, it was interesting to experience the setting of the book from an insider’s perspective. I’m very much familiar with Los Angeles and our beloved Public Library. So, to read how the state has changed was pretty captivating. The characters in this book, including Day, June, Tess and Kaede are definitely qualified to pull this series through to the end and I’m curious how the relationships between these four will play out.

Lastly, I’ll admit now, that the downfall to reading advanced reader copies well before the release date is that we have to wait even longer for the next installment, but with incredible books such as Legend… it’s worth the wait. Congrats to Marie Lu for exploding the YA writing scene with a story that’s finally, FINALLY going to give The Hunger Games fans what they’ve been craving. Something amazing!

Huge thanks to Flannery from thereadventurer for letting me read her ARC. ~tackle hug~ Thank you!

Profile Image for Wendy Darling.
1,635 reviews34k followers
August 30, 2011
I like an action-packed adventure, don't you? Legend is a lot of fun to read, and follows two teens who are born into opposite sides of a war in a futuristic Los Angeles in the Republic of America.

15-year-old June is an exceptionally gifted prodigy who is being groomed to become a military star. But when her brother is senselessly murdered, she embarks upon a mission to find his killer--and discovers that all signs point towards Day, a notorious criminal who is already wanted by the Republic.

This is a cocktail of utopian YA, Romeo and Juliet, and various wronged imprisonment stories all blended together with liberal dashes of adventure and intrigue. I liked both June and Day, and I was eager to learn more about the big mystery behind why the government is so interested in Day's brother. The best thing about Legend, however, is the terrific action sequences that the author writes into the story: there are great chases, exciting escape scenes, girl on girl sparring, and lots more.

As with so many of these books that are stretched out to accommodate sequels, there really aren't enough answers unearthed in this first installment, so presumably we'll have to wait until book two to find out the details of government's involvement in biological experimentation.

What prevents this from being a truly excellent book, however, is that the book overall feels very slight. At 300 pages, it is surprisingly short and there isn't a great deal of complexity in the characters, the world-building, or the plot. It's also extremely predictable. While the story is certainly well-written, most readers will be able to anticipate pretty much every plot development and thought that crosses the characters' minds...and really, what's the fun in that?

Still, I liked this book and I think it's among the better dystopian YA books that have been released lately. It's definitely an entertaining read and I'm interested in seeing where the story goes next. I do wish, however, that it contained more depth and more originality and more...everything, really, in order to make it a truly outstanding and truly memorable book.

This review also appears in The Midnight Garden.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
September 4, 2014
“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything's possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.”

So I finally decided to pick this up after sifting through all the reviews and reading positive after negative after positive after negative, sometimes I guess you just have to see for yourself. And Legend was all right, pretty good when compared to some of the crap I've read recently, it just wasn't anything particularly spectacular either. That being said, I'm still probably going to read the sequel because I seem to have come down with that annoying disease known as "caringaboutthecharactersitis".

In my opinion, this book was significantly better than Delirium, Matched, Shatter Me, Dark Inside, Pure and Article 5. It stood out amongst other members of the overcrowded dystopian genre, but that was mostly because a lot of the others are so atrociously bad, rather than this being overly mind-blowing. It was fun, though, easy to read, quite entertaining, I don't have any regrets about reading it.

The main characters are far less annoying than some I've had the displeasure of encountering in this genre. They're not that original or inspiring but they're the kind of carbon copies I don't mind seeing so much. She is self-reliant and can kick ass without the sexy love interest's assistance. He's kind, considerate and brave. The chemistry between them never seems forced, despite it being yet another "they felt drawn to one another" scenario. Somehow it doesn't matter that much here.

The world building is the weakest part of the novel, something that seems to apply to most new releases in the dystopian genre. A fact which is strange when surely the whole point of a "dystopia" is the world the characters interact in. But whatever, I will begin to sound like a broken record. It does get better towards the end of Legend with clues being introduced about the time before the Republic existed. This gives me hope that Marie Lu is simply withholding her world building to prolong the reader's interest, but I just hope that I'm not left hanging on this matter at the end of the second book too.

Another thing I didn't like - because I couldn't believe in it - was all the huge leaping to conveniently accurate conclusions. The protagonists would look at an unbelievably small piece of evidence and manage to solve an entire mystery out of it. I wasn't convinced, I don't care how smart you are, you would not have gone from A to B like that. You just wouldn't.

Though this isn't going to make it onto any of my "favourites" lists, I'd recommend this book to a lot of people. Those who keep loving trashy dystopias with a forbidden romance story, those who liked any of those books I listed in the second paragraph. Those who look for light entertainment rather than deep meaning or fantastic writing in their books. I conclude that Legend is not that bad, it'll probably be a hit with anyone who isn't getting tired of reading poorly constructed dystopia after poorly constructed dystopia.

UPDATE 09/2014: This review is not very positive, but the books get better and better!

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Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
547 reviews34.7k followers
August 30, 2020
“Each day means a new twenty-four hours. Each day means everything’s possible again. You live in the moment, you die in the moment, you take it all one day at a time.” He looks toward the railway car’s open door, where streaks of dark water blanket the world. “You try to walk in the light.”

Quotes like that are the reason why I love Marie Lu’s books. Well, okay, quotes like that and the fact that she’s a really great writer and always creates characters I can’t help but adore! The thing with dear Marie is that her morally grey characters grow on you. You might not agree with the things they do but there’s always a reason why they do them and you can’t help but sympathize? So I guess what it comes down to in the end are lots of wrong choices done for the seemingly right reasons. At least at the moment they make them. *lol* Does that make any sense?

If not, let’s just pretend I never tried to explain it and get back on track. ;-P I always knew this series is one of Marie Lu’s most known and a lot of readers seem to love it, up until now I never got a chance to read it though. To be entirely honest I only just discovered that my library has it and so I decided to jump right on the hype train and see where it was heading. Apparently I was the only passenger on it though. I swear I must be the last person to read this, but that’s okay. I know I’m slow. XD

This said after reading so many other YA series I actually didn’t expect to enjoy this so much. I mean yes, the dystopian YA vibe is strong in this one but boy was it done nice! I fell in love with Day right from the beginning and I appreciated June’s efficient and clever mind. Plus, for some reason the plot and how it was executed had me at the edge of my seat?! I’m not gonna lie, I’m really surprised I was so invested in this because it was kind of familiar and not all too many things happened, but I still wanted to know what would happen next?! Marie Lu certainly knows how to glue her readers to the pages.

So yes, this was surprisingly good and I can’t wait to read book two which will hopefully be a little longer than the first one! Still, there are a lot of things I need to get off of my chest so let’s head to my characters section and get it over with! =)

The characters:

You are now entering the Lake sector so if you don’t want to be spoiled and haven’t read the book yet you better don’t head into this territory. It might mess things up for you and we wouldn’t want for that to happen, would we? ;-)

June Iparis:

”Fourteen floors,” I call back. That gets them buzzing again. Somehow, this has become the closest relationship I have with the other Drake students. I am respected, discussed, gossiped about. Not really talked to.

I really liked June but boy did I want to scream at her when she allowed them to catch Day! XD The funny thing about her is that she’s actually a pretty strong character and knows exactly what she’s doing yet her somewhat sheltered upbringing caused her to misjudge a lot of situations she was in. Guess even an elite academy can’t prepare you for everything and this was exactly what happened in here. I understand that she wanted to catch Day and bring him to justice but the way she went about it... Well, let’s just say I didn’t agree with her and her methods. If she would have only stopped for a second she would have realized that Day is not her brother’s murderer and that someone tried to put the blame on him. Then again, I can’t even imagine how it must feel to be assigned the task of finding your brother’s supposed murderer. >_< Damn Commander Jameson that vile woman! *lol* I’m just glad June eventually realized her mistake and helped Day to escape. XD

”I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.”

”When I tracked Day’s family down and watched Thomas shoot his mother, when I looked on today as the crowd in the square was gunned down... I stood by both times and did nothing. Does that make me the same as Thomas? Are we doing the right thing by following our orders? Surely the Republic knows best?”

Daniel “Day” Altan Wing:

”In other words, the Republic has no idea what I look like. They don’t seem to know much of anything about me, except that I’m young and that when they run my fingerprints they don’t find a match in their databases. That’s why they hate me, why I’m not the most dangerous criminal in the country, but the most wanted. I make them look bad.”

I don’t even know why but I absolutely love him!!! Day is such a great character and I was with him every step of the way! I hated that he had to suffer so much and that his entire life was screwed up by Commander Jameson. I mean, seriously, that boy just tried to survive! Why did they want to get rid of him even though he had such a high score?! I really hope we’ll solve that mystery in one of the following books! Also it was so obvious that he cared about his family and to take that away from him, to kill them... It wasn’t right. Day never hurt anyone and he didn’t deserve this. He’s a precious snowflake and I hope June will take good care of him in the following books. Because if not I’ll find her and give her a piece of my mind! *lol* (I don’t even care that she’s fictional!!) I guess what appeals to me the most, is that he’s a survival artist and knows exactly how to use his abilities to his advantage. There’s no hesitation, he knows his limits and he knows when to push them. Which makes him a genuinely intriguing character I definitely want to read more about. =)

”Did you set fire to a series of ten F-472 fighter jets parked at the Burbank air force base right before they were to head out to the warfront?”
“I’m kinda proud of that one.”

”One thing I do know. Even if June’s plans fail, even if I’m going to be isolated and friendless when I head out to the firing squad... I’m going to fight. They’re going to have to fill me with bullets to get me to stay still. I take a shuddering breath. Brave thoughts, but am I ready to follow through on them?”


Metias stared off into the distance. “Few people ever kill for the right reasons, June,” he said after a long silence. “Most do it for the wrong reasons. I just hope you never have to be in either category.”

I think it’s sad he was taken out of the picture so fast! Metias seemed like a nice character and I would have loved to get to know him better but then again his death was some sort of catalyst to kick off the storyline and therefore was necessary and inevitable. The little we got to see of him before he died was great though. His love for June was obvious and I really hope there will be more revelations about his past and the work of their parents. Knowing Marie Lu we’ll probably hear a lot about his background throughout the rest of the series and I’m really looking forward to it. =)

Commander Jameson:

Commander Jameson lets out a laugh. “Ill-tempered until the end, aren’t you?” She releases my head and tilts my chin up with a finger. “What fun you are, my beautiful boy.”

I HATE THIS WOMAN! The only thing I can agree on is that Day is a beautiful boy. As for the rest: She’s a cold and calculating witch and I might have not seen a lot of her but the little I saw was already enough. How dare she to hurt my baby!? Let’s hope we won’t see a lot of her in “Prodigy”... unfortunately I get the slight feeling that we will. *lol* Anyway, on a more serious note: I can’t help but admit that I dig the idea of a female antagonist, especially one that holds a high rank in military hierarchy. It’s kind of refreshing and makes for a nice change. ;-)


”Thomas glances at me before stepping off the platform – his face is grave, even guilty, but I know with a sinking feeling that he feels guilty only for throwing me to the ground. Not for this massacre he’s leaving behind.”

Is he just a good soldier who follows his orders or is there more to him? I still didn’t grasp his true motives and this makes him an interesting enigma for me. If he is the murderer of Metias, why did he do it? Considering their close relationship I don’t buy that he just killed him because he got the order to do it. I mean he’d have to be really dumb to kill his best friend, but then again, maybe I give him too much credit?! Does he have ulterior motives? What’s his angle? I need to find out more about him in the next book! XD

The relationships & ships:

June & Day:

”He glances at me now, notices me studying him, and pauses for a second. Some secret emotion darts across his eyes. A beautiful mystery. He must have similar questions about me, how I’m able to pick out so many details of his life. Perhaps he’s wondering what I’ll figure out about him next.”

Was this insta-love?! Hell, yeah and it’s as good as it gets. *lol* Or well as good as insta-love can get. I mean they barely know each other, but fall head over heels and June is ready to die for Day and to leave her perfect life behind. But then again it’s not all about Day. June realizes that the system she lives in is wrong and that people get killed for being in the way, for saying their opinion or fighting for what they think is right. I guess in some way to spend time with Day helped her to realize this and so it appears to be insta-love, which it definitely is, but there’s also way more behind it than that. This said I kinda liked the enemies-to-lovers trope in here and it was a pleasure to see those two different people fall in love. Their circumstances were like Day and Night (see what I did there ;-P) but they both had a brilliant mind and used their skills in the best way they could. There’s something to be said about two intelligent people that are comfortable in their own skin and know exactly what they want and how to get it. Plus they both know how to fight and I really hope June will take good care of my baby now that he’s weakened from torture and prison. >_< I’m sure their love will get enough time to bloom properly. <3

”I feel a surprising pang of guilt. He trusts me – truly, stupidly, wholeheartedly trusts me. In fact, I don’t know if anyone has ever taken my word so readily before. Maybe not even Metias.”

Day leans toward me. He reaches up to touch my face. I can tell it still hurts him to use his fingers, and his nails are dark with dried blood. “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.”

Day, Tess & his family:

John grabs me again. “You’re completely cracked. Listen to me, and listen to me good. All right? You never fight back. Ever. You do what the officers tell you, and you don’t argue with them.” Some of the anger fades from his eyes. “I would rather die than see them hurt you. Understand?”

In retrospective this paragraph kills me. Well, truth be told, Day’s entire situation is killing me. I hate that his father died, hate it even more that his mother was killed and now John too?! How many members of a family can you kill before it is enough?! There’s only Day and Eden left now and I really hope they can save him, because I don’t know what will happen with Day if they can’t. I suppose for June it’s the same situation only that she’s already lost everything... Guess that makes her super dangerous for the government now. If you have nothing to lose no one can use anything or anyone as leverage against you. Still, John’s death killed me and I never saw that plot twist coming. >_< Also I hope Tess and Day can reunite. I loved their sibling relationship and Day just needs to see his little adopted sister again, okay?! *sniff*


I wasn’t prepared to love this so much but I get the hype now and I’m totally on board of this “legendary” train! I’m pretty sure this is only going to get even more interesting now that the stage is set and I can’t wait to find out what June and Day are going to do next! Also I hope their bond and relationship will get even stronger and drown out the insta-lovey start. *lol* This said, I can’t wait to borrow “Prodigy” from my library! Next one, please! XD


Okay, I admit it: June Iparis is amazing!
But so is Day and I love my precious son! <333

I was not prepared to love this so much, but wow I definitely get the hype now!
This was great and I can’t wait to read the next book!
My poor, poor Day though. T_T I just want to hug him! Such a brave boy! <3

P.S: That beautiful, gorgeous and amazing Day fanart by deanpinteresta though!!! Sometimes you look up fanart and you go all: THIS!!! THIS IS IT!!! That's exactly how I imagined the character in my mind! <333 I'll never get over that vulnerable, pained and defiant facial expression.


Since about 1/3 of all the people that answered my “challenge question” told me that they would want to be June Iparis for a day, I got really curious and decided to do a little bit of research.

So apparently June is the MC from Marie Lu’s “Legend” series and a kickass heroine. XD
Sounds pretty good to me. *lol* Plus the mere fact that this book belongs to the YA and science-fiction genre makes this even more intriguing. at least for me

Thankfully my library actually has the entire series so here I go!

Let’s find out why so many people want to be June Iparis! ;-P
Profile Image for Mizuki.
3,000 reviews1,207 followers
January 25, 2019
Updated@24/01/2018 : Strange, I looked back at a comment I'd make in 2015, and I think this comment sums up why I dislike Legend series. In order to save you some time, here's my reason:

Because reading/watching a bunch of Japanese action-themed manga/anime and then writing something based on them and then labeling it as 'dystopian novel' AND THEN devoting most of said novel to tell us how cool and awesome (and good looking) your MCs are really doesn't cut it.

Pre-review: I read Legend because I'd heard good things about it, but after reading half of this book, I found I'm not happy with the story, not at all.

Do I want to see a female author writing a worthy bestseller? Yes.

Do I want to see an Asian getting a head start with her first novel? Yes.

Do I want to see *finally* there's a well written dystopian novel gracing the realm of YA? Yes.

Still I can't pretend Legend is a good book, I just can't.

The following gif shows my feeling toward this book:

Okay, I can handle teenagers being stupid and clueless about how the world works, but I can't handle 15 years old teenagers who are supposed to be geniuses to act like a pair of hopeless idiots for an entire book.

I am not a huge fan of dystopian novels but I especially dislike authors coming up with dystopian worlds which make no sense at all with governments doing evil things and killing off children for no good reason other than to show off how evil and fucked up said government is.

After finished reading the whole story, I read from the Acknowledgement at the back of the book that the author, Marie Lu started writing the story of Legend when she was 14 years old. Ah, now I can understand why as a whole this book feels so very damn juvenile even for a Young Adult novel.

I am so done with all this eye-rolling stupidity, I am not going to read any more book by Marie Lu.

Should I make a list to note down all the problems we have to face when encountering this piece of works?

(1)The main characters:

Day: At the ripe old age of 15, this boy has survived alone on the streets for five long years and he is the most wanted criminal in the country.

Oh, so in this futuristic America, you become the most wanted criminal not by being a terrorist, a bank robber with firearm, a hacker or a serial killer, but by stealing, pushing pranks at the government and 'making them look bad'.

Give me a break.

And I don't believe for a second that Day can be a super smart tough kid who had endured the hardship of surviving on the mean streets for five long years, his actions and choices have never showed me enough wit and wisdom for him to survive that long. Plus he never mentions anything about going hungry, having to beg for food and money, being beat up or running into street gang in his past experience, how realistic.

June: A 15 years old star student of the military and also the one and only teen in the entire country to get a perfect 1500 score at her Trail when she was 10 years old. Not only June is supposed to be super smart, she also has as much emotion as a robot, who can stay perfectly calm and showing barely any grief when she was informed, out of the blue, her older brother is dead and his corpse is on display right in front of her.

Okay, it's nice to have a YA heroine who doesn't cry and moan at the slightest of things, but how can a girl act so emotionless at the wake of her brother's death? And she is also cool when seeing a spy gets tortured half to death?

Not to mention, these two super smart teenagers fail to see through the villains' wicked plan when I can see it coming from a mile away.

(2)The world building:

What world building? I only know the country is at war with another enemy country and every kid has to go through a Trail when they reach 10 years old and those who fail the Trail would be (secretly) sentenced to death; plus the existence of the good-old United States is hidden by the evil government, it's mentioned that there were a series of natural disasters in the past, these are more or less all the world building I've ever gotten.

Curious why the evil government would waste all those healthy-but-not-smart-enough kids by NOT training them up to be soldiers or labors when said government is at war with another nation, which means they would have needed all the manpower they can get their hands on instead of killing healthy and able 10 years old.

Not to mention, in this futuristic world, police can randomly beat children up for disobedience and they can take money and food from the poor people; but why would the citizens allow it? How does the government justify such things? How does said government remain in power when they are treating the poor people like dirt? Nothing is explained.

(3) The messed up little details:

Ah yes, in this futuristic world, they can't afford to put CCTVs around hospitals and police stations, but somehow they manage to have the freaking Internet.

The point is, when Day breaks into a hospital, there is no CCTV to record his break-in, but by the end of the story, all of a sudden there are CCTVs around for the bad guys to check upon? Why are CCTVs suddenly there? Just because the author said so?

Not only that, after the soldiers shot an plague-infected woman, they never bother to pick up the body, they just leave the corpse by the doorstep, and no one cares about an infected corpse being left out in the open neither.

Are these people for real? Are they Too Stupid To Live or something? I am shocked that none of them has ever thought about burning the infected woman's body, or even burning the entire house down!

(4) Tell, not show and lazy writing:

We are told Day and June are smart but their actions and choices have always showed me otherwise, we are told Day is supposed to be a cult hero among the poor citizens but the author never bothers to show me any affection toward Day from any of the citizen I had encountered in the book, no one seems to adore Day aside from Tess and Day's own family. I am told there's a war going on but I see no evidence of how the war may affect the daily life of the general public. I feel like the author is taking us all for fools.

To me, Legend is one of the perfect examples of why authors should not be allowed to publish a dystopian novel before they pass some tests on science, sociology, psychology and history.

Review for book 2:
Profile Image for Rachel E. Carter.
Author 9 books3,512 followers
January 27, 2023
4 out of 5 stars. This book fell short of a solid 5 for me because it had two small things I didn’t like, but otherwise it was golden.

What I truly enjoyed:

• Two unique POV’s of the hunter and the hunted –and I love, love, loved that the girl was the one sent to hunt Day, the criminal, as I tend to see this trope usually in the reverse.


• The action scenes –since I had read The Young Elites I already knew Lu had talent in this arena (that end duel!), and while there was no magic powers this time around Day’s POV was especially good (the chase through the hospital!)

• Mary Lu’s pacing is extraordinary, she knows what is too much and she gives us just the right amount. And it fits the militaristic atmosphere perfectly.

• The world building: I think it speaks volumes when I don’t even notice its happening. Seriously. I don’t remember any long paragraphs, just tons of snippets as the main characters go about their POV.

• Tess –an adorable side character, and if anything happens to her there will be hell to pay. I'm not usually a fan of child side characters and tend to find them a burden, but this one wormed her way into my heart with her interactions with Day.

• Metias –I really, really liked him and when he He was actually my favorite character until that happened.

What I didn’t enjoy so much:

• Special snowflake syndrome. Two 15-year-old’s lead the show. Try as I might, this trope contributed to minus one star. I just couldn’t take the two best in the land being this young, at least with Katniss in The Hunger Games and Saba in Blood Red Road they were never the best and the things they were good at made total sense. Sure, I believe June & Day were good to a degree –but for June to be the superstar recruit sent alone to hunt her nation's number one criminal who also happens to be a hot 15-year-old?


Yea, no.

That was a bit too far-fetched for me to ever get over it. That said, this trope doesn’t prevent me from enjoyment and 4-stars is still a really good rating.

• The not-quite-insta-love. Now let me clarify: these two do not like each other right away and when Day What I think my problem was the second-half of the book They didn’t know each other long enough for those intense feelings. I feel like they stayed together for a week and then she’s ready to do anything to save him. Also, because the romance didn't have much tension leading up I couldn’t root for them as a couple as much as I wished I could. I'm a big believer in tension -like for me that is what makes a romance so great in the YA books I read- and when there isn't a lot I just don't become as invested in the love story.

Still, I plan on reading this whole series because this was a great debut. Mary Lu has talent and I would like to see where it goes. Did I like this more than Young Elites? Plot-wise yes, it was a lot faster (and while YE had better action this one kept me bored less of the time); romance-wise, no, Enzo is my bae.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews33 followers
November 14, 2021
Legend (Legend #1), 2011, Marie Lu

Legend is a 2011 dystopian young adult novel written by American author Marie Lu. It is the first book in the Legend trilogy, followed by Prodigy and Champion.

The book is set in the Republic of America, a police state located in the Western United States who has waged war against its eastern neighbor, the Colonies of America, since its creation in 2054.

The country is led by the Elector Primo, who has rigged elections to rule for several decades, with the capital in Denver. Other than a huge gap between the rich and the poor, the country also mandates its citizens to partake in a Trial once they turn 10 years old to deem their fitness for the army; if they fail, the public is told they are sent to work in labor camps.

In reality, they are experimented on and executed. In Los Angeles, Daniel "Day" Altan Wing, a rebellious 15-year-old deemed as the most-wanted criminal in the country for having escaped the 'labor camps' and done subversive actions, stages a failed attempt to steal a medicine from the Central Hospital for his younger brother, Eden Baatar, who is infected by a plague (released by the government to create biological weapons) that has caused their neighborhood's quarantine.

However, he ends up becoming accused of the death of Captain Metias Iparis. Metias' younger sister, June "Junebug", a 15-year-old prodigy and the only person to score perfectly in the Trial, seeks to find Day in revenge.

Posing as a street urchin, she is saved from a wild Skiz fight by Day and his friend, Tess. Initially unaware, she falls in love with him, but when she discovers his identity, she informs the army to capture him and his family; when he rebels, Thomas Bryant, a friend of Metias and June, is ordered by Commander Jameson to murder his mother, Grace. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «پشت دیوارهای بلورین»؛ «اسطوره»؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: ماه می سال2016میلادی

‏عنوان: پشت دیوارهای بلورین، نویسنده: ماری لو؛ مترجم: پیروز دارائی، ‏تهران، پاسارگاد‏‫، سال ‏‫1392، ‏در 335ص‬؛ ‏شابک 9786001621116؛موضوع داستان‌های نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - نخستین انتشار سده ی21م

‏عنوان: اسطوره - کتاب نخست، نویسنده: ماری لو؛ مترجم: محمدصالح نورانی زاده، ‏تهران، تندیس‏‫، سال‏‫1395، ‏در367ص‬؛ شابک9786001822278؛

جاییکه زمانی غرب «ایالات متحده‌ ی آمریکا» به شمار می‌آمد، حالا پایتخت جمهوری است، کشوری که پیوسته در حال جنگ با همسایگانش است؛ «جون» پانزده ساله، که در خانواده ‌ای برتر، و در یکی از ثروتمندترین مناطق جمهوری، به دنیا آمده، اعجوبه ‌ای ا‌ست، که از بچگی برای بالاترین درجات نظامی آماده شده است؛ «دِی» پانزده ساله، که در منطقه ‌ی فقیرنشین کشور به دنیا آمده، از هر مجرمی در کشور بیشتر تحت پیگرد است؛ اما خواسته‌ های وی، از آن‌چه که به نظر می‌رسد، خیرخواهانه ‌تر هستند؛ «جون» و «دی»، که در دو دنیای کاملاً متفاوت بزرگ شده‌ اند، هیچ برهانی برای مواجه شدن با یکدیگر ندارند ــ البته تا روزیکه برادر «جون» «متیاس»، کشته شده، و «دی» به عنوان متهم اصلی این جرم، شناسایی می‌شود؛ در این بازی پرهیجان موش و گربه، «دی»، برای نجات خانواده ‌اش، تلاش می‌کند، و «جون» به دنبال گرفتن انتقام «متیاس» است؛ اما در گذر زمان، این دو متوجه می‌شوند، که حقیقتی ترسناک، باعث رسیدن‌شان به همدیگر شده، و کشورشان حاضر است، برای محافظت از رازهایش کارهای بسیاری بکند.؛ ...؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 15/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 22/08/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for jessica.
2,555 reviews35.6k followers
October 23, 2019
this is a series that is beyond popular on my goodreads feed and now i know why!

the world-building and character development in this book is top shelf. there is so much plot packed into this book that i was constantly engaged. with a corrupt government, strong female protagonist, high-stakes action and reveals, this has everything i love about a YA dystopian story.

i have no idea how the rest of the series will play out (considering how much happens in this book), but i am very excited to find out!

4 stars
Profile Image for Reynje.
272 reviews962 followers
January 13, 2012
Okay, hypothetical scenario time. Let’s suppose I had the madness, the power ("You ever tried going mad without power? It's boring! No one listens to you!" - Russ Cargill), and the inclination to pit several recently published YA dystopian novels against each other in a brutal and bloody fight to the death a la The Hunger Games. (Please, just roll with my craziness).

Now let’s suppose one of these tributes novels is Legend. How, in my mind at least, does it fare in the arena?

Without a doubt, at the siren Legend comes sprinting off the plate at full speed and confidence. It takes out a couple of rivals at the kneecaps without even raising a sweat (*cough* Eve *cough* Delirium ) It gets into a vicious scuffle with Shatter Me and Divergent, mostly on account of their break-neck pacing and all having generous sponsors who give them shiny covers and plenty of hype. Legend holds it’s own admirably, makes a narrow escape. Gets it’s hands on a few weapons in the form of interesting characters and solid writing, so when Blood Red Road makes a surprise attack from out of nowhere, Legend puts up a decent fight.

However, lurking menacingly in the shadows are the Chaos Walking trilogy and Shipbreaker. These books are comparatively seasoned, superior fighters, and use stealth to their advantage. And ultimately, Legend is no match for the facepunch of awesome that is Monsters of Men.

Essentially, what I’m suggesting is that Legend is a strong competitor in the dystopian field, with some decent skills up it’s sleeve, but it’s not quite of the calibre of YA’s finest.

To start with, the good:

Legend is a fast-paced, action-based novel that makes for quick, immersive reading. Events are set in motion rapidly, gathering speed from the opening chapters, and if you’re willing to let go and enjoy it, it’s quite a ride. Lu doesn’t pull punches and she definitely had me shocked with one of her decisions towards the very end of the story.

Lu’s worldbuilding is very visual – I found it easy to imagine the future LA she was describing: the squalor, the poverty, the land reclaimed by sea, the brutal military presence. The main characters themselves, teens Day and June, have good on-page chemistry and their dynamic is interesting, serving to complement, rather than hijack the plot. Likewise, I enjoyed many of the secondary characters (Metias, Tessa, Kaede).

So far, so good.

And now, the not so much:

While I found the world of Legend ‘visually’ interesting, the worldbuilding is factually thin. There’s not a whole lot explained or fleshed out, in terms of what has happened to bring the world (or the United States, at least) to this state. I didn’t fully grasp the backstory of the Republic, the Colonies, or the Patriots. Likewise, there’s some reference to the conquest of China, but the issue is only given a brief line. In fact, this was probably my largest problem with Legend – the ideas are good, the concepts interesting – but I wanted more. This is a slim book that barely scratches the surface of the world Lu is presenting. And unfortunately I felt that this carried across to other elements of the story, most notably in June’s case.

I can’t help but feel that it’s a fairly large risk on an author’s behalf to choose to write from the perspective of the allegedly most intelligent person. June’s logical thinking and attention to detail are certainly referenced in her narrative, but I didn’t buy her apparently prodigious intelligence. I could see what Lu was attempting, but I don’t totally agree that it was successful. It works a little better in Day’s case, translating to good instincts and street-smarts, but similarly, I wasn’t convinced that he was extraordinarily intelligent to the degree Legend purports.

The climax of the story requires a fair amount of suspension of belief, if not throwing it out the window altogether. While the events are easy to get caught up in, they are a little too convenient to be credible. Like an action movie sequence, there’s a lot of distracting noise and commotion, not a whole lot of logic.

At the end of the day, Legend is an entertaining book. It’s fun to read, particularly if you like fast paced books with a cinematic feel. I’ll be honest, I read most of it in one sitting and paid for it the next day when I had to get out of bed. That said, I don’t think it’s the most solid of dystopian novels out there. Beneath the glossy surface, there are definite weaknesses to the plot and the worldbuilding that don’t withstand tough scrutiny.

I’d give Legend a ranking of 5 out of 10 before I sent it into the arena to do battle.

Then I’d sit back and watch the carnage unfold like an Evil Book Dictator.
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,953 followers
June 3, 2017
This book was a re-read for me so that I could finally finish out the trilogy. I pretty much feel the same way I did back in 2015. I enjoyed the book and the characters.

I love Day so much and I love Tess and June.

I love that even though Day and June were enemies at first because of what June thought happened to her brother, they came together and found out the truth. It seems like there are some jerks running around lying. BUT, they always are right?

The Republic and The Colonies are at war, they are always at war. Can't anyone just get along? And there is a plague that is killing people. Supposedly they are giving people a cure and if you make it you do and if you don't you don't. June and Day find out some revelations behind that too and ewwww.

Anyway, I really hope to love the next two books!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I better love the next two books because I'm losing the battle of trilogies lately. Damn it!

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

*****Old Review From 2015*****

I can't believe I waited this long to read this book! I didn't think I would like it but I was so wrong. I loved it! The characters of June, Day and Tess were awesome!

I'm going to try to write this without any spoilers! So, there are the rich people and the poor people and there is a plague going around, but it seems to only be in the poor parts of town. Go figure right?

Day is a sort of Robin Hood, steal from the rich and give to the poor. He's awesome and I love him! He took Tess on as a sort of sister when he found her some time ago all alone on the streets. He's a really good guy.

When he finds out his families house is marked for the plague he feels he has to break into the hospital and steal the cure. They only let the rich people in, the jerks. He is almost caught and in his escape he injures a soldier named Metia in the shoulder. This turns out to be the brother of June, who is automatically brought in as a soldier of sorts to hunt down and bring Day to justice.

They end up meeting in a weird way and when she finds out he is Day, she has him caught.

So, all of these things happen that are not what they seem forcing Day and June to come together as a team. This does not bother them at all as they have fallen for each other.

It is a very good storyline with some messed up people doing some messed up things, but isn't that always the cause with people in government :)

I look forward to the rest of the trilogy!
Profile Image for Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink.
260 reviews4,948 followers
July 26, 2018
*Update* .... We are getting a MOVIE! Marie just announced it - you can see it here! https://twitter.com/Marie_Lu/status/1...

I'm honestly not the biggest fan of dystopian as a genre, but oh my, Marie Lu nailed the characters. Oh, I was drawn in SO FAST and I'm still in love even though it's been years.

Me... thinking about Day...

Day and June are so sweet and I LOVED their chemistry. My biggest complaint though is that they definitely act way older than 15. I'm not sure why Marie Lu didn't just make them 17 or 18- which would be much more believable. Sooo I pretty much just changed their ages in my head and I recommend everyone else do the same. I know they age a big during the series but regardless, that age range just doesn't fit.

So all in all, don't go into this expecting some super elaborate world or anything, but it doesn't need it. The story is super fun, and as long as you find yourself connecting to Day and June- you'll definitely enjoy the series just based on them and their interaction. Expect ALL THE FEELS.

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Profile Image for Bibi.
1,288 reviews3,232 followers
August 20, 2017
Pardon me for raining on the dystopian parade but I'm 5 chapters in and- already the plot development and progression seem patently obvious.

I think

Because I'm assuming the republic had Metias killed, pinned it on Day just so they could send June to track and kill Day.

I'm also guessing the two will fall in love, fight the bad guys aka "The Republic", then become the symbolic heads of the resistance. Right?

*passes book to 14-yr-old daughter*

DNF @ 20%
Profile Image for Kate.
315 reviews
September 27, 2015
Legend by Marie Lu

Holyyyyy, omg, where do i start..
This book was absolutely incredible!
From the time i read the first page, i knew it was going to be great, but never as amazing as it truly was. From page 1 to page 305, i was completely enthralled and could not get enough of it!
Marie Lu is an incredible writer, I absolutely lovedddd the two perspective writing!

The characters were incredible, the world was so incredibly vivid that i literally feel like i just watched a movie and didn't read a book, even though i got all of the emotional aspects as well.
This book just reminds me of christmas and cooking for christmas, because thats what I was doing when I rarely wasn't reading this book. hahaha!

Please, do yourself a favour and go read this book.
It is now one of my all time favourites, and I cannot wait to continue the series!!:D
Profile Image for Val ⚓️ Shameless Handmaiden ⚓️.
1,862 reviews30.1k followers
August 3, 2018
4 Stars

I’m late to the Legend party, so I’ll keep this brief.

I’m not rating this 4 stars cause it blew my mind (it didn’t) or because it was a brilliant fantasy book (it wasn’t). If anything, it could be deemed fantasy-lite, with two main characters who were basically the same person.

However: I really appreciated the clean, crisp writing, the freedom from bogged down filler, the totally bitchin’ pace, and the fact that it took me less than two hours to put away, start to finish. So for that, dilly dilly.

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Profile Image for Ninoska Goris.
269 reviews162 followers
August 17, 2018
Español - English

"En el espejo parezco la de siempre; por dentro soy una persona completamente distinta. Soy una chica superdotada que conoce la verdad, y sé perfectamente lo que quiero hacer al respecto.”

Es una distopía en donde La República está embarcada en una guerra interminable con el país vecino, las Colonias.

June y Day, dos ciudadanos de la República, tienen la misma edad y viven en la misma ciudad. Sin embargo, habitan en mundos opuestos: June es una chica privilegiada, destinada a ocupar un lugar en la elite del país por su condición de niña prodigio y Day vive en la clandestinidad y se dedica a sabotear los manejos de un gobierno que considera corrupto y asesino.

Los caminos de June y de Day se cruzan cuando Metías el hermano de June es asesinado, y Day se convierte en el principal sospechoso del crimen.


It's a dystopia where The Republic is embarked on an interminable war with the neighboring country, the Colonies.

June and Day, two citizens of the Republic, are the same age and live in the same city. However, they live in opposite worlds: June is a privileged girl, destined to occupy a place in the elite of the country because of her prodigy status and Day lives in hiding and is dedicated to sabotaging the maneuvers of a government that considers corrupt and killer.

The paths of June and Day intersect when Metias June's brother is killed, and Day becomes the prime suspect in the crime.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
720 reviews1,114 followers
March 22, 2021
A fast paced YA dystopia.

There isn’t anything majorly different here when compared to other YA dystopias that were rife during the time this was written.

- Set in America (albeit future ‘Republic of America’)
- Both main characters are ‘speshul’
- Instalove

HOWEVER... I still had a great time reading this.
I liked reading both Day and June’s perspectives, seeing their point of views compared to one another. Especially seeing June’s change during the course of the book.
It’s very action packed and quick. Not boring at all, with a few twists.

Plenty of relevant topics like the wealth divide, government secrets and propaganda.

I’ll pick up book 2 when I can.
Profile Image for Steph Sinclair.
461 reviews11.1k followers
December 31, 2011

I'm a dystopian book fanatic. I collect them like the Cookie Monster collects his cookies. So when I first heard of Legend earlier this year I knew I had to get a hold of it ASAP. And I wasn't entirely disappointed because Legend features a strong, kick-ass heroine, a disturbing future world, multi-cultural characters, and tons of action.

Legend tells the story of a two remarkable 15-year-olds, Day and June, living on West cost of the United States now known as The Republic. This book instantly reminded me of Aladdin because Day is from a very poor area of The Republic and steals from the rich to help out his family and community. June on the other hand, has grown up in one of the wealthiest areas and has everything she could ask for and a secure future. Their paths suddenly cross after June's brother is murdered during a hospital break-in attempt by Day. The Republic's military uses June's thirst for revenge and has her track Day and bring him to justice. However, June soon finds out her safe world has not been what it appeared to be at all.

I loved all the characters in Legend. I felt they were well developed and very likable. Even June's brother, Metais, who dies very early in the story, was likable. Both protagonists were strong and resourceful, though, at times, a little too resourceful. I enjoyed the alternate POVs allowing the reader to get a chance to really understand the backgrounds of both characters. But there were times when I got a little irritated with June for not being able to see the bigger picture of the evils of the Republic. She just seemed entirely too loyal for her to be portrayed as a rule breaker in the beginning. Contrastingly, I really liked Day, who struggles to provide for his family throughout the novel. There were a few scenes that managed to pull at my heartstrings.

However, I did have a few issues with the world building. We are led to believe the rest of the US are considered the Rebels and a few natural disasters destroyed most of the East coast. There isn't any real mention of what the outside world is doing either. I know it may seem like I'm nitpicking, but hear me out. If the US were to suffer that bad of a natural disaster, resulting in the crumbling of our government and the extinction of the dollar bill, this would have a huge negative effect on the world's economy. You cannot expect me to believe the rest of the world is chillin' while the US is under a civil war. Where is the United Nations? What side of the war are our ally countries on? For this book to be so focused on military and civil war, I expected to have these answers. Sadly, I did not and for that this book felt a little incomplete.

I also had trouble with Day and June being so...unstoppable. Yes, let's use that term. Day breaking into a hospital guarded by armed and trained gun men with just a disguise and two knives? When the soldiers open fire on him only one bullet manages to graze him? Whoever trained these soldiers needs to send them straight back to the boot camp they came from. This is one of those situations where you have to just let all sense of logic float out the window if you are to remotely enjoy the novel. And for June to be so smart I'm not sure how she never guessed the Republic's true intentions from the start. Even when the evidence was sitting there screaming, "Look at me! Look at me!" she just...looked the other way. It was very obvious.

And of course, my biggest pet peeve was the semi-insta-love between June and Day. I say semi because it wasn't like they met and they were instantly proclaiming their love for one another. It was more of I just didn't believe their romance had enough time to become anything, let alone love. I would have preferred if the romance was left out completely in this book and instead introduced in the second. You know, because usually you become friends before lovers.

Despite those issues I was still able to enjoy the book and I'm looking forward to the sequel. My only hope is that the world building is tightened up a bit and possibly a map is thrown in.

More reviews and more at Cuddlebuggery Book Blog.
Profile Image for Luffy (Oda's Version).
765 reviews760 followers
June 27, 2020
I was dreading the metaphors here, like I do with all YA books. It was a nice surprise to read only two lines guilty of this sin... I only remember one of them. Mentions pain in Day's leg like being in a bottomless lake.

June and Day are precocious soulmates, who are also at different ends of the social ladder. That ladder plays a role in this narration. This is after all, a dystopian future. I liked the June/Day interaction quite some. But if I had to describe the entire tone of the book, I wouldn't say 'romantic'. I'd say, 'solemn'.

The writer wrote this book knowing, perhaps, that it would place her firmly in the YA radar, a celebrity and a success. She fully deserves the latter. Reading a YA book after so many years felt like reaching home after a long day outside. But yeah, this book was neither grim nor stark, neither playful nor deathly. It was ritualistic and solemn for which is the only reason I gave it 4 stars.
Profile Image for Ari.
940 reviews1,314 followers
December 4, 2018

I am always afraid to read a book when I’ve been holding my breath for it to come out. Legend is one of those.
I had high hopes and I am glad to say that my expectations have been met.

I was really eager to meet Day.
I’ve heard a lot of good things about him and I was pretty much intrigued, for lack of a better word.
Even though in the last half of the book he was more or less absent, I got to care more for him and to understand him better (compared to June).
He was an interesting character – he was smart; he had some great physical abilities that kept him alive in the past 5 years; he had a great family he cared about and his love for them was heartbreaking, his desperation so strong.
He was the victim of so many turnarounds and I felt a need so raw to protect him, I wanted to take his pain away, feeling a deep sympathy and sorrow for him.
Also, I liked his friendship with Tess and how he cared about her, how they needed and helped each other.

At the opposite side there is June – as it seemed that she had it all too easily – she was the Republic’s favorite, her brother’s little angel; she thought she could catch Day and she did it in a too easy way. Also her tragedy belonged mostly to the past. I felt like I didn’t witness any of her tragedies and compassion never came.
She lost her parents but I didn’t see a strong connection between them so I didn’t feel her pain.
She lost her brother (and I felt sorry about it because I really liked Metias, as little as I got to know him. I knew he was suppose to die but still I hoped for this to change somehow through the story) but it was all so quick, again I didn’t feel her pain.
What I liked about her is that she kept true to her beliefs until the moment she had some good reasons to not trust any longer the world she was living in. She had her priorities straight – she wanted to catch her brother’s killer and she never let her feelings change what she knew she had to do.
More than that I appreciated her devotion – when she has something in her mind there was nothing in this world that could stop her. She always has a plan and, no matter what, she finds a way to achieve it.

What I liked about this book is the action and turnarounds. I liked how I thought I had it all figured out one moment and then something went terribly wrong. It made me hold my breath through the story and I couldn’t put the book down until the very last page.

Still, I felt there was something missing.
The book is quite short so at the end there was this need for me to find more about the world they lived in. The book didn’t deliver much information regarding the world building mostly because the characters were a bit clueless about everything that was happening around/behind them. This might change in the next installment so I am not complaining too much.

Also the relation between Day and June felt a bit rushed and underdeveloped. I expected a bit more chemistry. The days spent together were not enough for them to grow some strong feeling for each other (even though June didn’t seem like the usual silly girl falling head over heels in love at first sight and then leaving all behind for those feelings – June was definitely better than that and I really appreciated it for a change.)

Now I can’t wait for the next installment. I want to know more about Day, his past, his brother and his dad, I want to know more about June’s family and the biological weapons. I want to see Day and June together, fighting this world… What can I say, my expectations are high again!

This review can also be found at ReadingAfterMidnight.com - Legend

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Pre-reading Thoughts:
I came across Marie Lu's DeviantArt page and I found this cute illustration:
'The making of Legend'

Well, I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see Day (the protagonist) in all those scenes and even more.
Just wait for the day after tomorrow, just wait for the day that will become Legend.
Profile Image for Mohammed Arabey.
709 reviews5,731 followers
August 18, 2017
Welcome to The Dystopian Republic of America..

The U.S.A now divided, a Republic & Colonies..each side in constant war..
The Republic has certain sectors suffer a Plague..only the wealthy survive and got the cure..
The "Elector Primo" of the Republic is the president for his life, his successor is mostly his son..
This typical Dictatorial Republic System is already a Dystopian..So, as I started.. Welcome to The Republic of America..Welcome to 'Legend'.

A nice idea The author Marie Lu, shows a typical corruption of the Republic Military government system, just like in some legendary novels from 1984 to The Hunger Games.

Or even in real life .. There's some elements you can find similarity in some countries even in Egypt, some Arab and African countries, Even China..

The Story and the Characters
The Boy Who walks in the Light

Living on the run, his family think he's dead, only his older brother knows and communicate with him.

Fighting the Republic, not for a side, just for ...justice !!?..never caught that's why he's a Legend..

Attack a hospital and an officer to get a cure for the plague his little brother suffering..

Meets a girl in a fighting club..save her from troubles; she arrests him...

The Girl Who Shutters the Shinning Glass

Living happily with her officer brother.. study to work like him till she hear the sad news..Her brother get killed in an assault.

Start working for The Republic in her young age..not just cause her brother,But cause her intelligent made her a Prodigy ..

Goes in a mission to hunt the boy she knows he killed her brother...and that what turns her life upside down..

And between the two narrators ,Day and June , The story goes in the republic of America..

It was the main reason why I got the trilogy the first place , the narrator is both male and female.. and it was nice.. along with the good setting it was suppose to be perfect..BUT
Sadly it was after all -for me- just okay..


Somehow the characters felt "too young to do any of that" if you know what I mean..
may be I'm getting too old for that "Damn I hate when a book makes me feel too old"
May be it's because of the "Manga" style the novel was advertised by which makes me feel so..

But even the description of the characters in the novel also felt like the "manga drawing" pictures -long hair for the boy, some hint of Asian eyes....anyway I wished for more mature characters or a bit deeper ones that are unpredictable.

But the main problem for me which made me see it just as "2.5 Stars of 5" is that the whole Book One felt more like a "TV Show's Pilot Episode" ,just like one episode with some fillers..
For me I always like the book one makes me want Book 2 not because I didn't get enough,but because I get enough AND I wanted more..
I can't explain well about that but I -for example- like the Part One of Books like
Harry Potter "of course, and it's the best example of Book Ones", The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner..
All those books you can just stop after reading book one with a somehow complete story..
But it's not that much the case of here..as well as Divergent which almost end like this one.
Divergent (Divergent, #1) by Veronica Roth
I'm okay with a cliffhanger ending ,But I prefer book one would at least gives me a more powerful start..something epic to force me waiting for book two.

It is for sure very good Teen book with elements from older Dystopian novels and even Revolution ones..But for me ...as I said,made me feeling too old.
May be my rating is harsh a bit "2.5 Stars" But I'm hoping it'd be up to 3 when I read Book Two hoping I'd even like more and get better rating to raise this one's.

I was almost giving this book 2 stars in Goodreads, But for now I'll just give it 3.."They must start giving us the option of the half stars" and I hope Book two would not let me down..

Till then..

Mohammed Arabey
From 20th April 2014
To 23rd April 2014
Profile Image for Tweebs♥️ .
184 reviews836 followers
March 3, 2017
I think I would've enjoyed this book way way WAY more if these characters weren't fucking 15 years old. Because NO .

I couldn't accept anything because their ages kept slapping me in the face.

FOR REAL, this was me :

*Cool, intense scene happens*
*suddenly remembers their 15 years old*
Me: Wait...these little fetuses did this?? NOOOOOOOO


*Romance scene happens*
*flips through pages quickly*

MY GOODNESS THE CRINGING WAS REALLLLLL !! I hope the next book is set in the future like maybe 5 years later because NO .

I know, I know. I'm over exaggerating like don't get me wrong, this book was awesome. I just wish the author made them 17 or 18 years old. Would've been more believable, you feel??? And romance scenes between 17 or 18 years old wouldn't freak me out as opposed to a 15 year old romance scenes >.<

August 29, 2020
Fifteen-Year-Old Me: Hmm, I wonder if I was thrown into a dystopic future, how exactly would I survive it? After all I don’t have any nifty climbing skills, or sharpshooting skills, or robbery skills or… what am I talking about? What fifteen-year-old does?

*Reads Legend*

*Joins gym following day*

Truly, I did have to suspend my belief for this book. The plot revolves around an Evil Government who oppresses society by doing Evil Government things. But who cares about the politics when we have June and Day? June is a military raised girl who is the only person in her country to get a perfect score in her Trials, (tests which basically decide your future, not related to any other trial/test you’ve seen in dystopian books before), while Day is on the run from the government as a Robin Hood-esque character who steals from the rich to give to the poor. Unfortunately, when June’s brother, Metias, is killed, Day appears to be the sole culprit. Determined to bring him to justice, June will do everything in her power to capture him even if it means finding him, and becoming his friend, and thinking he’s good looking…

One standard YA book, coming right up!

The biggest flaw for me was the fact the two protagonists were fifteen and also both geniuses and Olympic-level athletes. Day has been on the run since he was ten and has somehow survived in this uncompromising world. June at least had the training to back her up, but Day is a master thief/terrorist/sharpshooter. He literally breaks into a high security hospital by himself with only a mask and knives against highly trained military. He's supposedly a cult hero to the poor, but no one seems to care or even talk about him.

And what’s even funnier is he steals and blows up things sometimes just as pranks. Not even for a solid reason, he's just got some spare time, you know? I do too adore breaking into places and putting my life on the line as an extracurricular activity. Aha, the fun.

(I mean, imagine a fifteen-year-old boy sprinting with a camera and being like “bro, just blew up some military aircraft. This is so wild!,” complete with explosions in the background. Later, he posts it to YouTube with a clickbait thumbnail and gets no views because only the rich people have internet in this book and they'll all dislike it and-.)

Okay, obviously I’m letting my imagination get ahead of me, but I cannot believe that since Day was ten years old, he has been the government’s most wanted criminal. When I was ten, I probably still got scared being outside at night time by myself (don’t judge me). But Day’s been able to break into many secured buildings, rob, provide to poor, visit family, get food somewhere, all without ever killing someone or being caught. For five years. In a dystopian future. Against highly trained soldiers.

I rest my case.

June is a badass who’s incredibly competent and cool at all times. At least her actions equated to what we’re told about her character. Overall, I don’t dislike the two of them. While both their reputations are ridiculous, they’re not annoying and their motivations make sense. I think they fall into the trapping of “competent, but not exactly exciting” protagonists which I can live with it.
The other characters are less fleshed out (and that includes Tess, Day's girl friend). Everyone besides June and Day are one-note and undeveloped. I don't know how I feel about the romance either. The books was too short for it to be properly done anyway, yet they do get the focus of the plot. It's not "we were made for each other" but it does happen over a span of three, four days, about the same time it takes to order something online? Similar to the characters, I didn't hate it, but I wish it could've been executed better.

The world building is like a 2 on scale of 1-10. The Evil Government are fighting some colonies and that’s all I can tell you about it. Police literally take food and money from random houses, even though they likely have enough of it, and that goes for all of them. Every member of the government is self-serving or smirking down at the poor. Part of this book is about June exploring "maybe the poor are just like us" but from what we're shown, how could she ever think her piece of society is actually moral?

I don’t understand why Lu didn’t go deeper into the shady aspect of the government either. The plague plotline was the most interesting and had the best (if not obvious) revelations. We know something’s wrong, we get clues, and then it’s like “Sorry, buy the next book for any answers! And if you don’t get them in that book, buy the following one!”

That being said, the writing’s simple, sometimes oversimple (that’s not a word, I know, but it works in this context.), it's short, and the action sequences are great. It's a quick, entertaining read so I can’t give it 2 stars (drat), but it’s definitely not above 3.
Profile Image for Elena Salvatore.
220 reviews112 followers
June 28, 2018
I low key knew that I would like this book from the beginning and it didn't disappoint.

In a world were the rich and the poor are devided by more than just money, Day is a boy who survives on the streets. He is wanted by the government and he is their no1 criminal even tho he never killed anyone. That is until one day he throws a knife at a soldier and that soldier turns up dead.
Now his little sister June wants revenge. She made it her mission to be the one to find Day and make him pay for his crimes.

I don't care what anyone says,I just love dystopian books and I will continue reading them even if everyone else says that they're outdated. The paranoid part of me belives that all of them are situations that can happen one day and Marie Lu made a really good job on feeding my paranoia.

This book had me hooked from the beginning and I'm sure that if I didn't get interrupted all the time, I could have finished it in just one day.
It was a fairly short book but I didn't felt like something was missing.
I really liked the writing. It was easy flowing and I ended up halfway through the book without even realizing it.
I loved the characters and it was one of the rare times in which I enjoyed both POV's without growning when they switched.

However I had to take a star taken for it's lack of "Worldbuilding".
We didn't got enough information on what happens in this world other than some mentions from our protagonists.
• What is that test that every child is forced to take when they turn 10?
Why did they have to take this test? Just to sort out who will be good to make soldiers and who will be lab rats?
• With whom is the government in war with?
• War? What War?
• Why does the government creat a virus to kill poor people over and over again? Where is the point in that?

Profile Image for Claudia Lomelí.
Author 8 books76.8k followers
May 17, 2022
I can't stop thinking about Day and June. I love them both so much.

I really enjoyed this book, it was really awesome! It has the perfect amount of action, suspense and romance! I can't wait to read Prodigy, and I hope Day and June get to really know and love each other <3.
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