Sunday, June 05, 2011

Legend (YA)

Legend by Marie Lu. 2011. November 2011. Penguin. 336 pages.

My mother thinks I'm dead. Obviously I'm not dead, but it's safer for her to think so. At least twice a month, I see my Wanted poster flashed on the JumboTrons scattered throughout downtown Los Angeles. It looks out of place up there. Most of the pictures on the screens are of happy things: smiling children standing under a bright blue sky, tourists posting before the Golden Gate Ruins, Republic commercials in neon colors. There's also anti-Colonies propaganda. "The colonies want our land," the ads declare. "They want what they don't have. Don't let them conquer your homes! Support the cause!"

Legend is YA dystopia. Perhaps not YA dystopia at the very, very best. But it is definitely one of the better dystopias I've read this year.  Legend is compelling; it is exciting; it is just a great read.

The novel has two narrators: a guy named Day (Daniel) and a girl named June. Both underwent the "trials" at age 10. June received a perfect, perfect score earning her not only the right to higher education (high school and college) but the right to the best education possible, the kind of education that will prepare her for serving the Republic. Day, well, he didn't pass his trials. And like all other low-scoring 10 year olds, he was sent away to labor camp. Once a 10 year old is sent to labor camp, they're never ever heard from again.

When the novel opens, both teens are about 15. Day is a wanted criminal, an outlaw. He doesn't legally exist in the Republic database, in the Republic records. The authorities don't even know what he looks like--what race or ethnicity he may be. So their wanted posters change quite often allowing for every possibility. (It's the occasional finger print on the crime scene that links Day to particular crimes.) Day is in Los Angeles spying on his family. His older brother, John, is the only one in the neighborhood who still knows he's alive. And it is to John he delivers gifts--food, clothes, medicine, money, etc.  Day becomes worried when his family's home is marked with a red X--a symbol that someone within the home has the plague. This is very bad news indeed.

June, on the other hand, is at the top of her class. Though she's just fifteen, she's almost finished with her training, her education. June is anxious to start working for the Republic, to start serving in the military, to start tracking down criminals like Day. Her wish comes true--but not in the way she expected. She wanted to start working with her older brother, Metias. Instead, she takes his place after he is murdered. And it appears that Day is the one responsible for his stabbing. Metias was trying to stop Day from escaping from the hospital after a break in. (Day was hoping to find plague cures for his family.) June is on a mission, and it is personal. She'll track down Day and bring him to justice no matter what.

The chapters alternate in narrators, and for once I think this is a great idea. Usually, I'm not a big fan of this in novels, but in this case, it not only works, it works well! I was able to care about Day and June--almost from the start!

Legend is action-packed. It's an intense read. But an enjoyable one! I'd definitely recommend it!!!

*My review is based on an ARC.
**Have you seen this list of YA dystopias?!

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


My Gallery of Worlds 11:45 AM  

I like the sound of this one :D TY for the review

Anonymous,  9:41 PM  

If you liked this book, you may also enjoy "Miss Garrote" by Victoria Newhope. It's about a girl spy, rat ways (a system of underground tunnels dug under Europe), a clan of the Untouchables, the descendants of Templars, and many other cool things. Very interesting book.

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge

2018 Kitty Lit Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge

Join the Victorian Reading Challenge
Linked to sign up page

Family Tree Reading Challenge

Family Tree Reading Challenge
Link to sign-up page

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge

2018 Share-a-Tea Challenge
Linked To Sign Up Page

2018 Charity Challenge (Sign Up)

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge

2018 Good Rule Reading Challenge
Link to sign up page

2018 Picture Book Challenge

2018 Picture Book Challenge
Link to sign-up page

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge

Join the 2018 Middle Grade Reading Challenge
click image to go to sign up post

Good Rules Cheat List

Board books and picture books = new is anything published after 2013
Early readers and chapter books = new is anything published after 2013
Contemporary (general/realistic) = new is anything published after 2007
Speculative fiction (sci-fi/fantasy = new is anything published after 2007
Classics = anything published before 1968
Historical fiction = new is anything published after 2007
Mysteries = new is anything published after 1988
Nonfiction = new is anything published after 2007
Christian books = new is anything published after 2000
Bibles = new is anything published after 1989

My Blog List

(Old) Challenge Participants

Becky's Hosting These Challenges

100 Books Project: Fill in the Gaps

Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by 2008

Back to TOP