Title: Legend (book 1)
Author: Marie Lu
Source: I purchased this book through the Scholastic Book Club from my son's school.
About The Book:
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.
I was beyond thrilled when I saw Legend in the February Scholastic Book Club Catalog that I got from my son's teacher. I quickly ordered it and was thrilled to see that it was in paperback because looking online at the online retailers I see its not coming out in paperback for a few more months and I have been dying to read it and for some reason this particular order came in super fast which was good for me.
This was one of the hyped books in 2011 at BEA. I didn't get to attend that year but I had kept this book on my radar and more so when I was able to get Prodigy at BEA in 2012. I knew I really wanted to read it as soon as I could and I am thrilled that I actually can read Prodigy now. Although I am bummed because book 3 hasn't been announced yet.
I started reading this on Sunday and I really had a hard time putting it down, I finished it up last night. I was trying to pace myself but once I got half way I just couldn't put it down. There is so much action and suspense that you don't want to put it down. I love books like this and it seems like its been awhile since I read a book like this.
I love reading dystopian books especially ones that could possibly be what the future would be like. This takes place in Los Angeles in 2130. The world that Marie creates is very believable and I could see that happening.
The book is told in alternating points of view from two of the main characters Day and June who are both 15 years old. The both live different life styles in the Republic. June has the life of luxury and is rich and smart while Daniel (AKA Day) is living his life on the streets and is the most wanted criminal in the Republic. Both June and Day don't know each other until a tragic event brings them both together. Will the truth come out?
You might think that having the story told in two points of view might be confusing but its not because Day got his story told in a bold print and June's was in your typical print. Plus at the top of each chapter their names were lightly printed. I love when they make the text or format different when its told in more then one point of view. I found out that in the hard cover that the print was in different colors as well something my copy didn't have.
Like I said the story takes place in what use to be known as Los Angeles. Its now know as the Republic and a war has broken out dividing the western coast up and the Republic is fighting with the Colonies, their neighbors. The Republic is broken down into sectors rich, poor and poorer and its done based on test results from The Trials. These results determine your life.
Basically what happens in is that when every child turns 10 years old they have to take a test called The Trials and from their its determined where you will be place in the Republic and basically how you life will turn out. How it works out is like this scores under 1000 means you fail and the Republic sends officials take you and do what they want with you. Scores of 1000 to 1249 means you are barred from school and are basically poor. Scores of 1250 to 1449 will allow you to continue your education and attend the college of the Republics choice and scores of 1450 to 1499 gives you the right to finish high school and to attend one of the top four universities in the Republic and then your hired by congress and you live the life of luxury.
So June scores 1500 the best you can get and Day fails so he is taken by the Republic and his family thinks he is dead but he isn't he has managed to escape and since then has been on the run from the Republic. I have to say that when I read that Day failed badly on the trials I was a little surprised because he seems to be very smart, creative and athletic. Could there possibly be a mistake?
I liked how not alot of characters were introduced in the story. Just characters the play a part in telling it. I loved Day and even though he was wanted by the Republic he did what he could to support his family even if it meant endangering his life. I think he knew once his mother's house was marked with a star from the plague that things wouldn't be great.
As for Judy I have to admit that she eventually did grow on me. She was an adventurous person (very smart) and was so set on getting justice for her brother that she was like a horse with blinders on. Will she see what is really going on and what actually happened?
I am curious to see where the story will take the reader in Prodigy. Will be discover more about June and Day? What about what happens with the Republic and the Colonies? Will a few of the other characters be written about in this book? So many questions left unanswered.
This was Marie Lu's debut novel from 2011 and her follow up novel Prodigy is set to be released very soon. I am actually off to read Prodigy now.