A while back I came across a thread on Facebook discussing books similar to Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy and Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, and I was intrigued! I immediately put the two series on hold at my local library, and one of them was the first two books of Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy.
While I was excited to have more books similar to The Hunger Games recommended, I wasn’t quite sure how hopeful to be. Coming off the high following my reading of The Hunger Games trilogy, I seriously doubted that many of the flood of futuristic dystopian thrillers being released could rival it, but I was intrigued by the fact that Lu was inspired to write Legend after watching Les Mis.
“My mother thinks I’m dead.”
In Legend, we follow the adventures of two fifteen-year-olds in Los Angeles, California, part of the futuristic, dystopian Republic of America: Day, one of the Republic’s most wanted criminals, and June, a passionate prodigy of the Republic.
“The Republic’s favorite little prodigy is in trouble again.”
When their paths cross in race for survival, a shocking and unlikely friendship is forged. Day is the prime suspect in a murder: the murder of June’s brother, Metias. Day claims he is innocent, but June isn’t sure.
Can June figure out the mystery of her brother’s murder? Can Day save his family? Will their friendship unlock doors to solve greater mysteries and right greater wrongs?
“You’re free. Get out of California while you can.”
For once, I actually agree with Scholastic’s recommended audience: age thirteen and up.
The biggest issue I had with Legend was the amount of foul language in it. While I felt like the typical sprinkling was justifiable, the use of the Lord’s name in vain, which was quite abundant, was not. Please note: the author uses a newer, more stylish, and possibly less offensive, form. The way and amount it was used was uncalled for, especially since it was the protagonist, rather than the antagonist, of the story who was using it! (See Exodus 20:7 and Leviticus 19:12)
One other element that parents should be aware of, is that Day and June kiss several times, once shortly after they meet, and then again a few times at the end of the book.
While certainly not to the level of The Hunger Games, there is some violence in Legend, primarily in the form of street fights and attacks between rebels and Republic soldiers.
While Legend is certainly a rollicking adventure, full of daring escapades, admirable qualities such as friendship, faithfulness, and self-sacrificing love, as well as being thought-provoking, I found it to have a less compelling plot than other books in the genre. I would have to give the book a “C”.
Have you read Legend? If so, what are your thoughts?