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Legend by Marie Lu This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

By , Norridge, IL

In Legend by Marie Lu, the United States has fallen down to two nations fighting to control western part of what’s left in the U.S. The Colonies are at war with the Republic for land, resources, and pride. In the Republic, what remains of the west coast is now controlled by them, and ruled under an Elector Primo. Day and June are bipolar opposites. Day comes from a poor family and is a criminal, not devoted to his country, or anyone. June is devoted to her country and willing to do anything for her Republic. When June’s brother is killed, Day is framed for it. While we are never made aware of the exact year it takes place, Legend takes place in the mid to far future, in the western section of America.


Our two major characters are Day and June. Day is around 15 years old, with long, wavy hair. June is 15 as well, with clipped hair and an intelligent mind. Both share an incredibly perceptive eye, combats skills on par with anyone in the book, and a sense of loyalty to their friends. Day is more loyal to himself and to what he believes in, whereas June has followed the path set for her. Both characters are extremely gifted as well, street and book smart, so to speak. Day and June will end up kissing and having feelings for each other, even while not knowing who they are to each other.


With any stories are minor characters, and Legend has many. Commander Jameson is an experienced tactician and June and Matias’ commander (former). She pushes June as an agent and assists in his capturing. Jameson will also cue June onto the greater threats lurking right next to her. Thomas is a Lieutenant (subordinate) on Matias’ patrol and one of June’s best friends in the military. Thomas is willing to do anything for the republic, which will lead to his downfall. Tess is Day’s companion and best friend, and keeps an eye for him, and provides medical care. She will later join a terrorist group as a medic.


Our story is similar to many dystopian stories but has many unique characters and stories. June is a rebellious agent, and Day has broken the system -- and the law -- many times. Both are similar but have never crossed paths. After June is suspended for leaving campus, her brother is killed by an unknown killer at the hospital. Day breaks into the same hospital and injuries June’s brother. Day is framed for Matias’ murder. June is tasked with hunting him down. After narrowing him down and tracking him, she runs into his crowd and admittedly, nearly falls in love with him. She sets up Day by making him believe his family is in danger. After finally avenging her brother, June is happy. That is until she discovers what her brother had wanted to tell her.


That the Republic is intentionally killing its poor/inferior citizens to “further” the Republic along. June is mortified and begins to conspire to break Day out. After succeeding, June and Day escape barely, and manage to avoid capture. They now hatch a plan that will be continued in the next book.


To me, this is the best book I have ever read. The world is so well built, while you constantly guess and work at who to trust. The characters are all redeemable in some way. This is a beautifully crafted plot and characters. The two points of view in terms of narration are brilliant and both points of view show so much to the world and what they feel. I have read this book dozens of times, and still, find new aspects I love.


I have also found that this book can also appeal to a wide variety of people. No matter what age you are, you can enjoy something of this book. Whether it’s relatability or characters who you can love this book has something for everyone. I also feel it’s stances on people and how people think of others really hit home for America. The poor are segregated and forced out of their homes. Protests and riots going horribly wrong. Corrupted officials. This book is set in America, it would have some of America’s more bitter aspects.






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