Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend was one of my favorite novels when the dystopian genre was at its peak, so I decided to give the book a reread via audiobook since it’s been so long! ✨ (Also, my ARC TBR is judging me as I ignore it and reread instead.) Needless to say, it’s still as great of a read as it was in 2012! Middle school Tiffany is smiling across the space-time continuum. ☺ Legend is a book filled with nonstop action sequences that will keep you entertained and protagonists that you just can’t help but want to protect.

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LEGEND (LEGEND #1) by Marie Lu

PUBLISHED BY Putnam Juvenile (Penguin Random House) on November 29th, 2011

GENRES: Science Fiction, Dystopian

PAGES: 305

ADD TO GOODREADS     //    BOOK DEPOSITORY

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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. 

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15-year-old June is the Republic’s prodigy—she’s the only person who received a full score on the government exam, meaning she’s primed to becoming a coveted military star. Day is the Republic’s most wanted criminal, always perfectly escaping the Republic’s clutches and seemingly untraceable. 💫 When June’s brother is suddenly murdered, June is tasked with tracking down his killer and all signs point to Day.

I loved both of their characters so much and thought their personalities also complimented each other well. Even though it’s only the first book in the trilogy, you can already see how they challenge each other to grow. June’s character development, for example, is monumental as she begins to the Republic’s intentions and is forced to decide where her loyalties lie.

“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.” 

I think a key factor for why Marie Lu’s books work so well for me is because the writing doesn’t have any unnecessary fluff. It’s straight action with direct dialogue which allows the pieces of the puzzle to come together at a steady pace. ✏ This is definitely an aspect of the writing that will come down to personal preference because some readers may prefer flowery, illustrative language while others may prefer something simpler. For me, it was the perfect complement to the dual POV because it made the whole action-oriented story be more digestible.

I will caution that the story does follow the generic dystopian plotline, so its inherent formulaic style does makes it a little predictable. We have an independent, kickass heroine who defies the government and a mysterious and brave love interest who becomes her ally. Since it’s a dystopian novel, there isn’t much room for world-building beyond an alternative version of the United States. However, considering that the story was written in 2011, it still manages to maintain a spark of uniqueness that keeps it entertaining 8 years later. 🌟

“You try to walk in the light.” 

Overall, while the dystopian train has left the station, I’d still recommend giving Legend a read. It’s one of those books that does the genre well, and it reads very easily with its entertaining plotline and characters. While the audiobook narrators weren’t the most enticing, the story itself made it easy to continue listening. It’s easy to see why this book made such an impact when it was first released!

Haha..get it?? Because Marie Lu also wrote Batman!

Have you read Legend? What were your thoughts? 💕

19 thoughts on “Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

    1. YES AGREED!! I remember being a sobbing mess after the last book! My heart is 100% not ready ❤ I'm so glad that I enjoy it during this reread. You should try the audiobooks if you're looking into switching things up. It's super short compared to other audiobooks I've listened to before too.

      Thank you so much for your sweet words about my review!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. yes!! i hope you reread it sometime soon so we can fangirl all about it 🙂 marie lu’s writing was so fun to read, and even though it was predictable, it was still extremely enjoyable ❤ thanks for reading, twin!!

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    1. yes exactly!! i think the beginning will be a little formulaic, but i’m reading the second book right now and it’s already taken a different spin 🙂 i love these characters so much too. they’re so easy to get invested in!! i can’t wait to continue with the series, especially since the fourth book will be released soon!!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I thought legend was okay when I read it, as it doesn’t really stand out but the rest of the series is what makes it so memorable. I adored Champion and by that I mean I hate that book because it broke my heart and I won’t be okay ever again. I’m curious about Rebel (book 4) because I don’t care for Eden, Day’s brother, that much but I’m eager to see where June and Day’s relationship will end up. ❤

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    1. LOLOL “i hate that book because it broke my heart and i won’t be okay ever again” i LOVE it. my heart is actually so so ready to be broken!! i can’t wait to continue the series. i definitely remember prodigy and champion being so much more amazing. i definitely agree about Rebel. i wasn’t TOO invested in Eden. i thought he was a cute younger brother, but maybe i’ll like everyone more during this reread.

      thanks for reading my review ilsa!! ❤ 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely review, Tiffany! ❤ I have read Legend a little while ago now, and I really had a great time with it even if, compared to Marie Lu's other books I've read, I feel like it's the one I enjoyed a little less than the others so far. I still have to continue on with the series though and I'm really curious to do so! 😀

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    1. Thank you!! I can definitely understand why because it’s one of her earliest books. I really enjoyed Warcross after too. Ahh I really hope you do continue with the series because it gets so much better 🙂 It’s really throwing me back to the dystopian days! Thank you for reading my review ❤

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  3. I love this book and your review so much, Tiffany!! I plan on rereading the series in the fall, to prepare for the fourth book coming out — I hardly remember anything but how much the series ending hurt! I definitely agree that it really is a typical dystopian novel but I feel like the characters set it apart from the others!

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    1. Yes!! I’m so excited for Book 4 (basically why I decided to reread the series), so I hope you also reread it too 😀 I don’t know if you like audiobooks, but they’ve been pretty helpful with the reread. I’m almost done with Book 2 and I AM NOT READY TO BE HURT BY BOOK 3!!!

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  4. I have enjoyed Legend as well,and yes, though the dystopian train has left I feel like it’s still something I would enjoy rereading *and* to prepare for the 4th book coming out in October. As always, lovely review 💕

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YESSS That’s honestly why I read it in the first place again!! I can’t wait to see what’s revealed in the 4th book, but I need to be up to date on everything that happened in the last 3. Thank you so so much Justine for reading my review ❤

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  5. Ahh, Legend is one of those books that has been on my TBR forever! I remember my older sister reading series years ago and it being one of her favorites, and then when I joined the blogosphere I saw again just how popular it is. I had forgotten about it for a while, but this lovely review got me inspired to read it again.☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. AHHH I can’t believe you haven’t read it yet?? but I’m also like now is the perfect time!! She’s releasing a fourth book later this year 😀 I would definitely say go into it without as high of expectations because I think it’s something we would absolutely love at Dystopian’s height, but compared to a lot of books that have been recently released, it’s not AS developed. The nostalgia of it is what makes it really great. I really really hope you love it though because the characters were soo easy to love ❤

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