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Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

Legend was a case of great execution with a somewhat blah concept.

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

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marie lu legend book review

Title & Author: Legend by Marie Lu

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy – Dystopia

Release Date: November 29, 2011

Series: Legend #1

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.

Wanted To Like It More

I’ve been meaning to read Legend basically since it was published. It’s another one of those huge blockbuster series that has gotten tons of media attention along with a huge following. The trouble is all the hype. Because this book has been out for three years already, I had a lot of mental psych-up to work past.

But, I must say, Legend help up fairly well to the scrutiny. What I liked best was the new history of America where citizens are divided into patriots (rebels) and the Republic (big guys in charge). I also appreciated June’s relationship with her brother, who she realizes after his death kept more secrets than she ever could have imagined.

However, this book certainly contains some instalove. The romance really did nothing for me at all. I felt like it was too easy, and the characters were too willing to overlook their huge differences and paths.

And, this could definitely be my own deal because I’m reading it late, but I felt like I’ve already read Legend. So many dystopia elements seemed to become borrowed, and the genre as a whole is losing some of its originality. For example, in every dystopia the government is either hiding huge secrets, keeping the lower class low on purpose or is rewriting history to suit their own needs.

Just insert a tiny variation, but there you have it.

To be honest, I’m not sure if I’ll continue to read the series. Although I enjoyed certain aspects of Legend, I’m not sure if there was enough to keep me going.

Here are a few different opinions:

  • The Book Smugglers: “While the material might not be the most novel, the good news is that Marie Lu has a smooth-handed writing style and a knack for pacing that makes Legend a fantastic, effortless read.”
  • YA Books Central: “Legend has well-written action scenes, solid world building, and convincing dual perspectives.”


There were so many great things about this book: the action and suspense, the interesting twist on America’s future and how fast I completed the novel. However, the cons – non-original concept plus instalove – have me second-guessing whether to continue the Legend series.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Shy

    Yeah, you’re right about the instalove part… Although the two of them have a lot in common despite their differences…

    I love the ending though… Sad because of what John did… But the love in that family is just beautiful for me…