Review ~ Legend by Marie Lu

Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Genre: YA Dystopia
Page Length: 305 Pages
Publication Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Source: Purchased
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.

Legend by Marie Lu was yet another widely read, loved, and reviewed book I somehow did not yet read.  Four years after its publication date, I'm happy to say I have finally read this book from cover to cover.  And although I found certain parts of Marie Lu's debut exciting and action-packed, I found other parts to be rather . . . dull and insipid.

My first issue had to do with the overall flow of the novel.  I felt as if there were a few pacing issues.  The storyline felt rather abrupt at times, almost as if a few pages were missing from the text.  And since this is a brief novel at only 305 pages, there wasn't a whole lot of world-building, character development, or relationship building.  At all.  Characters would go from loving to hating to loving each other once again in a matter of a couple of pages.  Or so it felt that way.

Not a lot happened.  When you're in the moment reading, you get caught up in all the excitement.  However, once I closed the cover, I was left with an unsatisfied feeling.  I realized upon reflection, not a whole lot happened plot-wise.  Again, perhaps this is simply due to the limited amount of pages, but I certainly wish Marie Lu added more to this first installment in her series.  I am not intrigued enough to continue reading onto books two and three.

Certain aspects of the plot felt very overdone.  YA dystopia is already quite an overdone genre, but certain aspects of the plot were very overdone - predictable and typical.  I was never caught by surprise.

The romance was a bit cheesy.  Ah yes, the romance.  In Legend readers are introduced to two fairly likable characters from opposite ends of the social scale.  There's our military trainee, June, from the elite primped and proper, and of course, our poor, street boy, Day.  As you can imagine, their lives cross paths and . . . they're immediately attracted to each other!  This is not to say authors can't pull off such a plot line, however, June and Day's story could have been approached in a different way.  Let's just say there were a few irrepressible eye-rolls while reading.

However, Legend was action-packed and thrilling!  Although I mentioned a number of cons, I still ended up enjoying my time reading.  Surprisingly enough, I felt the storyline peaked at the middle of the story, and definitely kept me flipping the pages.  All in all, Legend earned a solid three out of five.  Unfortunately, I don't think I'll be continuing on with the series, but I may pick up another Marie Lu novel in the future!

So. What should I read next?

Julia's a dreamer. She often zones off periodically throughout the day thinking up plans for the future, pining over fictional characters, and concocting up possible plot lines for stories.

You can find Julia on her main blog, Peach Print, on Twitter @peachprint, on Instagram @yapeach, and of course, right here on the APCB blog.


  1. Oh, I felt exactly the same way when I first read this book, that there were something off about it, and that it felt super abrupt. I thought that was just me cranky-reading HAHA. Half way through, I started enjoying the book. Prolly because it was more climatic? But I didn't really focus on the romance actually. I. Just. Love. Day. HAHA. Anyway, great review!

    Maryam @ Once Upon A Story

  2. I can't decide if I want to read this book or not :( I dunno, it's just that the premise of this entire series fails to interest me, you know? *shrugs* Maybe something really is wrong with me :P Besides, a cheesy romance and a sense of non-satisfaction after reading is a turn off like no other.

    Rhea @ Rhea's Neon Journal

  3. i get the romance part too, like it took him half of the book to finally know June's name after they kissed for a few seconds. really? you randomly kiss someone who you're attracted to, and not ask for their name. the whole opposite sides of the law was played out, I think they could met in a different way, for example June could have caught Day on one of his plans and it could have went on from there. The whole they're supposed to be enemies but are attracted to each other has been done before, Warner and Juliette from the shatter me series. It could have been executed better in the first book.

  4. I remember really liking Legend when I read it, but I have yet to read the sequels (although I've had them both on my shelf since I first finished book one). I'm planning on finally reading the rest of the series this month, so hopefully I'll still love it, but I think I can understand where you're coming from (even though I haven't read it in a while). I definitely recommend Marie Lu's other series though (The Young Elites) since it is AMAZING. I liked Legend, but TYE is so much better! Definitely don't give up on Marie Lu! :)

    Back when I read it, I wasn't an extremely harsh reader (aka I fell into worlds very easily and thus fell in love with characters and books in general really easily), so maybe my thoughts have changed since then. Anyway, nice review, Julia Anne!

  5. Aww, that's too bad you didn't like it. But if you're interested, I'm hosting a giveaway for it here:

  6. Yeah I have to agree with your opinion of this book, it was just one of those Ya books that are so hyped up that make you nervous to read them. I mean I loved Day but like I didn't like the femal protagonists.. & the story was truely dull at moments and I felt like yhe author rushed the plot too much.

  7. i loved legend! it was first marie lu book and was amazed at how fast-paced and interesting the story is. and day is really dreamy. you'll be a wreck after reading prodigy and champion.

    isha @ two sisters bloggin'

  8. I 100% agree with you Julia! I read this one for the first time two months ago (after sitting on my nook for three years) and I was not impressed. It felt a lot like the dystopians that were popular around that time, and maybe that's why we weren't able to enjoy it as much in 2015 .

  9. This is such a wonderful co incidence because I just finished reading Legend!:) I actually liked it, and enjoyed reading the story, but I can get why it would've been not that remarkable for you. I think I mostly loved the fact that it was a quick read!:)

  10. I have heard a lot of things about this one but I have never tried it out myself. It sort of has been on my TBR for a long while. I like the sound of it being an okay read and the good bits being very good! But it does sound like the flow is off and at times nothing much is happening. I don't know if I will get to it, but maybe :P


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