I know I’m a sucker for dystopian literature. See The Hunger Games series or the Matched series for more proof. I’ve also got a stack of similar themed books waiting patiently for summer and pool time.
With Legend, I’ve heard about it since early 2012 and I ignored it because that’s what I do to books everyone is talking about (also see: Gone Girl), but I bought a set of the books for our classrooms at school so I decided I better read it before introducing it to kids. And once I started, I.was.hooked.
The overall premise is the same (futuristic world, there’s no more United States of America, dictatorship police state, persecuted people, government lies, unlikely teenage heroes, etc.) as all the other dystopian series out right now. And while occasionally I struggled with the likeness of The Hunger Games, the characters were strong enough that I didn’t feel like I was reading a retelling of it.
Legend by Marie Lu is told from two different perspectives: Day, a homeless, Robin Hood type enemy-of-the-state who is being used as a scapegoat for the government’s dirty deeds, and June, a privileged, rich girl from the elite side of town who also happens to be the government’s military prodigy. Of course, their two worlds come together when Day is framed for the death of June’s brother. She begins to hunt him down as revenge, but things change as both of them realize things are not as they seem.
There’s more love story in this one than The Hunger Games, but less than the Matched books. I know my students will love this book, it’s fast-paced from the start and relatable on multiple levels. They seem to love any book that lets them live in a world where they have power and more control than they do in reality. The book also has enough twists and turns that it’s not easily put down and it’s also a good fit for adults who can’t get enough of the dystopian genre. I can’t wait to start the second one.
Have you read this one yet? What did you think?
DISCLOSURE: AFFILIATE LINKS USED.