Author: Marie Lu
Tagline: 'Truth will become legend'
"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' 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."
So, Legend brings us yet another dystopian world to explore. This one is the 'Republic Of America', a country fighting a perpetual war against the neighbouring 'Colonies'. The country, as a result, is very militaristic - all the best jobs are involved with the military and all the best students are sent to the best universities where they train to become soldiers because 'better soldiers make for better chance of victory against the Colonies.'
Every child takes a Trial at the age of 10, and this test will determine the rest of their lives. A mix of physical and academic tests, the Trial measures a child's ability and each person is then given a score out of 1500. The education and opportunities you will receive in life depend on your score - it's the difference between university and a successful, happy life or being barred from school and destined to a life in the slums. And those who fail are taken away from their families and sent to labour camps for the rest of their lives.
A perfect Trial score is practically unheard of; only one person has ever achieved it and that's our story's heroine - June. This makes her somewhat of a prodigy and she is the only fifteen-year-old senior in a university meant for sixteen and up. She is very lucky - as well as being smart, she is from a wealthy district.
On the other end of the spectrum is our other protagonist, Day, the Republic's most wanted criminal. He's from the slums and he failed his Trial.
Legend alternates between Day's and June's perspectives and we find that, despite their differences on the surface, they are actually quite similar - both very brave and fiercely loyal to their families.
In my opinion, it took a little too long for June and Day to actually meet, I was waiting for the bit where they finally met each other and this didn't happen until nearly half-way through the book. Also, I didn't feel like I was sucked into Marie Lu's dystopian world - it never really felt completely real to me.
However, Legend was fast-paced and full of action and a very exciting read. I wouldn't say I loved it but I definitely liked it a lot. It was full of twists and turns and mysteries - where do the children who fail their Trial really go? What's really behind the plagues that keep breaking out all over the Republic? And the biggest question of all for June - is the country and government that she trusted and believed in so much, and fought so hard for, really what it seems?