Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: Legend by Marie Lu

21 Feb 2012

Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin Australia
Release Date: November 28th 2011
Format: Hardcover
Source: 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' 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.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

If I EVER put off reading such a fabulous book again, I assure you I might do something suicidal. Why I didn't devour this the moment it arrived, is beyond me. Books like Legend, are exactly the reason why YA-dystopian has become my favorite genre. Heart-pounding and full of action, Legend was an unforgettable rollercoaster ride! DO NOT MISS IT!

June was such an independent, strong and kick-ass heroine! (and I mean KICK-ASS both mentally and physically!) The girl fights better than half the military men, who are twice her age, and her head works in miraculous ways that no one can decipher but her. She possesses all the admirable qualities I look for in a YA protagonist, without coming off as too perfect or unbelievable.  I can't believe I'm saying this, but she's almost on par with ROSE from VA on my list of favorite YA heroines EVER! 

Day, the most wanted criminal in The Republic frequently causes havoc but The Republic has never been able to catch him, no matter how hard they try. At first I was a bit skeptical of how a 15 year-old can become a notorious criminal  and managing to leave each 'crime scene' without ever being caught but after meeting him personally and reading about those stunts, I have to say, the boy is a genius! You'd think that a criminal has no heart, doesn't give a crap about anything, but Day is possibly the most caring and kind-hearted criminal you'll come across. Everything he does- stealing and doing illegal things- was for the benefit of his family and the poor.

I was utterly amazed by Marie Lu's splendid world-building! We're exposed to this tragic world where a diffident plague strikes every year, causing the deaths of so many innocent people from the poor sector. The government had dominated every inch of the place; military guards are everywhere and your every move may be watched. The population is pretty much divided in two categories: those who pass the Trial at the age of ten will survive, while those who fail...well...let's just say they're never see again. This may sound like every other Dystopian world, but unlike every other Dystopian book, the world-building is one of the main focus of the story, and Lu has successfully created it in a way that I felt like I was living in such a destructed place as well.

Legend was not only entertaining, but thought-provoking as well. Some scenes felt so real, that I wondered if, perhaps, similar actions have been performed in the past (like, methods to prevent protesters from advancing further). Overall, Legend was action-packed and plot-driven with the perfect amount of romance. Like, I said above, don't miss out! It's a guaranteed keeper!


  1. So I've also put off reading one of the best books, ever? There was just nothing about the cover that appealed to me so I never even bothered to find out what this book was about! I promise I will get a copy and read it soon!

  2. WOW. This one sounds like a fantastic dystopian book. My sister read it and loved it. Now that I read your review, maybe I should check this book out soon. Wonderful review.

  3. OMG YESYESYESYESYES!!! Nailed it, Shirley! I almost want to chastise you for waiting so long to read this, but your amazing review made up for it! COMPLETELY agree with what you say about June and Day - they are such phenomenal characters. And the worldbuilding and intensity and... WOW. It's so emotionally investing and shocking and makes you THINK. AND CAN WE HAVE THE FREAKING SEQUEL ALREADY?!?!

  4. Oh my holy sweet goshness, I know, right??? I put off reading this book at first two because I didn't expect it to blow me away -- especially with how many other dystopians there are out right now -- but it ended up being one of the coolest out there! I loved both Day and June for the same reasons as you, and the world building blew my mind.

    Just like this book, your review was so mind-blowingly amazing, Shirley! <3 If only the sequel was released yesterday! x)

  5. Awww Shirley, I AM SO HAPPY YOU LOVED THIS BOOK! It was just pure awesome! I LOVE DAY SO MUCH! and JUNE OF COURSE!!! I need the sequel now, and omg it was just revealed that the title is PATRIOT! GO PATRIOTISM? :P Anyway, AWESOME REVIEW, Shirley! I think your edition should be the one where Day's POV is written in gold because you got the hardcover one? IT WAS SO PRETTY. I LOVE THE ALTERNATING POV and such! <3 LOVE LOVE YOUR REVIEW! <3

  6. AMAZING review Shirley!!! I almost bought this the other day in Big W, but I bought something else instead. You make me wish I'd gotten this instead with how incredible you make it sound!! <3

  7. I really liked Legend so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it as well. I completely agree about the world-building, it was so well done it was what really sucked me into the book.

    Great review :)


    Honestly, this sounds amaaaaazing! Intense and heart-pounding and YAY for characters that rock and settings that are cool and world-building that is solid! Day and June both sound absolutely wonderful and if there's one thing that gets me, it's characters. PLUS, obv. in a dystopian, the world-building is pretty important (although I am so willing to excuse crappy world-building if I like the characters... my brain is like, "HEY, BOY I LIKED! WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT AN EXPLOSION THAT MYSTERIOUSLY ONLY KILLED POODLES AND NOTHING ELSE? OOH, LOOK! OTHER BOY I LIKED! HAHAHAHAH, HE SMILED! HE SMILED!!!!!") (Okay, maybe I'm not that bad. I hope, at least.)

    Awesome, awesome review :) I am so pumped to read this now. I think I shall purchase it tomorrow, as a matter of fact!

  9. Eeeee! So glad you liked it as well :D The world-building was definitely one of my favourite parts of the book!<3 I can't wait for PATRIOT now :DDD
    Thank youu <3

  10. RACHHHHHHH! THIS WAS FANTASTIC! (But then again, Penguin publishes some of the most AMAZING books ever!) WHAT STOPPED YOU FROM BUYING THIS?!?!?! Ohhh you'll regret it!!! hahahaa I'm kidding! But seriously, it's SO amazing that you HAVE TO READ IT SOON!<3 (Well...okayy maybe after Cinder hehee)

  11. LOL *SLAPS*

    HAHAHAA Your comment just made my day!! Yesyesyesyes I've totally made exceptions for bad world-building dystopian books where the main guy IS FREAKING HOT. I just lose all train of thought and go: OMG. THAT GUY IS SO HOT. I DON'T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING ANYMORE, JUST THIS HOT GUY :D Don't worry! I think I'm even worse :S

    Thankk youu <3 Hope you enjoy this!

  12. I really loved this book, too! It was thrilling, interesting, and romantic. I thought Day and June were so great for each other. I also loved the whole mystery surrounding Metias's murder. I can't wait to see where Marie takes the story in PATRIOT. Great review, Shirley! :)

  13. YAYYY<3 SO glad you loved this too!!!! YES! You summed it up PERFECTLY!! Awwww...Day and June are perfect for each other, but I WANT DAY! <3 hahaaa except June will kick my ass unfortunately :S Eeeee! Can't wait for PATRIOT!!

  14. OMG I've heard great things about this book but I still haven't picked it up...I just love dystopians!!! Anyway your review totally makes me want to pick it up! The world building and characters all seem so epic!! Great review :) muaaaaaaaaah <3 Heading to the bookstore to pick this one up like now!


  15. You so made me want to read this now!

    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  16. By the way, I used a few of your "team" buttons on my blog. If that is not okay, please let me know and I'll take down. But they were so pretty I wanted to grab them
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

  17. Lovely review, I enjoyed this book and it fell just a little short of 5 stars for me. Thanks for sharing.

  18. hahaa YES GO AND GET A COPY NOW!!! You're like me - I put off reading it for SO LONG but then something in me just suddenly clicked and I went- "RIGHT. I HAVE TO READ THIS NOW." andddd...I ENDED UP LOVING IT <3


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