Synopsis: 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.Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills. (from Goodreads)
I wasn't really sure what to expect with this book. It's dystopian, so it called to me. I also read that Marie Lu based the story loosely on Les Misérables, a musical I've always wanted to see but for whatever haven't gotten around to. Reading Legend makes me want to change that.
The story goes back and forth between the points of view of June and Day, two kids from the opposite sides of the track in post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. June has grown up in a wealthy, military family while Day comes from a more working class/slums area. He's also a criminal mastermind while June is a child prodigy at the top of her class. It was interesting to go back and forth between their two voices because they have different views on the world they live in and definitely different values, but in a way they are almost the same person. June believes in the militaristic society shes grown up in. Day, on the other hand, knows the truth behind the utopian front of the Republic. They complement each other well and when they meet, each move is calculated. It's funny because they don't know how smart each other is.
This is the second dystopian book I've read in a short time that includes a "plague" element. A horrible disease has broken out in parts of the Republic. The rich get vaccines while the poor do not. I don't know if that's becoming a trend, or already was one, but it does add a new factor...it's the driving force behind some of the characters actions. And it becomes the symbol of the Republic's secrets. It kinda serves as the link between their society and ours. Bio-terrorism is something we've definitely had to worry about in the last few decades, and is still a true threat.
All in all, I enjoyed reading this book and I would recommend it to anyone who reads dystopian, but it just didn't send me over the edge. I think it's a slightly different take on dystopia with one character being an insider and one being an outsider (kinda ambiguous who's who) which was fun to read, but it didn't leave me blown away. However, I did care about June and Day and I want to find out what happens to them next.