Lu, Marie. Legend. New York: The Penguin Group, 2011. Print. ISBN:978-0-399–25675-2
Written By: Marie Lu
Reviewed By: Calvin Nguyen
Recommended Audiences: High School
Legend is a book about the country of America in the future. It is split up between two groups, the Republic and the Colonies. The story is told in first-person between two characters, June Iparis and Daniel Altan Wing who is known as “Day”. Life in the Republic is harsh. Everyone lives a formatted lifestyle. They grow up in different communities called sectors. Some are poorer than others. When the kids turn ten, they are taken to a stadium for a “trial”. The trial will determine their future. Depending on their score, the child will either continue to high school, college, get a job, or be sent to a labor camp. The higher the score of the trial the better. During recent years, there have been plagues that spread through all sectors of the west coast. If someone in the family catches the plague, the family lives their life dormant in the house. There are routine check-ups from the Republic to see if a person has the plague. If the plague is caught, then a big, red “x” will be marked on the family’s door.
Daniel grows up in one of the poor sectors. He has an older brother, a younger brother, a mom, and a dad. His dad dies when he is young. The family isn’t rich, but they get along with what they have. When Daniel turns ten, he takes the trial as every other ten year old does. The results are bad. Daniel fails the trial very badly. He is sent to a labor camp and is recorded by the government as deceased. They do not know that Daniel escapes his death and lives on. He goes on to be known as the Republic’s most wanted criminal: Day. He causes a lot of mischief for the Republic and is assumed to be allied with the colonies. He secretly helps his family. Only his older brother knows he is alive. June Iparis lives a completely different life. She grows up in a family with an older brother, a mom, and a dad. Her dad has a very high-paying job working for the Republic. Her parents die while she is still a child. Her brother, Metias, takes care of her. Metias is a high ranked officer in the Republic military. When June takes the Trial, she gets a perfect score. She is the first to ever do this and is considered a child prodigy. She is sent straight to the top college in the Republic. She finished college early, at the age of 15.
The story starts out with Day watching his family as the Republic police do a checkup for the plague. The guards take an awfully long time in his family’s house. The police come out and mark the house with a big, red X. Day is shocked to find out that his younger brother Eden has the plague. He goes on with his friend Tess to find a plan. Meanwhile, June is at college studying hard. One day her brother goes on a mission at local hospital. That same hospital is the same one Day decides to raid for plague cures to help Eden. Day manages to steal suppressants, but is caught one on one with Metias. To escape he throws a knife at Metias’ arm. He wounds Metias and escapes through the sewers. The next day, June gets reports that Metias has been killed. She is rushed to a hospital and sees her brother, dead and lifeless. The Republic decides to pass June from college early. They want her to take her brother’s place. Her first assignment is to capture her brother’s murderer, Day. She goes out into the sectors where she assumes he is. While visiting a bar, she gets into a fight. When she runs away, she is chased. Day, whom June thinks is a random boy saves her. She spends the next few nights with Day and Tess. Day and June grow close and show affection for each other. One night when Day goes to visit his family, June follows him. She finds out that the boy is Day, the most wanted criminal in America. Out of rage thinking that Day had killed her brother, she sets up a plan and gets Day along with his two brothers arrested. In all the action of the arrest, Day’s mother is killed. They send them to prison and they get tortured. Day has a set execution date. June goes through the files of Metias’s death and realizes Day did not kill Metias. Unless June is able to find a way to help Day, Day will be killed by firing squad.
About the author:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Lu