Legend by Marie Lu
Day is one of the most wanted men in the Republic. But Day is only fifteen-years-old, living on the streets and trying to take care of his destitute family. Meanwhile, June was born into a wealthy family and is a prodigy in the Republic’s ranks. When she is told that the criminal known only as Day has killed her brother, she makes it her personal mission to hunt him down. But June soon learns that the government has been lying to her, and the Republic will stop at nothing to keep their secrets.
Day is a brave and selfless boy, who wants nothing more than to keep his family safe from the brutal plagues that ravage the area. Sparks fly when he meets June, a bright and talented girl with a good heart. The dialog switches each chapter back and forth between Day and June in first person. The publisher even gave them a different font and type color, helping to keep them straight mid-chapter, which readers will appreciate. Lu’s world is a future dystopian version of America, where the West Coast’s Republic is under martial law. The setting is dark and mystifying as readers learn along with June and Day about the sinister dealings the Republic has kept hidden.
Thoroughly engaging and exciting, this debut is full of suspense, drama, mystery, and a bit of romance. Easily one of the best new YA thrillers this year, I was highly impressed and completely immersed in the characters and story. Lu is a promising talent that I will certainly be following. Legend works well as a standalone novel, with a stirring, climactic ending. But thankfully, Penguin Teen reports that this is just the first in a trilogy. Don’t miss this one.
Legend releases from Putnam Teen on November 29, 2011.