Dystopias are the new black. I mean, they’re trendy like my handbag.

Legend book cover

Legend by Marie Lu


Legend by Marie Lu is a dystopian young adult fiction which happens in a futuristic America, mainly in California. Kids take a test, the higher the score, the better your odds for better jobs. Kids with lower scores are sent to camp. And you don’t want to know what they do to you at camp.

This book reminds me of Divergent by Veronica Roth. It is not similar in many ways aside from it being futuristic dystopian fiction, and the test the kids take. But in both books, the test does determine their future. I have absolutely loved Divergent, so Legend seemed to be right up my alley. But no. Legend falls short.

This futuristic California is no longer known for Hollywood. The people have no idea of history. Everything is kept secret, that possession of a penny from our year would cause a lot of trouble. Also, there are plagues, but it’s all a giant conspiracy.

June Iparis is a prodigy. She has been born with wealth. She has scored a perfect 1500 on the test. You would think she would have a lot of opportunities, but she ends up a soldier. It seems like the only logical option for her. Her hobbies include climbing walls and getting in trouble. Her brother Metias is killed by the most wanted criminal Day. She is pulled out from school, and been promoted to soldier.

Daniel Altan Wing aka DAY is the most wanted criminal in all of the republic. And he’s fifteen for goodness sake. You would think that he has killed hundreds of people, but he’s just revolting against the republic and stealing some medicine here and there.

The world painted in Legend is just not logical IMHO. So if I got a high score in the test, why would I want to be a soldier? And why would the officials want to waste these smart kids on the battlefield? Why not make the people who flunk soldiers? I was born with money, why not get someone to fetch me some water? And why would the adults rely on the fifteen year old to catch the “most wanted criminal”? Why the adults send the kids to do their job? And how could June, a rich kid, survive on the slums by herself?

The development of the love story between the June and Day is eye rolling too. It’s i-just-saw-you-but-you-are-the-prettiest-i’ve-ever-seen.

With all my ranting, why did it still end up with three stars? Though the test and characters did not appeal to me much, the science-fiction part of it did work for me. The plague makes me curious enough to pick up the next book.

Ms Marie Lu, you are very pretty BTW.