Reviews for Legend

Booklist Reviews 2011 October #2
*Starred Review* All right, it has a plague. And, yes, it's set in some semblance of America in the not-so-distant future. Yet even with all the hordes of dystopian novels out there, this one still manages to keep readers on the edge of their seats. But even the nonstop action would mean little without Lu's well-toned ability to write characters to care about. One is June, a daughter of the Republic. Her perfect scores at the Trial have insured a great future for her. Then there is Day. A hero to the street people, he fights injustice and keeps an eye on his brothers and mothers as they try to survive. Their narratives, told in alternating and distinctively voiced chapters, describe how circumstances bring them together. Day kills June's beloved soldier brother as he tries to get medicine for his own. With cold precision, June makes it her mission to exact revenge. What happens next, in macro terms, probably won't surprise, yet the delicious details keep pages turning to learn how it's all going to play out. Combine star-crossed lovers with the need to take down the Republic, and you've got the makings for a potent sequel. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
In the distant future, the western half of the United States has seceded and is ruled by an oppressive totalitarian regime. Fifteen-year-old Day is one of its most wanted criminals. June, also fifteen and one of the Republic's brightest prodigies, is hunting Day down to kill him. The story is written in alternating first-person present-tense narratives with lightning-fast pacing and nonstop action. Copyright 2012 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #6
In the distant future, the western half of the United States has seceded and is ruled by an oppressive totalitarian regime. Fifteen-year-old Day is one of its most wanted criminals, but all he wants is to save and protect his friends and family. When he breaks into a hospital to steal medicine for his ailing younger brother, he's severely injured and nearly captured. Fifteen-year-old June is one of the Republic's brightest prodigies, but when her older brother is killed by Day during the hospital break-in, she vows to hunt him down and kill him. When their paths cross by chance, June is attracted to Day's good looks, charming personality, kindness, selflessness, and courage. She is torn when she discovers his true identity, and as she discovers the dark secrets of the Republic, she reconsiders her decision to turn him in. Working with rebels, June devises a daring and desperate plan to save Day from his impending execution by firing squad. This debut novel, the first in a planned trilogy, is written in alternating first-person present-tense narratives with lightning-fast pacing and nonstop action. The canvas of Lu's dystopian world is well suited for themes of power, corruption, inequality, and rebellion, while the personal dynamics are complicated by issues of trust, loyalty, betrayal, and romance. Sound familiar? It should; it's a perfect readalike for The Hunger Games. jonathan hunt Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2011 October #2
A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles. Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic's treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day's self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting--plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers--escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel. This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes. (Science fiction. 12-14) Copyright Kirkus 2011 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 October #2

Lu's debut is a stunner. Weaving the strands of SF dystopia, police procedural, and coming-of-age--with touches of superhero and wild frontier traditions--she fashions a narrative in which the action is kinetic and the emotional development is beautifully paced. June, a prodigy from the elite class of the disintegrating Republic, is being groomed for a military career when her brother, a captain, is murdered. June is quickly drafted into the team tracking his accused killer, a spectral and maddeningly persistent outlaw known as Day. June's life has been shaped by intellect, and to be driven by an emotion as ungovernable as grief makes her vulnerable in painful, dangerous ways. Day has known grief all of his life, but is no more immune to it than June is. The chase unfolds against a plague-infested Los Angeles of Gotham-like grit that Lu conjures with every nuance of smell, sound, and sight. First in a series, this story is utterly satisfying in its own right and raises hopes high for the sequels to come. Ages 12-up. (Nov.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 October

Gr 8 Up--In this futuristic tale told in alternating voices, the United States has devolved into factions and California is a part of the Republic. The people are oppressed, except for the privileged few, and Day is carrying out a raid on a hospital for plague medicine for his family. Readers learn that he has been fighting against the Republic for some time, with phenomenal success. Unfortunately, his raid ends with a Republic soldier wounded, and Day is also injured while making his escape. The other narrator is June, who is Republic-trained, privileged, and also in possession of remarkable abilities. She vows vengeance on her brother's killer--he is the wounded soldier. June knows about Day, and she also knows that he doesn't kill, so why did he kill her brother? It's a good question, since he didn't. There is plenty of intrigue and underhanded dealing going on, mostly by Republic officials. The mystery surrounding June's brother and the constant recurrence of various strains of plague are solved by the end, with June and Day joining forces to fight injustice. The door is left open for a sequel since June and Day make their escape and head toward the Colonies (the western part of the former United States not including California) to seek aid in their fight against tyranny. The characters are likable, the plot moves at a good pace, and the adventure is solid. This is a fine choice for those who enjoyed Gemma Malley's The Declaration (Bloomsbury, 2007), Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (Tor, 2008), and fans of the "Star Wars" franchise.--Robin Henry, Wakeland High School, Frisco, TX

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VOYA Reviews 2011 October
Day is just fifteen years old, but he is the Republic's most wanted criminal. Day opted out of society after failing his Trial at age ten, and since has launched an attack for survival that the Republic views as treasonous. Despite the presence of surveillance cameras in every corner of the city, the Republic has no image of Day to broadcast over sector JumboTrons. Little wonder, then, that the Republic puts recruits from a premiere military family on Day's case. When Captain Metias Iparis is killed--possibly by Day--his sister June must continue the hunt on her own, while mourning her brother.  Commander Jameson has supreme confidence in June, since she scored a perfect 1500 on her Trial. The themes of Legend--fairness and rebellion--will resonate with a broad range of teens and tweens, providing them a well-written, emotionally satisfying read. A fast-paced blend of action and science fiction (with only a hint of potential romance) means that this one will likely appeal to male and female readers alike.  Debut author Lu has managed a great feat--emulating a highly successful young adult series while staying true to her own voice. Legend will give Hunger Games fans something worthwhile to read while they await Katniss' movie debut--and, most likely, Day and June's.--Anna Foote 5Q 5P J S Copyright 2011 Voya Reviews.