Opposite Worlds finding a Common Enemy - and their own Truth


In a future version of earth, the glaciers have melted and land is sinking into the seas. The United States is fractured and is involved in a long, tumultuous war. What used to be  West Coast America is now run by a militarized government in an area called the Republic. There is a widespread, rapidly spreading outbreak of a plague with no cure. The protagonists Day and Jude are interesting, complex characters, who are fundamentally different from each other. Meet June and Day, two 15-year-olds with nothing in common. June, a member of the elite, is being groomed for military leadership. He is the highest rated soldier in the academy. On the opposite side is Day, a highly skilled criminal and the most wanted criminal in the Republic. He can break into any facility in the Republic.  When June's brother is murdered - and Day named a suspect - their lives cross. Their encounter launches a series of events that challenges both of their beliefs. 

BTSYA / Teen Reader (12):
Thanks to the author, the reader doesn't just learn about Day and June, but spend a fair bit of time on the secondary characters. This helps them understand their importance not just in relationship to the characters, but the plot, too, because it shows Day's and June's values. Through the symbolization the author encourages thinking while reading, which always adds to the experience. The symbolism was not just some vague, subtle piece of the story that you had to work hard to see. It is part of the plot and takes place with the main characters.

I also deeply enjoyed the complexity of the main characters, especially Day. His criminal background allows for a more down-to-Earth culture, which might resonate more with readers. A relatable world makes the book more enjoyable. It is refreshing to read a book where no one is portrayed as a saint, with absolutely no flaws. The central characters have many imperfections that they had to deal with and accept, just like we have to do in our lives.

I wish the author had dealt with the background information differently. Readers learn as the book moves along, resulting in parts it is hard to fully understand. Overall, the book is a good find, with an exceptional author’s craft.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Lots of action, exceptional character development, and a cat-and-mouse chase between soldier and suspected murderer will have readers reading well past their bedtime. A must-read for dystopian science fiction fans.

Content Awareness Factors:

The story contains graphic violence.

Type of Book:
This is the first book in a dystopian mystery.
Educational Themes:

The characters are fiction, but as our teen reviewer notes, there are some elements to them that make them more real than the words on a page. The story creates great opportunities to talk about personal ethics and values. Where they come from, how they impact what we do, and maybe even open our eyes to new ideas.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 12
Purchase Recommendation:
Definitely borrow. Find the book and read it. It is very enjoyable (says our teen reviewer).

Title Legend

Legend Trilogy, Book 1

Author Marie Lu
Publisher Speak, Imprint Penguin Books for Young Readers © 2013 (Reprint Edition)
ISBN 9780142422076
Material Paperback
Cost $10.99
Genres Mystery, Science Fiction, Social Issues
be the star you are Cybils
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