You can’t go wrong with dystopia mixed with teenage angst.
The United States is no longer— it is now split in two, the Republic and the rebel Colonies at civil war with each other.
Set in a dystopian Los Angeles, a tyrannical government decides who becomes successful based off of a test called the “Trials.”
The normalcy of the Republic’s military-type is disrupted by one person: “Day” Wing, a 15 year old who is constantly on the run from the government to keep them away from his family, who are sick with the plague.
The government now controls everything, and the way they keep themselves in power is insidious: pumping poisonous air into the streets, while at the same time, putting the vaccine for it on the market.
Most stay oblivious to this, but not Day. This puts him on the top of the most wanted list, and the bounty on his head is worth a fortune. Knowing he can never show his face to anyone ever again (including his dying brother), he tries to get by.
June Metias is a wunderkind prodigy that is being trained by the military government. Getting a perfect score in her “Trial”, she had no reason to go after Day until he accidentally killed her brother.
With no family left, June has a vendetta. She goes undercover and throws herself into a manhunt to catch her brother’s killer.
It’s now a cat and mouse chase. Day is constantly on the run from June, who is relentlessly trying to hunt him down. Following his every move, June will stop at nothing to be the one that puts the handcuffs on his wrists.
When their paths finally cross, they both slowly start to find the truth in the government they live in and the truth in themselves.
Marie Yu’s “Legend” is a prime example of how the dystopian literature genre is growing in popularity. She strings together a brilliant tale of the hardships of a not-so-distant future being overcome by unlikely foes-turned-allies.
“Legend” is a novel that creates hope when there is only despair and almost makes being America’s Most Wanted criminal seem fun.
Dystopia is a topic that many authors have written about, whether it be centered around a corrupt government or a corrupt society. But Legend is one of the few that gives both sides, which creates a story where you are constantly changing your viewpoint.
Sometimes you root for the underdog, and other times you want to stick to what you know is right. But no matter what stance you take, you’re bound to find a good story in “Legend”.
Yu manages to create a dystopian society, without being cliché, all while fitting in a teenage love story that doesn’t want to make you throw up.