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The book I read is called Legend, By Marie Lu. The book is set in a dystopian Los Angeles in a country divided into two warring parts: the Republic and the Colonies. The main characters are Daniel “Day” Altan Wing and June Iparis, two teenagers during this time. Day was born into the slums of Los Angeles, whereas June was born into the rich sector. The book starts off with Day looking over his family (except for his older brother, John, his family doesn’t know he’s alive) while their house is checked by inspectors for the plague. It turns out his younger brother, Eden, has the plague, and Day leaves to steal a cure for Eden. He successfully gets a cure but June’s older brother, Metias, finds Day when he jumps out of a window and escapes.
Soon after, Metias’s friend Thomas comes to June’s door and tells her that her brother is dead. June is devastated by this news and makes it her mission to find Day and make sure he suffers. She starts out in the slums district, undercover, and bumps into a boy who later turns out to be Day. She captures him in a showdown at Day’s house after his mother is shot by Thomas. June begins to uncover the truth about what Metias was researching before he was killed, and about the Republic in general. She questions Day and finds out that Thomas actually killed Metias (because he was finding out things he shouldn’t know).
When June gets home that night, she looks up Day’s Trial score. The Trial is a test that the citizens of the Republic take when they are ten, to see what job they will get. The people from the slums usually get low scores and the people from the rich sectors usually get high scores. There is only one recorded perfect Trial score student: June. If you get a score under 800, you are sent to labor camps to work, which is later revealed by Day just to be scientists experimenting, trying to figure out why one ten-year-old is inferior to another ten-year-old, for example. When June looks up Day’s score, she realizes he got the same score as she did, 1500. She isn’t the only prodigy.
Researching more about Day, she uncovers that the government covered up Day’s perfect score because of his rebellious nature, after which they took him to a labor camp (where, it turns out children are sent to be killed). They experimented on Day to see why and how he was superior to others. In the end, June helps Day escape from his execution because she realizes he is innocent of killing her brother. However, Day’s brother John dies in the process. Day and June start a search in the warfront to find his younger brother, Eden. A theme I got from the book was to keep searching for the truth, because you may not be getting the whole truth when you are given information.
Some things I liked about this book were that June and Day seemed as if they were opposites in terms of personality, but they both wanted to protect the ones they loved. It was interesting to see the lies the people in power told to their citizens, just so the government would stay in control. I didn’t like how much murder there was in the book. For example, Thomas shot Day’s mother in cold blood, just to get him out of hiding. The government was also spreading the plague to its citizens so they could use it as a bio-weapon for the war, but first they needed to see what the plague did to a human before they used it for a military purpose.
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