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Legend by Marie Lu

Reading level: Ages 12 and up
Audio CD
Publisher: Penguin Audio; Unabridged edition (November 29, 2011)
Language: English
Buy the Audio:  Amazon

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths – until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

The audio:

When we were given Legend on audiobook, I jumped at the chance to listen to it, and I’m really glad I did.  This audiobook was fantastic!  I absolutely love it when the publishers use two different readers, a guy and a girl, for the two main characters.  Legend is told from alternating viewpoints, some told from June’s point of view, and some from Day’s.  The chapters from June’s point of view were read by Mariel Stern and she did a fantastic job.  I hate it when Young Adult books, that are written in first person, are read by people who sound like they’re 30 or 40.  I don’t know how old Mariel Stern is, but she did a great job sounding like she was a teenage girl.  I could easily believe that it was actually June talking to me, telling me her story.  It was the same with Day.  Day’s point of view was read by Steve Kaplan, and I thought he did a great job.  Both of the readers had subtle changes for each character they read for, but nothing drastic, which worked for this book.  To tell you how much I liked it, I started it last Friday, listening on my iPod while I packed for Mexico, and finished it on the plane the next day.  Once I started it, all I wanted to do was listen to more.  If you haven’t read Legend yet, I would absolutely recommend getting it on audio!  The readers really bring the story to life!

The book:

Yes, you can add me to the long list of people who loved this book, and who recommend it to everyone!  If you are a fan of dystopian novels like The Hunger Games and Divergent, you will love this book too.  It is full of action, mystery, heartbreak, romance, and some crazy messed up people!  And June and Day are absolutely fantastic characters to read.

We have two reviews of Legend up, if you’d like to read more about how awesome this book is, you can find Amy’s review here, and Abigaile’s review here.  Whether you read it, or listen to it, you don’t want to miss out on this exciting new series!

P.S.  I let my friend, Leah, borrow this book.  She read it in 5 hours and loved it!

P.P.S.  Legend is our new Reading Clean Spotlight!  Check it out for a giveaway!!


  • Sexual: none
  • Profanity: mild
  • Violence: heavy

For full click here.

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Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

My first advanced copy!!  Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Teen.
Trella is a scrub.  Being a scrub means living in the overcrowded lower levels, working ten hour shifts to keep Inside clean, never speaking to any Uppers,  not knowing your real family, and being constantly monitored by the Pop Cops (Population Control).
Trella’s job is to clean the heating and air ducts, earning her nickname “The Queen of the Pipes.”  She has a hard time relating to the other scrubs because she thinks of them as mindless sheep that aren’t worth her time or concern.  She’s even taken to sleeping in the pipes she knows so well.  Her only friend is Cogon, a boy she’s grown up with, and when he begs her to meet a Prophet, named Broken Man, she reluctantly agrees.
Broken Man is yet another Prophet preaching about Gateway and Outside.  He says he needs The Queen of Pipes to help him find them.  Trella agrees to the mission, but only to prove that Broken Man is a fraud, and spare Cogon from the pain that comes from lost hopes.
As Trella starts looking for Gateway, however, she finds herself not only daring to believe, but also inspiring others to rebel against their captors.  She meets many surprising people along the way, including a cute Upper boy, named Riley, who challenges everything she thought she knew about Uppers, and begins to open herself up to friendship, trust, and hope.
Inside Out is a sci-fi thriller full of action, adventure, a little romance, and a lot of pipes!  Although I found the settings pretty difficult to visualize (I need a map), I really enjoyed the story of Trella and the mystery of Inside.  I found myself wondering who was in control of this self-sustaining cube and what had happened to Outside that made this life necessary.  The clever plot twists kept me engaged, and actually made my mouth drop open at one point.  I felt like the relationship between Trella and Riley was a little forced, but I still loved their characters and was glad to see them develop a relationship.  The ending was a complete cliffhanger and I’m excited to see where the story goes in the next book Outside In.

Parents should know:  This book has a lot of “minor” curse words.  It also has some kissing, and some talk about sexual things, though mostly as an explanation of life in Inside.  Additionally it has quite a bit of violence.  For the full content review, go to Inside Out on Parental Book Reviews.

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