In search of more works by the author of Legend?
One of the biggest challenges for any author is having two protagonists in one book. In Marie Lu’s hands, it’s a triumph. An alternate United States (The Republic) that is constantly at war with its neighbors is the setting for the legend. Both June and Day, two 15-year-olds from polar opposites of the economic spectrum, are central to the story’s plot.
When June’s brother Metias is allegedly murdered by Day, the two teenagers find themselves on a collision course. However, all is not as it appears. For those who enjoy dystopian YA, this trilogy of books is a must-read (and a damning indictment on modern US culture). However, are there any other titles like Legend available?
Books like Legend
The Moon Dwellers (The Dwellers 1), by David Estes
For dystopian novels like Legend, the goal is to immerse the reader in the darkest possible situation. Adele, a 17-year-old “moon dweller,” has a bleak outlook in The Moon Dwellers. Tristan’s situation is just as bleak. Tristan, on the other hand, is attempting to make his way through a conflict that seems to be following Adele. Two people from contrasting social backgrounds.
Taking place in a post-apocalyptic world where humanity has been exiled. This should pique your interest, don’t you think? I had a great time with it and can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. A fast but steady pace is maintained by switching back and forth between Adele and Tristan. The post-apocalyptic setting is appropriately bleak, and each chapter always leaves you wanting more. A resounding yes.
Delirium, by Lauren Oliver
Many books like Legend enjoy riffing on contemporary American politics and society. Delirium has already been mentioned in a previous article, but it deserves a spot on this list.
It follows Lena, a nearly 18-year-old teen about to take ‘the cure’ for love offered by the government in an alternate US where love has been declared a ‘dangerous disease.’ In this book, the most disturbing aspect is how easily a western government could implement something like this.
We see the dangers of allowing right- or left-wing extremist governments free rein when Lena expresses excitement about being cured when we first meet her. If you’re a fan of dystopian fiction, this is a must-read.
No, I haven’t read it yet. Find more books like Delirium on our list of recommended reads!
Partials, by Dan Wells
Another book like Legend is the extremely dark gem, Partials, from Dan Wells. “Humanity’s only hope is not human.” When I first saw those words on the cover, I got goosebumps.
Using a weaponized virus, Partials have nearly wiped out humanity. They are organic beings created in a lab (similar to the Nexus 6 replicants in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?). Kira, a 16-year-old American living on Long Island, is one of the few survivors. Kira is thrust into a journey to save both species from extinction after discovering a long-hidden truth about the war that threatens the survival of both.
A lot darker than the other books on this list but much more rewarding as a result. To the end, you’ll be hooked on Kira’s story, which is rooted in science fiction rather than Hunger Games-esque teenage anguish.
Life As We Knew It (Last Survivors 1), by Susan Beth Pfeffer
In books like Legend, dramatic events that alter the course of history are not uncommon. Is it possible that the moon’s orbit around the Earth could be shifted by a meteor tomorrow? It’s easy to overlook the climate-altering power of the moon’s gravitational pull. The position of the moon affects sea tides.
Miranda is confronted with this issue in Life as We Knew It, where her world suddenly shifts. Miranda, her brothers, and their mother have been forced to flee to their sunroom, where they are surviving on food and water that has been stockpiled in the event of a tsunami or earthquake.
When it comes to Pfeffer’s writing, the fear of a global catastrophe can be brought home in this book, which is the first in a series.
It’s the tiniest hints of hope that make this story stand out from the rest. While the story is both horrifying and depressing, you can’t help but hope for Miranda and her family’s safety. Even though it’s as dark as Partials (and perhaps even darker), there’s still enough hope in this to keep you reading.
Gone, by Michael Grant
Books like Legend and Gone will pique the interest of anyone who has read Lord of the Flies.
“Children stranded on an island without adults” is taken to a new level in Gone. Suddenly, everyone over the age of 15 disappears from the face of the planet. Children and those in their early twenties are the only ones who haven’t yet caught up. There is no power, no internet, and no television, and no one is coming to help.
In this tale, we have a reluctant hero in Sam. How many people are prepared to stand up to the bullies is the question now that the battle lines have been drawn. Sam has no choice but to deal with this dilemma. You want him to face it because he’s written so well.
The story is just as violent as, if not more so than, both Lord of the Flies and Legend. A lot of children are injured. It’s a good thing that Caine, the main bully, is someone you want to beat. In the way he revels in his power, he is vicious, cruel, and ugly. Some of the other “good” characters begin to lose their moral compass due to Caine’s antics.
How far can you go in the fight against evil before you become a part of the evil? All of these questions and more are asked by Gone. It’s well worth your time to take a look at it.
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
Legend, for example, has a strong mystery theme.
Jonas lives in an ideal world in The Giver, where mystery and science fiction collide in an unforgettable tale. The only time he realizes there’s something sinister going on in his world is after he receives his life mission as “The Receiver.”
When it comes to spiritualism and religion in the world, this book has often divided adults. That is almost always a sign of a book that I should read. An almost Zen-like style, the rules of Jonas’ world are rudely juxtaposed with an even darker mystery that lies at the heart of his world.
As he begins to receive the memories, our perspective on the situation changes dramatically. Many children and teachers alike enjoy this book. You can see why after reading it. In the vein of Legend, this is a great alternative.
No, I haven’t read it yet. See our list of additional books that are similar to The Giver.