Review: REBEL by Marie Lu

Title: Rebel
Series: Legend, #4
Author: Marie Lu
Publication Date: October 01, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopia
Add to: Goodreads / Amazon
Rating: ★★★★★ (5 stars)
Respect the Legend. Idolize the Prodigy. Celebrate the Champion. But never underestimate the Rebel.

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times–bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend for a truly grand finale.

Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.

As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .

*** This is not a spoiler-free review. Just a heads up for anyone who wants to read the book but haven't yet and is here reading this review.

The world shifts, tilts, sometimes collapses. But sometimes, it bends toward you, and everything feels right.

I couldn't even begin to express how much I missed this world and characters, especially June and Day. I didn't even know a sequel was possible considering how years has passed since Champion ended but here we are. And I think for someone who's read only the three Legend books, they need to read Life After Legend too before diving in to this because it tells you what happened after the third book's ending and prepares you for the next book. It's like the bridge between Champion and Rebel.

I've been a fan of this series since I was introduced to the dystopian world of fiction. This became one of my favorites because I love the writing of the story, the world-building that actually has some realistic aspects to it, and how the characters are like with their defining personalities. It's one of the stories that stayed with me even after I stopped bothering with dystopia now and hardly with Young Adult these days.

You don't have to bear the weight of anything by yourself. Do you understand me? I know what it's like to be forced to go it alone. I never want you to feel that way.

The relationship between Day and Eden is seen in a new light here. We see that it's not just sunshine and rainbows between them even though they're living a new life now where they're not on the streets and struggling. Their relationship lacked communication. It was sad to read especially during the times where Eden was pulling away from Day.

I get Eden though. It really is hard to live in someone's shadow, even if that someone is your brother whom you love and adore. My heart broke for him too. He was getting provoked and bullied in school but it's hard for him to resist retaliating knowing that it will cost him some Level points -- these points determine your social standing in the community, the system's rigged and it's part of what created chaos in the book. I won't go into specifics to avoid spoilers.

I won't lie. I was kinda frustrated with Eden's choices in the book because how and on what grounds do you think you can trust a man who's killed people for his own benefit just because he got a tragic past? I mean, yeah sure he wants a fairy system but the aftermath of the plan was just chaos and something you'd see in The Purge (literally, it was like a scene in the movie when the chaos started). JUST BECAUSE THEY GOT A TRAGIC PAST DOESN'T EXCUSE THEM FOR THEIR PRESENT DAY SHITTY ACTIONS! *sigh I'm just sad over the events that happened. HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER (I actually teared up reading this book.. and it wasn't even a JuneDay-related scene. It was the scene where Pressa's father a.k.a. the father of Eden's friend, who is ill by the way, was trying to stop the people from robbing his store. IT WAS JUST SO HEARTBREAKING TO READ ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU VISUALIZE IT. Again, HE IS ILL. AND FRAIL. He could only beg and plea for the people to stop, even the ones whom he knew. I'm still sad thinking about it and he died in the end because someone got in with a knife and stabbed him.).

But it's because I care. Because sometimes, being patriotic means calling out the problems rotting away your country. 

In the end, I was proud of him for standing up and doing what's right despite how risky it was and the punishment could be severe. I was emotional reading via Day's POV how, after everything that's happened, he looked frightened standing in front of the president and pretty much everyone and telling them why he did what he did. That quote above is something. And I appreciate the fact that even though there was a slight change in the country, it wasn't a complete change. Because that's not how things work at all and I'm glad Marie Lu kept it realistic like that but still managed to give us a picture of what could happen if we just identify the problem, call it out, and do something.

Now, JuneDay. This couple is one of my "OTPs of all OTPs" in the Young Adult scene. Their relationship here really took off after what happened in Life After Legend. AND THIS IS WHY I SUGGEST TO READ THE NOVELLA. My heart was just so happy to see them together again and is bouncing with love and joy over the ending. I don't wanna say so much because this review is getting long. But I'm really happy for them, I'm happy for my shipper heart too. I'm happy that they took things slow like trying to recall what they remember of their time together and how much they loved each other. It was just so nice and so...freeing. I feel so free after Champion's ending. To June and Day, you deserved this love and happiness.

Each memory I have of you, I keep in a treasured place in my heart.

Closing this with a throwback: I remember reading Champion a few days after its release, thinking it's the final book of the series, with the physical copy in my hands right after I just recently bought it at the bookstore. I remember reading it while I was dining out with my family that day and I was just too engrossed with the book. I remember hardly feeling bittersweet and don't really know what to feel entirely during the ride back home because I just finished it. But now, Rebel's here and I got my closure. The Wing brothers found their happiness. June and Day reunited. I'm a satisfied and emotional reader now who is saying her goodbye to this world and the characters for the final time.

Thank you, Marie Lu.
The long wait was worth it.


  1. I haven't read your review, since it is not spoiler free, but I see by the rating and first few sentences that Lu did this series justice with the new book. I am elated about this. I adored June and Day so much, and Legend is one of my all-time favorite series.

    1. To me, she really did justice for the series. It's also a really beautiful and bittersweet goodbye to the world of Legend.