Thursday, January 8, 2015

Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Title: The Young Elites
Series: The Young Elites #1
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads
Page Count: 355 pages
Source: Bought
Rating: 4/5 stars
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.   
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all. 

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen. 
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
My Thoughts

Let me start of by saying: The Young Elites isn't your typical young adult book, and I love that. It's not the story of a young girl out to save the world from evil, it's about a young girl who wants to hurt the evil that hurt her. You don't get a story about a girl saving the world, but seeking to destroy it. Adelina's darkness grows inside of her and in the end, she wants to hurt those who hurt the helpless, but her anger gets in the way. (We'll get more into her later).

The setting, in my mind, was so beautiful. Marie Lu separated the lands into three, making The Skylands, The Sunlands, and the Sealands, and in my mind, each of those three lands contribute different types of people, specifically different types of Elites and different powers, powers that pertain to the land they're from. (I don't know much about the world, this is imagination running wild. But wouldn't that be cool if that were true?). I recently found Marie Lu's Pinterest page and when you see the pictures in the Young Elites board, and apply it to the story, holy crap you'll get the most beautiful people in the most beautiful and eccentric clothes. It's a fantasy book, but you can tell she's going for a Venice + Renaissance feel, which, hey, I am definitely not complaining!

The action in this book is totally awesome! Marie Lu knows how to write, that's for sure. You don't expect this book to get so dark so quick, but it does, and so intriguing. It's done so well that it keeps you on your toes. The magic is surreal, I liked the aspect of them using lines of energy to procure their magic and making it stronger. I don't want to get into Adelina's power, for those of you who haven't read the book, but her power is so interesting, the way she can use it externally and internally, affecting someone so powerfully. You know when something is just so cool that you shiver just by thinking about it? Yeah, that's what reading about Adelina power does to me.

Adelina, though. Adelina. She is such a compelling character, so different than what we usually get in Young Adult books. We always get heroines, but Adelina's story isn't about a heroine. Adelina comes from a bad past, her family twisted and terrible and that rubs off on her. She has darkness in her and she appeals to that darkness, almost as if she can't live with out it. I'm not going to lie, that is so cool. There are so many times where you're like ADELINA NO WHY DON'T DO THAT! But at the same time we have a huge amount of sympathy for her because we understand her motives and we know where she's coming from.

I enjoyed the group of characters we get, the Dagger Society, as they are called. They weren't what I was expecting, but they were still entertaining. Raffaele and Enzo are two big characters we meet, both halves of the same coin, both different yet the same, both so goddamn lovable. Adelina's interactions with these two are definitely sweet and passionate, worth reading about. In book two, The Rose Society, we are getting a whole new herd of characters and I am so excited! These new characters, unlike the Daggers, are going to have a touch of evil in them and I. Can't. Wait.

The possibilities for book two, The Rose Society, are endless! Whenever I think about antagonists, the enemy, I always think about redemption. And Adelina is definitely going to become an antagonist in the end, I can feel it. Which brings up the question: Should Adelina be redeemed in the end? Will be she become so powerful that she's beyond redemption? Enough that in order to stop her, she needs to die? All these idea's made me shiver with anticipation.


  1. I wasn't really interested in reading this book ASAP until I clicked on the Pinterest board that you linked and ERMEHGERD. Anyway, I'm glad you liked this one, and you've definitely convinced me to push it up on my wishlist :D