Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites
Publisher: Putnam Books for Young Readers
Published: October 7th, 2014
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 out of 5)
Quick Look: This is not the typical book about the development of a hero. This is the story of how a villan came to be and I loved it.The summary of The Young Elites from Goodreads:
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
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.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
What I Liked:
Okay. This book gave me a lot of feelings.
I’m loving the trend in fantasy books lately that focus on developing the villan, showing that the villan is still a person. The Young Elites takes that a step further. This is the story of the villan. And it’s spectacular.
Adelina is a victim of the blood fever, forever marked and distrusted in society. The fever didn’t only leave her scarred, but it also gave her a unique power that makes her dangerous. Her life is one of struggles, of always feeling less than. I don’t want to feel sorry for her, because I know she will eventually end up a villan, yet I can’t help but want to reach out to her.
She’s never known love without some king of string attached. She’s never been wanted for just being her. Her father treats her as an abomination, ready to sell her off as soon as possible. The Elites recognize her power and want her for their fight. Teren wants her to be a spy and help bring down the Elites. None of them just want her.
This is a book of anti-heroes. There is no clear hero in this book because there’s no clear “right” path. Adelina is a murderer, yet it feels justified. Enzo is plotting revolution, but he’s sacrificial in how he plans to get it. Teren is blinded by passion and obsessive. Rafaelle is probably the closest character to a “hero,” yet he’s just a vicious in his convictions as everyone else. I don’t know who I’m supposed to root for and I love it.
The plot is complicated, yet it never seems confusing. The pacing is fantastic, never feeling rushed or meandering. I love the tone and style of the story, both somehow working together to make a dreary backdrop to the story that fits it perfectly.
What I Didn’t Like:
The only think I didn’t really like, and it really didn’t detract too much from the story, was the activity going on in Adelina’s heart. It sometimes felt repetitive to read about the energy spiking or her conflicting feelings. I didn’t mind reading about those, but sometimes it just felt like they were repeated quite often.
I’d Recommend To:
If you liked Lu’s previous series, definitely pick it up. It’s a completely different take on the anti-hero and is absolutely fascinating to read. This is a must read book for the simple fact that it shows the development of a villan, yet you find yourself rooting for her.
You can purchase The Young Elites here: