Oct 18, 2014

Review--The Young Elites by Marie Lu

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.

After devouring Marie Lu's Legend trilogy I was eager to start her new series with The Young Elites. While it's definitely a LOT different than her previous one, it was still a decent read, if albeit confusing at times. We go from dystopian to fantasy set in the past, so there's that whole time shift to deal with, but there's also the dealing with new world building and new characters and just the newness, perhaps that is why I didn't love this one like I had expected.

Adelina is 16 and disfigured, she suffered from the plague early in life and it's left her scarred, missing her left eye and her hair is a silvery color. She's not really loved by her father and her mother is dead. The only one who cares for her is her younger sister. When she is accused of killing her father she is sentenced to die, but is rescued by Enzo, the leader of the Young Elites.

The Young Elites are a group of teenagers who all suffered from the same disease as Adelina and they too all have special abilities, powers that make them special and hated by society. Being a malfetto--one who suffered from the disease is bad enough, but being one with special abilities makes them even more hate. Which is where they form the Young Elites and basically try to help other malfettos out, but their primary goal is to kill the current queen and king and put Enzo on the throne, for he is the rightful heir.

Needless to say, this one confused me a bit. But again, it's possible I should've had a different read in between to help clear my head. It's a complicated world at the best of times with new statuses and society levels and rules to adjust to.

Adelina has a lot of self-discovery/character building to do as she learns to harness her abilities. She's seen as a monster by almost everyone, except Enzo and she's determined to be good and do good. But it seems even some of the other Young Elites aren't her biggest fan as she doesn't have a strong grip on her powers.

The story is told mostly through Adelina's point of view. The description mentions her, Enzo and Teren--one of our villains, but yet Adelina gets the most page time. In fact, Enzo only got one chapter point of view, which sort of confused me. Then there's also 2-3 chapters with Raffaele's point of view. He's another Young Elite who also sort of helps train Adelina in the beginning, but not throughout the entire book. Teren has only a handful of chapters as well. No more than 5 I'd say. And this totally threw me because based on the description, I kind of thought these three were pivotal characters. That we would have the chapters constantly changing back and forth between them all. But that didn't happen at all really. Only rarely was it not Adelina's point of view.

As far as action goes, it was rather good. There's a lot of battles and fights going on when it comes to the Young Elites and malfettos. The evil plots going all around. It's enough to keep things interesting and moving. There's plenty of shocking secrets that get revealed to keep you on your toes.

Romance...I'm kind of left befuddled with this one. At first, I thought I sensed a love triangle between Adelina, Enzo, and Raffaele...but that didn't really pan out. There's some "moments" between Adelina and Enzo every now and then but I never got the sense of budding romance. A few kisses were shared, but I never felt the love or the possibility of love.

This was a very dark story. One that leaves me with more than a few questions as to what just happened and what's bound to happen. It was still an exciting and well paced read, but I just never felt that spark like I did with the Legend trilogy. True, this is an entirely different kind of series we have going, but I was just hoping for something more! I might still read the next book when it comes out, in hopes of seeing it pick itself back up for me at least.

Overall Rating 3/5 stars


  1. The reviews I've seen are mixed, so it's probably good that my library has it. I just put a hold on it earlier this week.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

  2. I haven't read a lot of reviews for this book, but I have had it on my TBR list. After reading this review, I'm not so sure. This seems quite confusing and I'm really a fan of not having to think -too- hard when I'm reading outside of school... Haha! Thanks for sharing :)

    Tracy @ Cornerfolds


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