Book Review # 5 | The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites - Marie Lu
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons on October 7, 2014
Series:  The Young Elites #1
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Source: Purchased

Goodreads rating: 3.96 / 5 My rating: 4 / 5

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.

I can honestly say that I read this book at the right time in my reading life! At first I was really hesitant to pick it up because after it was released I didn’t really heard a lot of buzz about it any more. At first everyone was dying to read it because it was a new series by Marie Lu who wrote the Legend trilogy, which I loved btw, but after only a few weeks the buzz died down and I didn’t hear anything about it. There were only a hand full of people I know who’ve read it, and the main complained I heard about it was that the font was really big. And that’s basically what I knew when I dived into this young adult fantasy.

I read The Young Elites in only a few days, and mostly when I was sitting next to my sweetheart when he was playing Mortal Kombat X. This combination made me really love the book, mostly because there are some pretty gruesome fighting scenes in it and hearing people being killed in the background made The Young Elites come to life in my mind.

When the blood fever first passed through, killing a third of the population and leaving scarred, deformed children everywhere, we were pitied. Poor things. Then, a few parents of malfetto children died in freak accidents. […] So the pity toward us quickly turned to fear. The fear, mixed with our frightening appearances, became hate. Then word spread that if a malfetto had powers, they would manifest when he or she was provoked.
This interested my father. p.40

Adelina lives a terrible life, she doesn’t have a mother and her father despises her. The only one she can really count on is her younger sister Violetta, and in her father’s eyes Violetta is the better one, the pure one. Both sisters suffered through the blood fever but Adelina was the only one who came out of it with markings.

There is a lot of terminology in The Young Elites which make the story more complex than it has to be. So let me sum up the most used terms and their meanings: malfetto’s; survivors of the blood fever without mysterious and powerful gifts. The Young Elites; survivors of the blood fever with mysterious and powerful gifts. The Dagger Society; a group of Young Elites fighting for what they think is right.

How am I supposed to learn if I don’t get a chance to concentrate?
But of course he’s teaching me a lesson. This isn’t a game. This is reality. And when I’m in the middle of a fight, this is what it’ll be like. I whimper, shut my eyes, curl up tighter, and try to shrink away from the columns of fire that roar around me. Tears run unbidden down my face. […] “Broken so easily,” he says with disdain. “You’re not ready after all.” p.177

What I really liked about The Young Elites is that the story is told in multiple POV’s, but it was not perfectly done. The biggest thing bothering me about this was that the male character all sounded the same. When I was in the middle of a chapter I could never tell who of the males were talking, but when I read through Adelina’s POV she stood out. She had a lot of depth to her as a character and also a lot of flaws. She was so unsure of herself and doubted a lot of the decision she had to make. What is also very unique of Adelina is that she is a Anti-Hero. At some point she doesn’t know any more what is right and what is wrong in the eyes of the society and she decides to just follow her own believes.

Adelina was an amazing character to read about, she was well defined, had flaws and is a Anti-Hero what makes the story unique to me. I really liked the world-building and the interactions between characters. The story doesn’t really end with a cliffhanger, but is does adds some elements I wasn’t expecting. Overall this was a great first book in a new series and I’ll definitely pick up the sequel! I’m curious to see where the story will head in the second book.

Final Verdict: 4 out of 5
4 Hearts