Book Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Book: The Young Elites

Published August 2015 by Speak|384 pages

Where I Got It: I own the paperback

Series: The Young Elites #1

Genre: YA Fantasy

An explosive new series from New York Times bestselling author of the Legend trilogy, Marie Lu 

Darth Vader, Voldemort, Maleficent. Witness the rise of a new villain.

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 thought The Young Elites was interesting!  I liked it, and I wanted to like it more, because I really liked the concept.

Something about the book made me think of the Spanish Inquistion and even the Salem Witch Trials.  I mean, the Young Elites are hunted down and killed because they’re different.  Anyone suspected of being a malfetto was destroyed, and it’s interesting that Teren should be the leader of those tasked with finding the Young Elites.

I really liked Adelina, and she’s dark and twisted and hurt, but she also really cares about her sister.  No one is good or bad in this book, and everyone is very much shades of grey.

I didn’t particularly care for Enzo, and I think his chapters were my least favorite.  Teren, though, was interesting.  I didn’t particularly like him, but I do understand why he acted the way he did.  I really wish we saw more of Raffaele! I would have been happy if we had more chapters with him than with Enzo, but that wasn’t something that happened. Hopefully there is more of him in the rest of the series, should I continue on with it.

I’m not surprised that this book was a fantasy book, but I think part of me was expecting some dystopic or post-apocalyptic elements.  When you start talking about an illness that killed people, but the surviving children come out different…well, I was expecting something a little different.  It’s darker than I thought it would be, and I am curious about what will happen next.  I don’t know if I want to continue the series- while I liked The Young Elites, I don’t know if I like it enough to keep going.  Maybe one day I’ll pick it up, but if I do, I’ll most likely get it from the library.

I never really got a clear picture of the Fortunata Court, and even though we have a map at the beginning of the book, I never really got a good sense of where everything was in relation to each other.  I felt like the Fortunata Court in particular was sort of vague, and I’m not hopeful that we’ll get a better picture of it.  I’m still hoping, of course, but I don’t want to be overly hopeful and then have that come crashing down because it wasn’t described the way I wanted it to be.

3 stars,  I liked it, but I had a hard time getting into it.

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

  1. I absolutely loved this series. I totally understand where you’re coming from with your thoughts. If you thought this book was dark then you for sure have to read the rest because they only get darker. I’m a girl that loves me a good villain, which I think is why I liked this series so much. I reviewed the first book and the second as well if you want to check those out they’re listed on our master review list page. Nice post! Thanks for sharing!

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