The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #1
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 7, 2014
Source: Received as a gift from my sister (Thanks, Megan!!)
Rating: 5 Stars
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Synopsis 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.
Marie Lu is one of my all-time favorite authors. She is amazing, incredible; there are not enough adjectives in this world to describe how much I love her stories. So my sister and I bought this book for each other for Christmas. We both knew we were buying it for each other. Opened it at the same time and everything. And then we wanted to read it together (obviously). So we finally had time to do it. I started on Saturday night. Finished Sunday afternoon. Texted my sister and she goes “Are you freaking kidding me?? I’m only one chapter in!!” Oops. I tried to read slower, but this book was just too good. I couldn’t put it down. I had to keep reading to see how this dark, gritty story was going to end. Sorry, not sorry, Megan.
The Young Elites is dark. The main character, Adelina, houses a lot of rage. She is angry. And maybe rightfully so. After coming down with the blood fever, she was marked. She lost her left eye, making her a malfetto. Some malfetto’s have powers and Adelina’s father decided that the only way she would be worth anything is if he could sell her for said powers. But she never showed any powers and this provoked her father’s anger. He was horrible to her. Truly terrible and I felt really bad for Adelina. So you can see where her rage comes from. But at times she was so dark, it was scary. And I loved that. I loved that our main character may or not be a villain. I loved not knowing if she was going to use her powers for good or evil. This girl was so freaking interesting and I loved reading about her.
And it’s not just Adelina. It’s all the characters. I couldn’t really figure out any of them. After being almost killed by the Inquisition (the band of soldiers who work for the king, who hates malfettos and those with power who are referred to as young elites) she is rescued by a group of young elites called the Daggers who want her to join them in their mission to overthrow the king. And of these Daggers, there are two that stand out: Enzo (the leader) and Raffaele. Raffaele is this calm, sweet-natured, beautiful boy that is kind to Adelina. I fell in love with him in a best friend/brotherly kind of way. And then there’s Enzo who is dark, mysterious, handsome, literally hot as hell (teehee, if you’ve read the book you’ll get that). I definitely fell in love with Enzo’s bad boy persona. All these characters are dangerous and you never really know who you can trust. I loved trying to figure everybody out (and failing miserably).
And then there’s Teren, the villain in our story. Another one I can’t quite figure out. How did his head get twisted so badly? Can he come back from it? I sometimes felt like he could, but other times I felt like he was evil to his core and I burned with hatred towards him.
Another thing I loved about this book was the setting and the world-building. It had a very Italian feel to it. There were gondolas and canals and even the language felt a bit Italian to me. Everything that was described was so stunning and beautiful and I felt like I was there in the city with these characters. The world-building was pretty good as well. I felt like I had a decent grasp on the kingdom, how the young elites came to be and the way their powers work. I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about the other kingdoms in this world, which it sounds like we will be doing in the next book.
The ending slayed me. So many feels. I was in such a state of shock. Marie Lu just went for it and I am very curious to see where this story will go next. I never thought that what happened would happen and I am DYING to get my hands on the second book. It’s not a terrible cliffhanger, but I’m definitely craving more. Read this book. If you like fantasy, magic, and lots of grey lines between good and bad you will love this one. And if you haven’t tried out the Legend
series yet, I highly recommend that as well.
Have you read this one yet? Did you love it as much as I did? Did you enjoy having a villain for the main character?