[ARC] Book Review: THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu

Genre: Fantasy, YA
Pages: 336
Released on: October 7th, 2014

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Goodreads Summary:

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.

My Review:

When they said this book was a blend of Assassin’s creed and X-Men, I rolled my eyes because how could something be so incredibly awesome enough to combine two very awesome things?

But I was wrong.
It is so possible. And The Young Elites is that possibility.

If you’ve read Marie Lu’s Legend series then you know just how beautifully this author writes and how complex she writes her characters to be. Well now picture that and multiply it by ten and you have her newest book.
I honestly did not think Marie Lu could get any better as a writer than what she did with her Legend series, but I am so glad I was wrong.

I knew right away I was going to like this book when I reached a specific gory scene only four pages in, and after that, everything else just added to the “amazing factor” points.
I think the best part of this book is the main character of Adelina. She is so different from June in Marie’s Legend series. As the book starts off, I’m feeling sympathetic toward Adelina but I’m also weary of her. It’s hard to trust her point of view, especially towards the end. She’s not as good a person as she thinks, or at least pretends to be. She has a darkness in her, which is constantly talked about throughout the novel. But this darkness is different than any other type of evil we read about in books. Probably because you’re still rooting for this evil girl to come out on top.
Adelina’s darkness is so real and raw and it stems from basic human emotions of fear and anger – something everyone has, but for Adelina it is magnified on epic proportions because of her childhood and how she was used throughout her life. Adelina is so full of resentment and anger that it is impossible to see her as the “good guy” or the hero of this story. Frankly, none of the characters in this book are actually “good” or heroic. Which is awesome! It’s a refreshing take on YA protagonists.

The world that Lu places us in is a cool blend of the older centuries but also a futuristic vibe at certain parts. That’s probably where you get the whole mixture of Assassin’s Creed and X-Men reference.

It was hard to get a clear sense of the relationships between Adelina and the other Elites, but I think that was the point. There’s no real relationships, at least not how Adelina thinks there is. And that is so pivotal to her character development. If anything, I wish I knew more about the Elites. I want to know more about Enzo and Lucent and Michel. Raffaele’s backstory is sort of there, but I’d still like to know more. But this is, of course, Adelina’s story. I think as the story develops and we reach the end (THE HEARTBREAKING AND TEAR INDUCING ENDING – MY GODS), the story expands and there will be new characters and the arch of the story will expand to other characters besides Adelina. Especially with the more people she interacts with.

I cannot boast enough about this book though, guys. It is so so good. I knew Marie Lu was a badass writer but DAMN, this blew everything out of the water for me. Amazingly developed characters, intriguing plot, and great pacing as far as action and tension and romance goes.

If you were a fan of Legend, then you need to read this book.
If you are a fan of Marie Lu, then you need to read this book.
If you love reading, then you need to read this book.
If you enjoy breathing, then YOU NEED TO READ THIS BOOK.

There, I think I’ve drilled into your skills enough now.
Overall, fantastic read. I am literally chomping at the bit for book 2 – and book 1 isn’t even out yet! Gah!

MY RATING: 5/5

P.S. I sincerely apologize if the format for this post is all weird and not like the others. I’m on vacation in Vegas right now with NO WIFI. I think I’m being punished by some cosmic overlord. Either way, I had to work from mobile to post this, so I’m sorry!

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