Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

20821111Published October 7th 2014 by Putnam Books for Young Readers

Young-Adult, Science-Fiction, Dystopia, Fantasy, Magic

Purchased Hardcover 355 pages

My Rating 4 Stars

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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.

REVIEW I enjoyed this start of a new series by Lu. Though, not as much as the Legend Trilogy. It has some great action scenes that will have your adrenaline pumping and I just love this world that she has created. But, it lacked something. Something I’m still trying to put my finger on. Characters? Subject matters? I don’t know…I just wasn’t wowed by it. Still, I’m excited for the next book because that may be the game changer for me.

To start, Adelina is a very strange character. At the start of this book, I tried to understand the meaning behind her situation. Still, she fascinated me for reasons I can’t explain. I won’t spoil the aspects of this book, but the situations Adelina faced are not what I’d like to read in YA books. Her well developed character comes full force throughout this story. And the powers that be, want to stop her and others of her kind. She grew on me with every move she made, and she is one powerful heroine. It’s like she has multiple personalities. You never know what you will face with her.

There are so many plot twists in this book. Kudos for no love triangle! I swear that I was scared to read this because I just knew there would be one. So glad that it turns out okay. For the most part, nothing really stood out as unique. And that’s okay because over the years I’ve come to realize that there’s bound to be something that has been done before, only differently. I didn’t like that this book has prostitution. No, it’s not graphic or anything. It’s just that this is young adult and there needs to be a line drawn somewhere. Then again, some may find the particulars of this story a good addition. I had the same reaction to this story as I did with Red Rising by Pierce Brown. 

The other character that really stood out is Teren. I do love antagonists who have secrets and motives beyond what people expect. He’s an evil little sh*t. Raffaele and Enzo bring loyalty and romance to the story. I love the respect and friendship that those two share. Enzo and Adelina balance each other out perfectly, and their chemistry wasn’t so forced as there seems to be in a lot of young adult books. It’s not the sole focus of the story, to which I was grateful. If you are looking for a new series to start that focuses on super cool powers and a great world, then this is the book you need. Recommended.


11 thoughts on “Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

  1. Whoa, some definite admiration going on for there being no love triangle in this one! As well as that, I also really want to read a Marie Lu book because everyone tells me what a fabulous writer she is! I will be picking this one up for sure – added it to my TBR 😉


  2. I’ve heard the same from other people about this book. That it was good but didn’t exactly have any oomph. Hopefully the next book will more than make up for that. I still need to read the Legend series.


  3. Yeah I heard her Legend series was stronger, but since this one was newer and they had the audiobook at my library I decided to try this one first. I agree, I wasn’t wowed by it either (story seemed a bit too “safe” and conventional to me) but I liked it enough that I’m looking forward to the next book!


    • You should definitely finish the Legend Trilogy. This one is worth the read also. I definitely see how this could go from good to great, because that epilogue makes me wonder about what is to come with the next book. So, check it out!


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