Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Posted January 8, 2015 by Lillian in Reviews / 8 Comments

Review: The Young Elites by Marie LuThe Young Elites by Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites #1
on 2014-10-07
Length: 448 pages
Reviewing eBook from TN R.E.A.D.S.
Reading Challenges: COYER Winter 2014-2015

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.

Oh my!! I seriously loved this book….it’s dark, gritty, and the main character is not the good heroine. Oh no she’s the bad guy and I sorta love her 😀

The Young Elites by Marie Lu is the first in a new dystopian, fantasy series about a group of young men and women who have special “gifts” granted to them from surviving the blood fever as children. Our main character, Adelina Amouteru, is arrested after accidentally killing her father one night when she was running away. On the day of her execution, she is saved by a group who call themselves the Dagger Society and like her have powers or magic from surviving the blood fever. The problem, Adelina didn’t know she had powers until the night she killed her father. Now she has to learn how to use them and fast! Terren, leader of the Inquisition Axis, is hunting her and the Daggers down and he won’t stop until they are all dead.

I love Adelina! She is a scary chick 😳 All her life she’s been told she’s a disappoint by her father for being a malfetto (a child that survived the blood fever marked/scarred/changed).  With the fever, her hair turned to silver and one of her eyes was removed. Some malfettos were rumored to have powers and because Adelina had none, her father ignored her, taunted her, provoked her, and abused her in attempts to bring powers to the surface. This is enough to break anyone! And for our Adelina it does. She is constantly haunted by her father’s ghost, and her powers (when they finally surface) are fueled by fear. This takes her to some very dark places. She questions herself constantly, knowing that the pain she inflicts isn’t right, but taking pleasure in causing it.

Then there’s Terren. He is a powerful young man in a high position with the court. Terren is ruthless, but not cruel. And he finds Adelina fascinating. However he is obsessed with finding the Dagger Society and hunting down all malfettos to purge the country of them. But he’s hiding a big secret. Honestly, I had figured out his secret early on, but I won’t spoil it for you 😉 Trust me you’ll understand his character much better!

And finally Enzo, or the Reaper, leader of the Dagger Society, crowned prince, and rightful ruler of the country. He has his own obsession and plans to use Adelina to get it. Enzo plans to take his country back by force and help the malfettos, especially since he’s one himself. He is ruthless, cunning, and driven, but with Adelina he finds himself enchanted and unable to focus.

The entire story centers around the Dagger Society taking back the kingdom and training Adelina how to use her unique powers. The author has created a whole new world and I’ll admit that in the beginning I was more than a little lost. I wasn’t sure if this was supposed to be a futuristic world or a historical fiction. Then I realized it wasn’t set on Earth at all…my bad 😳 Once I realized this, the book flowed well and I was amazed at how intricately Adelina’s character plays out. We see a broken girl at the beginning of the book who slowly progresses into a young woman with power and the ability to take on anyone. And she does!

Overall I thought the book was great! At times the flow lagged a bit, especially when Adelina would berate herself over her feelings. For the most part though, there was plenty of action and plot twists that I didn’t see coming. And the ending…I’ll admit I may have shed a few tears for our bad girl. Then the epilogue…eep! I can’t wait for the next in this series to come out 😀

About Marie Lu

Marie Lu writes young adult novels, and has a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, she was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, Marie was an Art Director at a video game company. Now she shuffles around at home and talks to herself a lot.

Marie graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently lives in LA, where she spends her time stuck on the freeways.


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8 responses to “Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

    • I would say that this is more of a fantasy than a dystopian. The only part that really makes it a dystopian is the sickness that gave them gifts. Really at its heart the story is about how a broken girl becomes the villain 😀 I thought it was fantastic!

  1. Oh, my!! Completely digging the new look … Looks like we both had some re-design ideas for the New Years – Yayy!! LOVES. Anyways, I’m skeptical about this book. It’ll take me months to eventually pick it up, just like it took me so long to start The Raven Cycle, except for this book, I heard some really mixed reviews. Either love The Young Elites, or they hate it. Makes me nervous. LOL.
    Sarah @ One Curvy Blogger recently posted…The Raven Boys by Maggie StiefvaterMy Profile

    • I know. I kept putting it off for the same reason. Obviously I really liked it 😉
      Just know going in that it’s a story about the villain and not the good guy, it’s dark, gritty and does not give good feels at the end!

    • Thank you! Adelina was great. She was like watching a train wreck about to happen and not being able to turn away! If you read it, I’d love to know your thoughts 😀

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