Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Monday, December 01, 2014

Series: The Young Elites #1
Genres: YA | Fantasy | Paranormal
Published: October 7th 2014
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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
The Review
I had made up my mind to give this book a three star rating. But when that final chapter happened, I just had to push it up a star. Marie Lu introduces another series that has the potential to become absolutely Legendary.


The Young Elites has a darkness to it that in all honestly, I wasn't expecting. There were gruesome events, there were terrible things that happened, and the line between good and bad was smudged in places and often, barely there at all.

The beginning of the story was brilliant, but after a while things slowed down and the political facet kicked up a few notches. But that is not to say the action stopped altogether. While I mainly love politics in high fantasy I admit that it sort of bored me over here. And there were so many things to take in, I was left confused a lot. (Of course).

However, even then I found things I admired. Teren, the leader of the Inquisition is mostly the villain-figure but he wasn't exactly a villain. Is he the true enemy? There were times even I, as a reader questioned this. For one thing he isn't the 'bad' guy. ALL the characters do bad things, their reasons being their own. And I loved how they weren't "black and white" characters.

My main problem was that a level of emotion was lacking. The general constitution of the story was pretty good and there were some truly gripping moments, but the rest of the scenes lacked a certain notable attribute. Now, I'm not saying the problem is with the writing or how the plot was executed, but what I do know is that this meant I couldn't connect with the story on an emotional level even when emotional things were happening.

There is romance included, but not much for which I later realized, I was thankful because I didn't ship Adelina with anyone. You'll see why. And you'll be thankful too. (Believe me. I used to be an Oracle once upon a time).

Overall, I believe the series could have been much better. But I'm still well satisfied so as long as the sequel offers the lacking bits of world-building, and just climbs to the level the author's Legend trilogy managed to climb.

I would recommend this, but not for those who want a book that is reminiscent of the Legend trilogy because as much as you can pick out this and thats of similarities, in the end, these two are very different.