Today’s post is a book review of The Young Elites by Marie Lu. The Young Elites is the first book in a trilogy, and what happened in the book is actually really surprising. Perhaps my thoughts on the book aren’t surprising at all though…
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.“
I went into reading The Young Elites thinking that there would be an almost grand adventure, and while I didn’t really get that, what I did get was a character that had quite a bit of character growth!
There are multiple points of views (POVs) within the story. I don’t usually like so many differing POVs, since normally, everyones differing views would get jumbled in my mind. Surprisingly though, they didn’t! It was easy to tell who we were reading from because they all have such a different way of thinking, a different way of talking compared to one another.
The first (and most important) view we read from is Adelina Amouteru. She’s the main character of this story, and the one we read most from (thankfully). Adelina is…I want to say 16, when we first meet her. Adelina has a physical impairment, and I’m really glad that she does have that impairment, because then readers in her position can connect with her more.
The other POVs are from Enzo, Teren, Raffaele, and lastly, Maeve. These characters are interesting in their own ways, which I will leave for you to find out.
Enzo has his thing going on, seeking revenge and whatnot, building his allies and such. I liked Enzo, but he didn’t stand out to me as Adelina did. Even though Enzo had his own flares and such, he was a static character. I found Enzo to be both interesting and boring, and I have no idea how that could be. Enzo has this way about him where it’s interesting to read from his point of view, but at the same time, incredibly static. His character doesn’t change much at all throughout the story.
Teren is an interesitng character for the sole fact that he’s not merely what you think he is. I for one, could have read a spoiler somewhere telling me the deal on Teren, but if I hadn’t, the story leads up in a way that made me think that in the first place. When I first read from his point of view, I thought, “Ahh, this is the one that they were talking about.” I don’t know what to think of Teren. I don’t like him at all, even though he’s more interesting than Enzo.
Raffaele is a gentle, kind soul who shouldn’t ever have anything bad done to him, ever. And Maeve is the character who I can’t say I like, but I can’t say that I don’t like her either.
My thoughts on this book are:
I absolutely love how this book shows the growth of a villain — and I love how we see Adelina try to deny her darkness. That’s what it is though, and that’s what Adelina and the people around her call it: her darkness.
A great thing about the plot of this book is that the story moves incredibly fast. There isn’t a lot of stuff that the story sticks on for long. – You know how there are some books that have something happen to the main character, and then it feels like half of the book is just dedicated to that one incident? Well, that doesn’t happen in this story. Nope! The story deals with it quickly and efficiently. Which is how I like my stories being told, thank you very much!
I’m surprised that there were as many POVs in The Young Elites as there were. And even though I appreciate the differing views and what they offer to the story, I’d really just like Adelina’s point of view. If there are more than 5 points of view in the next book; The Rose Society, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to finish the book. I won’t be able to concentrate on the story.
I love that such an event as horrible as the sickness has happened in this book; the sickness ultimately gives these characters and their world a history that they can’t deny. How these people are treated is terrible, but the Young Elites are truly diamonds in the rough. The fact that these kids were given these abilities, speaks volumes. I’m just wondering if in The Rose Society we’ll be able to find out how this all began. Like, did someone intentionally start the disease? Is there anyway that these kids could help save the world? Well, I don’t know about them saving the world, since we the reader aren’t given much of the worlds’ history. We’re just given to learn what’s immediately surrounding Adelina and the others.
There is much that the next book should focus on. However, I don’t think it will, and that is truly saddening, because I like getting to know how characters worlds were shaped. And how that correlates to how these characters lives were lived.
There’s a quote that I read from one of the chapter headings that I really like, and when I read it, I had to sit for a bit and mule it over in my mind because the quote just resonated with me. It reads:
“It is pointless to believe what you see, if you only see what you believe.”
The quote is so true! I believe that this is speaking on the terms of something like “Ignorance is bliss” or the saying, “It was right under your nose.” I also think that it’s a hint to who and what Adelina is.
‘Let them talk. Let their fear of me grow. I welcome it.’
I am honestly looking forward to whatever havoc Adelina brings down on the world in the next book, The Rose Society.
All in all, The Young Elites did not live up to my expectations of what I thought this story would be. While it didn’t live up to my expectations, what I will say is that Adelina’s story went in a direction I didn’t foresee happening, but am now totally glad it turned out the way everything happened. I don’t know what I thought about The Young Elites before reading the story.. So maybe The Rose Society will hold up to my expectations of what I originally thought of for The Young Elites.
Thank you so much for reading my review of The Young Elites by Marie Lu. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to know what you’re thoughts on the book are!