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.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Format & Pages: Hardcover, 355
Published: October 7th 2014
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
COVER REVIEW: It sadly does not live up to the awesomeness in the novel. Very bland and boring… Adelina’s face in the background would have added a whole new level of excitement.
These characters were amazing. Definitely some of the darkest, most complex people I’ve ever read about. Marie Lu created such depth in each of them, and it really blew me away.
Our main character is Adelina Amouteru. She’s one of the Young Elites, a malfetto who has survived the blood fever and has developed strange powers in the aftermath. Her father is abusive, and only wants her to sell off as a wife. Her younger sister is a sweet little creature who’s tried to help her through the past few years. But Adelina is one dark teenager.
It was amazing that Marie Lu made our main character as evil as an villain. That was a bold move, and it made the story all that more immersive. When your protagonist could just as well be your antagonist, it switches things up. However, I did like Adelina. Knowing what she’d been through, her ‘take’ on things was very understandable (although I daren’t go as far as say relatable, because I certainly haven’t survived a blood fever).
Enzo and Rafaelle are Adelina’s… allies, let’s just say. Both of them are Young Elites, and they are members of a group called The Dagger Society, which is trying to round up Young Elites around the world to join forces. Enzo is an overthrown prince, and also the founder of The Dagger Society. Rafaelle is a talented consort of a pleasure court, and also one of Enzo’s closest friends.
Rafaelle was by far my favorite character. He was so charming, sly, romantic, sensual, and intelligent. I loved how he grew with Adelina, how he helped her understand herself. He was the cheeriest of this crew, although considering that his motives might not be what they seem, that doesn’t say much. Enzo was a tricky guy… I’m not quite sure how I feel about him. I mean, so many of these characters were too evil and twisted for me to figure out! All I do know is that I do not ship him with Adelina. No, my heart lies with Rafaelle. Because he is beautiful. Long live Rafalina.
Teren is our antagonist, I guess, although (like I’ve said before) there’s so much second-guessing and backstabbing and overall darkness in this book that it’s hard to decide if he’s the true villain. I really enjoyed reading about Teren. He was so intricate, and I really felt bad for him. I’m still not sure where his deep hatred for the Young Elites comes from, but I’m confident that will be adressed in the sequel.
The other Young Elites were pretty epic. Star Thief, Spider, Windwalker, White Wolf, and The Reaper. I mean, their code names were on point. I was glad to find that most of them had some glimmer of kindness in them, and Star Thief actually embodied happiness, which was a HUGE relief from all the scariness going on with the other guys.
Let’s all gush over the plot for a moment, because it was frigging fantastic.
In an all-new fantasy world (that seems to portray medieval Italy, I’m not sure), an epic blood fever has spread throughout the countries, killing and mutating thousands. The mutated survivors are labeled malfettos, and they bear marks of their mutations: purple fingernails, silver hair, yellow eyes. But some of these malfettos have evolved strange powers that bring them together in harmony with elements of nature and energy. They are called… the Young Elites. Adelina is a malfetto herself, but she doesn’t realize she has powers until her abusive father tries to sell her off as a mistress and she kills him. She runs away, and joins the Dagger Society, a group of Young Elites who are joining forces to stand up against their oppression. But a Royal Inquisitor is killing off Young Elites around the world, and he’s hot on her trail. What nobody knows is that he’s keeping a secret that could change everything.
OMFG YES. This book was epic and awesome. There were so many lies and cheats, so much twisting and turning, and the best part was (as I’ve said before) was that you just couldn’t tell who was good or bad. The entire thing was riddled with mystery, and I am seriously dying for The Rose Society.
I really enjoyed the training montage-esque part between Enzo and Adelina, I thought that was very cool and special. Also, when Rafaelle gave Adelina these gems to test which forces she aligned with (hint: Passion, Fury, and Fear), that was a very intense scene. It was almost magical, which I found awesome.
φ Epic plot
φ Amazingly visual characters
φ Luscious writing
φ Unique premise
φ Very dark (this could be good too)
φ Brutal and chilling
φ ALMOST NOTHING ELSE COME ON THIS BOOK WAS AWESOME
Just go read it. Don’t read Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy, but for God’s sake, read this one. Hopefully you’ll come back and we can fangirl together, but if you don’t, then I will be happy in the knowledge that I’ve sent another wayward soul towards this beautiful piece of fiction.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Lu was born in 1984 in Wuxi, China. By the age of 5, she and her family moved to the United States in Georgia in 1989. She attended the University of Southern California and interned at Disney Interactive Studios. Before writing her first book, Lu worked as an art designer for the video game industry.
Marie (born Xiwei Lu) is an American young adult author. She is best known for the Legend series, novels set in a dystopian and militarized future. The novels form the basis of a movie to be produced by CBS Films and directed by Jonathan Levine.
Have you read The Young Elites? Have you also fallen in love with Marie Lu’s dark style?! Do you like dark writing in general? Do you like surprises in books, like this one?