November 12, 2014

Review: The Young Elites

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Pages: 355
Published: October 7th, 2014 by Penguin
Series: The Young Elites #1
Buy on the Book Depository
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.
Hi guys!
I had The Young Elites on hold at my local library forevah, and today, I finally got my hands on it. Squeeeee!!! Anyways, my amazing English teacher let us spend the entire period reading, so I finished the book in a little over an hour. And oh my god, it was just as good (if not better) than I expected it to be. The characters literally flew off the pages, and the plot was super intriguing. I'm not saying that the book was perfect, but I really liked it.

Okay, first off- WARNING- This post is going to have spoilers. Lots of them. So go read the book already, will ya? Also, I'm going to be a little crazy here. That will include excessive fangirling, ranting, squealing, stomping, pouting, and more. Obviously. And boy, this post's gonna be wordy. So sit back and start reading. Or go read the book. Either way. But if you read the book, you better come back and read this :)

Before I start my excessive wordfest, I decided to do a step by step GIF reenactment of me reading the book, and then my feelings afterwards. Yes, there are gonna be lots of Sherlock gifs. They just make the world a better place. Anyways, it's kind of weird, but, let's be real here: so am I.
Reading it...
It's already over???

I don't wanna let it go.
That's what I said anyone who would listen.
This way turned out to be more effective. 
And then someone goes "It looked boring, so I decided not to read it." So obviously I gotta pull a Martin Freeman.
Waaaaay too many feels.
The book's actually over.

And now I have to wait for the next one? Are you kidding me? Cue the ugly crying.
I guess I'll start by talking about the generic plotline. There's a crazy plague and most people are killed off because of it. And the people who survive are marked in some way. They're Malfettos. And the entire world's problems are basically blamed on them. And some of them, The Young Elites, have these insane powers that help them, but more often just end up jeopardizing them.

So Adelina Amounteru is the main character in this story. But she's the bad girl. Which is so cool, because if you've read my latest Top Ten Tuesday post, you know that I love reading a story from the bad girl's perspective. Anyways, at the beginning of this book, there's a chance that Adelina is the good girl. But her choices make it obvious pretty soon that she is the villain. And that's so freaking awesome. 

Right at the beginning, Adelina's totally insane dad tries to sell her to a wealthy old guy. So, obiviously, she runs off. But he finds her, and in a panic rush, she murders him. Her sister accidentally sells her out, and she's taken to jail. Adelina is this close to being burned at the stake when she's rescued by a mysterious savior. She soon finds out her rescuer is none other than Enzo, or the Reaper as he is more commonly known. He's infamous for his fire powers. Adelina also meets a whole other cast of characters- Spider, Lucent, and Raffaele. And then Adelina is recruited by The Young Elites because of her power to create illusions. They need Adelina to help them overthrow the royal court. But then Teren Santoro, the main bad guy, takes Adelina's sister hostage.

Adelina then becomes a spy for Teren, feeding him information on The Young Elites to ensure her sister Violeta stays safe. And then it turns out that Violeta is also a Young Elite, and she has the power to block other Elite's powers, which is why it took so long for Adelina to be discovered. This totally pisses Adelina off because her father hated her for being a malfetto and loved Violeta for not being one, but it turns out Violeta had been one all along.

And meanwhile, there's all sorts of other drama going on, like Teren having an affair with the queen, and the queen having Teren murder the king.

Then when Raffaele is taken hostage by the royals, there's a dramatic duel between Teren and Enzo. There's not a set winner because drama ensues. Adelina once again accidentally murders someone. Enzo, who she thought was Teren. Ooopsies. And now she and Violeta are on the run.


This book started out with a bang. Adelina talked about her bitter family history and then murdered her dad, going on the run. But then the book got pretty boring when she arrived with The Young Elites. I felt like there were at least 30 or 40 filler pages in the book that didn't contribute to the plot but just lengthened the book. That annoyed me because the whole point of a book is to keep it interesting, not to make it longer. But the plot quickly built up again and the ending was super dramatic, and I was on the edge of the seat the whole time. By the last 50 pages, I was so engrossed, I wouldn't have noticed if a fire alarm went off or if an earthquake occurred. Which is a good thing. Most definitely.

Buuuuuuut, I feel like the plot was too simple. There was this great story idea that could have expanded into something really interesting, but Lu didn't even make a full story arch. There was just too little plot development.

I also thought that the relationships between characters, save for the relationship between Adelina and Violeta, were meaningless and one-sided.

Okay, now that I'm mostly finished ranting about the flaws in this book, there were a lot of good things. The characters by themselves were very interesting, and the setting of the story was unique and was described really well. I also liked the way that Adelina went through some character development and faced internal fears and fought internal battles.

I must admit, one of the reasons I didn't like this book as much as I wish I did was because I was hoping it would be more like Legend. Legend is one of my all-time favorite books, and Prodigy and Champion (I actually loved the ending!) are too. But this book couldn't have been more different. It's fantasy, not dystopian, there isn't as much fighting, and there isn't really a romance. This book isn't as good as Legend if compared to it, but as a standalone fantasy novel, it's pretty good. But Marie, I had higher expectations.

So, yeah. I will definitely be continuing the series, and I am excited for the release of the second book. But if the plot had more development, I would have liked this book more and probably given it a whole star more. I'm giving this book a 3.5, but more like 3.89. I like weird decimals, don't judge. Except for math. Duh. Anyways, this was an interesting read...

Tell me what you think below!

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