Novel: The Young Elites (The Young Elites, #1) by Marie Lu | Goodreads
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: G.P. Putnam Books for Young Readers
Source: BookPeople Teen Reviewing
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.
This was my first Marie Lu book (I know, you’re all shocked) and OH BOY WAS I IMPRESSED. I’ve been wanting to read the Legend series for a while now, but I just never got around to it. (This is what happens when you have ARCs for a year and haven’t touched them.) The Young Elites blew my socks off though, so hopefully I’ll be getting around Legend sometime soon.
The Young Elites tells the story of Adelina, a lonely girl whose father has told her for the past years that she is worthless. This book is her tale of finding her people, the power within her, and learning how to use it for both good and evil. The other Young Elites in the Dagger Society are quite the cast of characters, helping Adelina along the way, but they are also doubtful of her usefulness. They’re an exclusive group of tight knit friends who don’t let a newbie in just for fun, and so Adelina must prove herself, in the process learning about herself and her own self worth.
One of my favorite things about this book is that Lu takes basic issues many people struggle with as teenagers – self confidence, doubt, and loneliness – and heightens them. She throws these characteristics into Adelina and puts her through trial after trial, taking the world of The Young Elites, as well as Adelina and the other Elites and making it relatable to the reader.
As far as the plot goes, the beginning is a bit slow. Lu builds the world in the first couple chapters, as well as helping us to understand Adelina. But once you get into the middle, the book picks up fast, with missions for the Young Elites and trials for Adelina. This book is one of my favorites of the year – I can’t recommend it enough!