The Young Elites by Marie Lu (Review)


Rating: ★★★★★

Summary: 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.

Genres: Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Young Adult, Romance

My thoughts: For the past month I have been in a book slump where I didn’t want to read any story simply because I couldn’t get into it enough. That was until I picked up this book and immersed myself in this epic journey alongside different characters all fighting for different goals. From the moment I started this story, I immediately was interested in the main character, Adelina, who isn’t the typical protagonist you read about. Instead of fighting for good, she fights to save her life, even if that means committing evil acts to do so. She embraces the darkness within her and her past and becomes this powerful girl ready to help save all the other malfettos like her. Another main character in this novel is Teren, who somehow won me over even if he was full of evil as he attempts to kill all malfettos in sight. This story is full of characters who all have a touch of darkness in them and aren’t the typical heroes in fantasy novels that are all pure at heart. Every person in this dark novel wants something and won’t stop until they get it, even if it means betraying the ones closest to them.

The thing that gripped me the most was the fact that every character wasn’t wholeheartedly good. I’m always a sucker for anti-hero stories where the protagonist’s drive isn’t to do good but to act in any means necessary to get what they want. And that is exactly how Adelina, Teren, and Enzo act in this story. They all have different things that drive them,  but they all share this evil in them that sometimes they don’t admit to having. It made each character in this book so much more interesting to see what their motives were and how they were going to act in different situations they were put in. 

Another thing in this story that captured my attention was the world building. I absolutely loved the world Marie Lu created. Majority of the time in fantasy novels I get confused by the kingdom’s politics or the plot that gets incredibly intricate, but this story was written in such a clear cut way. I knew exactly how malfettos functioned in the society that was created, how the kingdom was treating its citizens, and the goals for all the characters and groups that were introduced into the story. I also loved the powers that The Young Elite had which were so unique and yet simple to understand since it wasn’t introduced in a complex way like other novels do.

But what completely won me over were the plot twists and action scenes in this story. This book hardly had a dull moment because whenever there wasn’t an action scene, Marie Lu was slowly building up the tension in the novel in a way that kept me on edge the entire time I was reading. She let the main action brew in the background of the story and kept readers interested at all points which is rare in these types of stories. Usually there are some dry parts in fantasy/Sci-Fi books, but this one kept me turning the pages late into the night to see what was going to happen next. The plot twists also completely took me off guard and made me almost yell at this book. There were so many twists and turns until this story left off on a cliffhanger, making me want the sequel more than ever. Somehow I became so invested in this story that I am so eager to read the sequel, The Rose Society, because I cannot wait to see where the story is going to be taken next.

Book Info:


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– Olivia