Author: Marie Lu
Publication: October 7th 2014, Putnam
Format: Trade Paperback, 355 pages
Source: Own Copy from NBS
Buy it on: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | The Book Depository | Kobo | National Book Store / Fully Booked (PH)
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.
When I found out that Marie Lu was going to release a new trilogy, I didn't hesitate but to dive in into it and involve myself with the hype and everything. Reading The Young Elites, I found myself in the deepest parts of my mind and relating to Adelina Amouteru in some cases.
“I hereby pledge to serve the Dagger Society, to strike fear into the hearts of those who rule Kenettra, to take by death what belong to us, and to make the power of our Elites known to every man, woman, and child. Should I break my vow, let the dagger take from me what I took from the dagger.”
So the story starts with Adelina, a malfetto, a person that was affected by the Blood Fever, sitting on the stairs, listening to her father make a wager with a merchant and sells her off to marriage even if she was just 16. She runs away but is captured by her father after her younger sister tattles out of fear. As she struggles, she finds out about her strange abilities, conjuring black silhouettes that kills her father and leaves her in the Inquisitors hands. She is then saved by a group called The Young Elites before she gets murdered in front of the crowd. She is then taken to the Dagger Society and must learn to hone her powers. But an innate evil threatens to eat up Adelina whole, and she might, in her own ways, enjoy it.
“The only way to clamp down on my energy is to erase my emotions, and so I fold them each away, one by one. My sorrow turns to anger, then to ice-cold fury. My soul curls in one itself in defense. I am gone. I am truly gone.I am not sorry.”
There's a lot of character building in this book, particularly in Adelina's part of course. The darkness swoops in on her and somehow clouds her thoughts and as noticed in many of her monologues in the book, we can tell that there's something up with her that seems to be rather interesting and unique. I love how Adelina embraces those moments of pure dark intents. I love it when there's internal conflict in a character and what they do to deal with it. Sadly though, I found Adelina a bit weak in dealing with her self. Again, it's all in the character building. I bet she'll be sooo badass in the 2nd book!
All the characters are given a spotlight to shine and progress. I really like how Teren was manipulated to become what he is and what he will be and of course the people in the Dagger Society. There's so much mystery behind the organization no matter how much we readers try to even dive into it as much as we can. Enzo and Rafaelle, please! You've already corrupted my mind with your endless beauties, charm, wit and unbelievable strength. But that "thing" though! Please read the book because I want people to feel what I'm feeling.
"I loved him too."
The world where they are is incredibly fascinating and reminds me of somehow how the French Revolution was and how streets looked like, but with a twist of course. There are so many facets as to how the world in which they are living in, allows for us to sink in to the catastrophes caused by the Blood Fever and how it has affected the lives of many in the different areas.
I am left frustrated with what the future holds for the book, but it also left me incredibly excited with what's about to come! I just want it right now... Maeve, please!
The Young Elites is a great mix of finding ones self in the face of adversity, may it be good or evil, and learning to deal with the harsh realities of life. Marie Lu was able to allow Adelina to make herself a household name in the world of Young Adult fiction as a anti-hero of sorts, which is not very apparent in many stories lately. She was also able to provide a sense of longing and despair for the next book which just proves that she's one of the authors that love to torture us readers. HECK! We enjoy it nonetheless.
“Be true to yourself. But that's something everyone says and no one means. No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.”
The Young Elites is a fascinating read about superpowers, a corrupt government and a girl just trying to steer away from the norm and we all love that don't we? It's a new take on a young adult novel that you won't regret picking off from shelves.
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About The Author:
I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)
I graduated from the University of Southern California in '06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.