07 August, 2017

#BookReview :: The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

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.

I have read this book twice now with a gap of a year or so. The first time I read it, it left me speechless. I picked up the book a second time (just before I read the sequels) thinking that I may not remember it right and just maybe I will not be surprised again. But I was wrong… I loved the book just as much the second time.

Adelina Amouterou is a malfetto – she was left alive but marked by a deadly virus that took her country by storm. Malfettos are looked down upon and even feared. From escaping her father to being found by the Young Elites (a group of Malfettos with special powers) to discovering her own power, Adelina comes a long way in the first book. We see the vulnerable side of her, we see her thirst for power and we also see a certain darkness within her. But did anyone expect the book to take the turn that it takes at the end of the book? I think not. I guess it is the ‘hook’ of the plot. We are led to see Adelina in a certain light only to be shown her other side from a completely different angle. 

Marie Lu’s story telling style is spellbinding. I was hooked from the first chapter as we are provided with an unconventional, in every sense of the word, protagonist. Then to follow her on her journey with ups and downs… it was really interesting. The side characters played out their roles well. I am interested in seeing Raffaele’s reaction to Adelina in the next book. Also, Teren intrigues me. And I sure hope to see more of Violetta in the next books. Are we as wrong about him as we were about Adelina in the beginning? Will we see a shift in him too eventually? 

I finished reading this book with a certain excitement to carry forward for The Rose Society and The Midnight Star.

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