The Young Elites by Marie Lu (The Young Elites #1) ★★★★
“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.”
Adelina Amouteru is the badass anti-hero you’ve been dreaming of
As many of you may know I love Marie Lu and her books with all my heart. I was (and still am) a huge fan of the Legend series. I feel like she doesn’t get the recognition she should get.
I loved this book. I have read The Young Elites a couple of years ago but didn’t connect as much with Adelina as I did this time. She is a very dark character and is often conflicted about what she should do. She has a hard time knowing what the good thing to do is. I like this grey morality a lot.
I loved Adelina’s character a lot. There isn’t really a character I didn’t like, even the bad guys (but what’s good and what’s bad in this novel huh). All characters are well-built and have depth to them. They all feel unique and have their own personality.
The plot was also very interesting. The elements Marie Lu added were so interesting (the blood fever, the scarring, the powers). I especially loved Adelina’s power. I was happy she didn’t go with something basic like invisibility.
And lastly, Marie Lu’s writing style. I love her writing style. I get swept away when reading one of her books. She just knows how to write. It shows in the worldbuilding. Everything is so vividly described without being too much and too boring.
I would definitely recommend The Young Elites.
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.
Child abuse, death, emotional abuse, murder, prostitution, self-harm, torture, violence
Representation in this book
Asian main character, disabled main character, gay side characters
Young adult, fantasy
October 7, 2014
G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
About the author
Marie Lu is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Young Elites,
as well as the blockbuster bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the
University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry as an
artist and art director. Now a full-time writer, she lives in Los Angeles, California,
where she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing games, and getting stuck
Have you read any of Marie Lu’s books? Let me know in the comments!