Review: The Young Elites-Marie Lu


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cooltext1889161239 copyI 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.

cooltext1889171582 copy4/5 Stars

+++Trigger warning: Verbal and physical abuse, violence.

The Young Elites is a sweeping, dark emotional journey of a young girl trying to find her worth in a world where people like her (the malfetto) are hunted and brutally executed.

PROS:

  • Adelina is a rich, complex protagonist shrouded by deep-seeded darkness. Adelina feels worthless, unworthy of love, and happiness is a distant memory. After years of abuse, both verbal and physical, Adelina has built walls around her heart and fury lives in her soul. Adelina’s sadness is poignant and heart-breaking, it seeps in and slowly consumes. Each memory is a piercing dagger to her heart and spurs on the anger. Adelina is searching desperately for somewhere to belong, for acceptance, when all her life she’s been deemed marred, cursed by sickness attributed to demons-a plague on her father and society. Some scenes are crushing, brutal glimpses into Adelina’s past that will leave you raw and hurting, the brief bursts of light and joy are far and few between. Adelina is damaged and in some ways broken but that doesn’t mean she’s beyond hope. Adelina has suffered so much from those who should have loved and nurtured her that it’s no wonder that the icy, blackness eats at her heart. She’s relatable. To anyone who has ever been hurt by a loved one, disappointed or felt like they didn’t measure up, who has been overlooked for a sibling, and dismissed, Adelina is your soul sister. 
  • The action scenes are terrifying, truly gripping, adrenaline-filled moments of chaos and uncertainty. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, you’re thrown. 
  • THAT ENDING. Traumatic, heart-wrenching, total obliteration of the tiny bit of joy built up in the story. A true tragedy and written with the right amount of emotion and hysteria. ❤
  • The Young Elites is a love story but that’s not the focus. The romance is soft, wavering, and unstable. It’s tentative and questionable. So much is going on that you almost forget it’s there and then, suddenly, you realize, it’s been blossoming all along. It makes sense. 
  • The setting. The Young Elites reads almost like historical fiction. With a blend of myth and truth, The Young Elites combines the madness of witch trials with legend. The snippets of story at the beginning of each chapter are intriguing, they draw you in and tell another story, one of the sickness and the powers that were bestowed on the malfetto
  • Raffael is an unconventional, multi-dimensional heartthrob. He’s beautiful and jaded, a consort, passion incarnate. He sees what other’s cannot and knows the human heart better than anyone. Raffael is the softness Adelina needs to open up, the companion that helps her trust again, and the reason in the Young Elites decision-making. Surprisingly deep and intuitive, Raffael brings frivolity to the plot.
  • Teren is the character that I wanted to know more about. The wild card. In some ways, he’s twisted and sadistic, in others he’s pitiful and lost. Indoctrinated with beliefs that leave him in kindred pain with Adelina, Teren believes that the only way to atone for his malfetto sin is to eradicate them and deliver them to the Underworld. Teren is extremely gullible for someone so intelligent, he’s a paradox. Love has entranced and ruined him.

CONS:

  • Enzo. He’s brooding, tortured, kind of violent, and pushes Adelina to be more. However, there just wasn’t enough of him. For the man behind the society, The Reaper, he was strangely absent. His emotions were missing.
  • The other Elites were a mystery. Small details about their talents and background were there but not enough to form allegiance to their characters. 

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