Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Thursday, October 23, 2014
Why I chose this book:
As a lover of all things Marie Lu, I wasn’t about to let this one slip through the cracks. Sadly, I was rejected for an eARC, so instead, I immediately preordered the book on Kindle. I was so ready for the journey Adelina was going to endure… but what I didn’t expect was how dark and twisty it was.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publish Date: October 7th, 20
Format: Kindle
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
B&N || Amazon || Indiebound
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. (Goodreads)
Bookish Loves:
WORLD BUILDING. Oh my gosh! Marie Lu needs to write fantasy! I love her fantasy world building way more than her dystopian world building. It was so realistic while also carrying its fantastic elements. I believed it. It was also based on a Venice, Renaissance type Italy. It was beautiful and entrancing and just plain wonderful.

Bookish Likes: 
Characters. Gah, you guys… these characters were really great. Characterization was great and spot on. I loved Enzo and his drive to do what needed to be done. He had a take no shit attitude that was great, and then Raffaele’s character. So sensual and strong even in the face of pain.

Now let’s talk about Adelina’s character. I’m on the fence between LOVING her character and then absolutely hating every single bit of her. Marie Lu wrote her so freaking well! But man, she is one dark and twisty chick. I had problems identifying with her because she was so full of darkness, but even still she wrote her character flawlessly.

Bookish Mehs:
There were a few times that I saw exactly what was coming. I knew what would happen (except that super trippy twist at the end). Adelina’s relationship (if that’s what you want to call it) with Terren was predictable and obvious. I found myself wishing that she would have gotten rid of Terren completely, but I have a feeling he will come into play in a major way down the line. Even still, I felt like he was just in the way of where the story needed to go, but then again that could have just been me hoping and wishing and praying for a happier ending than what was coming. 

Final Thoughts:
I had to come to terms with the idea that this is the origin story of a villain. To me, that’s how it read. I could be wrong, because it seems like every one has a morality issues in this book, but I really had to take this book for what it was. The Young Elites thrives in the shadows and darkness of those gray moral areas, which is something that I’ve seen very few YA books accomplish. This is definitely worth reading and adding to your library. Nevertheless, I give this book 3 stars just because it enthralled me and the writing was great, but I just couldn’t get over what happened to some of these characters. Much of this book disturbed me and the dark was really dark, so be cautious in picking up this book.

I gave this book 3 stars on my Goodreads.


  1. I really enjoyed this one - I think because I found so much about the story to be unexpected. It's interesting that you think this will be the origin story for a villain - that hadn't occurred to me, and I don't know how much I will like that, but it is definitely an interesting way to take this story. I really loved the world and most of the characters the author sets up in here, so I can't wait to pick up the next book!

    1. Yeah, I'm most definitely going to pick up the next book! I'm really interested in where this series will go. And I love Marie Lu. She's amazing. The world amazing. asdhfjkslahfdjklash!

  2. Ah, I MUST read this book! I am glad for the warning on how dark it is though, that is really valuable to know going in. I bought a copy too, and I am excited to start it. This sounds like one really messed up world! I think just based on sheer intrigue, I am going to have to start it next. But I will admit, I am a little scared! Great review, you've made me even more curious to read this one!

    1. Yeah the world is definitely dark and twisty, but it doesn't detract from the story at all! It really does a good job of enhancing it! I wouldn't be scared of reading it, but be prepared that this book is not all dandelions and rainbows. I think I probably would have had a better reception to this book had I known a bit more about how dark it was. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to seeing a review on your blog!

  3. OKAY I NEED THIS VERY VERY BADLY. Villain origin stories are my favourite. Okay, just villains are my favourite. And I've heard Marie Lu say in interviews that it was about villains or something (but I could be remembering wrong)....I just really like when books explore dark sides. It's my evil overlord self coming out. *coughs* ANYWAY. I got rejected for it on Netgalley too, but I'm hoping my library buys it at some stage. Dying to try it! ;)

    1. Yes! Then you would absolutely LOVE this book! Moral quandaries galore, as well as dark, twisty, and shifty motives in abundance! I look forward to see what you have to say about it once you read it! I think you will really like it!


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