Release Date ~ October 7, 2014
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers ~ Penguin Random House Canada
ARC received from Penguin Canada for review
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.
Marie Lu quickly impressed me with her debut, Legend, and as a result, I approached The Young Elites with high expectations. And even with that in mind, The Young Elites easily exceeded the high expectations I had for it!
The Young Elites is an intoxicating story set in a stunning world which shocked me and left me begging for more! If this series never ended, I think I'd be a happy reader.
- A very introspective, yet exciting read:
I loved how Marie Lu used this new book to explore Adelina's mind and her character. Adelina is truly fascinating, as she suffers through a multitude of evils, and is determined to rise above it. This is enough to make her an intriguing character, but what makes it even better is that there is a bit of darkness swirling within her which causes her to react in ways that likely aren't her best option and certainly cause some issues. And she seems to experience an inner struggle as she desperately tries to figure out how to navigate her world on her own. So much of her wants to lash out because of her pain, and much of the story centers on her dealing with this
- A special group of characters:
There's something unique about The Young Elites (and Adelina), and that has to do with their mysterious abilities. And because the characters are so different from one another, you can really see their personalities come out in how they manage and use these abilities. This means that the main characters are well-crafted, and the secondary characters are further developed than they are in most books.
- Deeply intimate relationships:
The very nature of the lives The Young Elites are living draws them closer together in a strange way. They're forced to keep secrets and many of them have experienced rejection and abandonment. As a result, particularly in Adelina's case, her connections with other characters are strangely strong yet still retain the messy, confusing parts. The world is against them and so they're forced to band together. I especially enjoyed Adelina's relationship with her sister and how that plays out in The Young Elites.
The romance is intoxicating and thrilling, but without being overpowering. This is so important to me, and I loved the tension Marie Lu evokes with her writing. This is a delicate balance to achieve, and it's nearly flawless.
There is so much that is implied and hinted at, which creates a thick atmosphere of mystery within the story and marks Marie as one very talented writer. A perfect example of this is the Epilogue, which gives us just a small taste of what's to come in the next book, and yet it doesn't quite address anything directly. But it certainly has left me eagerly anticipating more details on the next Young Elites book and solidifies The Young Elites as one of my favourite reads of 2014.