The Young Elites by Marie Lu Review

Saturday, 17 January 2015
The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1), by Marie Lu
Published On: October 7, 2014, by G.P. Putnam's Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Romance
Pages: 355
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Rating: ½

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 was so fascinated with this book—as it actually had a lot of historical with a mix of dystopia in it. The Young Elites was crazily-awesome. No regrets after reading, absolutely.

I read and devoured Lu’s Legend trilogy all in one sitting each book, and I was obsessed. To this day, it is easily one of my favourite dystopia series ever. I guess I have to say that this is probably even better than Legend, especially because of its concept, characters and world-development.

“We gaze at each other for a long moment. Finally, he reaches up and gently wipes away one of my tears. “Don’t cry,” he says, his voice firms. “You are stronger than that.”

What I am able to say with no regrets is that I’ve waited a heck lot of time for this book, and it was so worth it. I just can’t wait for the sequel to come out in October! As 2014 and 2015 were and are the start of a lot of new trilogies and series, this can definitely compare to Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series, my most favourite fantasy series to this date. The writing was so addicting and I’m still honestly wondering where that concept came from. The Blood Fever? Young Elites? I can’t even come up with a simple short story having to do with a bear and a frog, and this is what came out of an almost rejected-story. Rejected things turn into magical stories, no?

So many people have been raving about this one before and even after the release in late October of 2014, and I’ve been wondering ever since if I’ll feel the same. Trust me, for a 4.5 star rating, I do feel the same, and I’m so glad. Fantasy doesn't come that easily to me, people, as I am a very picky reader, especially having to do with plots and concepts. If you know me by my past reviews, you’ll know that I’m a total storyline-freak.

As I see in many fantasy books, the chance of this kind of success in this sort of situation for me, myself and I is very rare. I’d say that there’s a 15% chance of a fantasy novel becoming a hit for me once I begin. But since I’m such a large fan of Marie Lu and her books from the start, I’d say that there was a 90% chance of me loving it. It’s actually common sense for me to enjoy it.

The story first begun in a world, very similar to old Latin ages (where there are a lot of Italian descent) in the 1300’s (so is this historical?), the Blood Fever has sprouted and killed thousands in the past few decades. Adelina Amouteru and her sister are survivors, while their mother passed away as most adults do. Adelina is now known as a malfetto, someone who has been marked after the Fever, and is now looked at as hideous and impeccable for marriage and such. Her sister, Violetta on the other hand is gorgeous and young, where many men are waiting for her to turn seventeen so they can marry her for her charms and beauty. Adelina is looked at as ugly and mortifying after this Fever hit, but she has developed magic and a special power of illusion which classifies her as one of The Young Elites, who form this power after becoming survivors of the fever. Her father looks at her unfairly and standing in the way of ruining their family’s reputation. One day as she runs away from her horrible life, people capture her and try to help her develop her powers stronger.

"Before the blood fever crippled our country, his clothes would have been as luxurious as his guest's. But now? It's hard to keep good trade relations when you have a malfetto daughter tainting your family's name."

Can you imagine how much gut and thinking it must have taken to form such a cryptic story? There’s so much prejudice and biases in this book that it just makes me want to scream. But because of the prejudicial and racist people and the world setting, this is most definitely a dystopian. There’s war, hatred and fear most of the time. But the characters weren’t people who felt all of that—these people were strong and careless about the king’s orders or their sort of government at the time. This was freedom, everyone.

Marie Lu shocked me, to be honest. I saw resemblances and mixtures of different stories that I’ve read from before, like Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson and all. I love these kinds of stories, where something so big but small at the same time changes the world’s view on people. It definitely shows how crazy people can be, and how easy it can be to show bigotry and change people’s view on the silliest things. It’s so masterful. Lu’s writing is truly unforgettable, as most authors have a special spunk in their plots. Her way of captivating a reader is simply by doing her usual thing. I would read her grocery list or her Saturday to-do list. 

As I came into reading this novel, I expected hardcore romance and sexiness. This was all about the action, baby. Most of us definitely need a break from those lust breathtaking romance stories where it’s all about that. Sure there were some cutesy moments (AND I DID HAVE A SHIP, PEOPLE) but it seemed to look like it didn't matter on that, nor on the feelings that were floating around. This was about Adelina becoming a rebel, and rebelling against the stupid people in her world. Although Enzo and her were so adorable though they didn't really know it until something large happened close to the end. I felt like I was screaming, “KISS KISS KISS” for half of the book. Lu doesn't rush things. So no, therefore I will not pronounce the situation as thee instalove. Not at all.

When reading, you feel such a sudden care for the characters. Adelina was seriously kick-ass and probably much better of a protagonist than June from Legend. Adelina was my girl—she was like Celaena from TOG. She was loyal, fearless and willing to take risks when there were idiots around her. She had difficulty understanding her feelings because she was so used to getting them hurt and broken and trashed away. I felt like she deserved happiness, finally, but since in her sad situation, she’ll have to work for it. Being with Violetta and running away will be her only way to seek the freedom that she needs since she felt like no one was there for her. I just can already imagine the stuff that she’ll get into during the sequel. But hey—she’s awesome at killing, fighting and creating the action, romantically and through her witty magical ways.

 Believe it or not, Teren was actually not whom I expected by the end. Sure, he was the archenemy and evil dude of the story, but we did get to see a few moments of his soft side, even for Adelina at times. I enjoyed his sarcasm, haha.

"You don't belong with them, Adelina Amouteru," he says, "You belong with me."

But here, here as we’re standing talking about the casualties and characters, my favourite next to our heroine of course was RAFFAELE. Was it just me, or did I see some sparks flying? Sure, he did admit that he wanted to kill her, but I saw him as her friend and supporter—until his scene in the end when he made her flee with Violetta. That was cruel, haha. But that scene with the gems was priceless. Enzo was the sweetheart. I can’t really say if there was a love triangle here or not, but Enzo was the main love interest. He cared, he was passionate, and I’m ready to see more of him in the sequel… Possibly. He made me tear up, though.

Altogether, I have to say that this book was a lifesaver in the form of a fantasy/dystopia novel. It was everything I’ve hoped for since Lu announced that this was coming, and it took such a stand for me and its rankings. For the second day of the new year, I do have to say that this has been a fantastic start for me. The Rose Throne better come out as soon as possible, because I’m ready to see the escaping and the war.


  1. I'm currently reading this book, and it's pretty good so far. It started with a lot of action so hopefully it will continue. I've heard a lot of great things about it!

    1. Ah, I'm so glad you're enjoying it! It's definitely an action-packed adventure!


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