Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons BYR
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Pages: 355
Format: Hardcover/Own

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.

Review: I was pleasantly surprised by The Young Elites. I went into it thinking it'd just be a whole book about Adelina finding the young elites and working with them to take down their oppressors. While there are moments of this in the story, it definitely wasn't the main story line. I was also surprised that the group of young elites that takes her in has only 7 people (including her I think). I was definitely expecting it to be a much bigger group. I was also intrigued by the fact there was a lot of non-trust and ruthlessness in the young elites. Adelina has powers that should not be crossed, but instead of trying to really help her embrace them and embrace her in the group, they keep her more as an outcast, like a deep dark burden on them that they should rid themselves of. They knew she had a darkness in her, but instead of trying to be genuine friends and help her control the darkness, they fueled it more and even suggest killing her. I was not expecting the young elites to be like that. 

I really thought Adelina was an interesting main character. We don't see many main characters in YA that are dark like Adelina. She doesn't seem to feel nearly as bad as most people do about certain things. She doesn't necessarily enjoy seeing people dead. In fact, a few times she really freaks out over a death or two. But she doesn't seem to feel a lot of remorse and sadness over others. She also has no issues killing or attempting to kill some other characters. Like Dante. He was honestly an ass about everything. He even suggested they get rid of her multiple times by killing her. And then he goes after her during the huge scene of Inquisition soldiers killing malfettos with the sole intention of killing her. But his plan backfires when she turns it on him and kills him first. He kinda deserved it. But she didn't really seem to feel that bad about it. She knew he was always trying to get rid of her and she let that fuel her when it came to facing off with him. She really is a dark vengeful character in comparison to most characters. She shows great improvement with her powers in the book. She starts out only being able to tap into them when she's incredibly scared or angry. But she progressively learns how to tap into them at the snap of a finger, and apparently she learns a lot faster than others do. She still has work to do when it comes to using them for an extended period of time, but she really gets a better hold on using her powers by the end of this book. I'm definitely interested in seeing where things are going to take Adelina, how she's going to deal with her darkness and powers and her Rose Society.

Enzo and Teren. I wanna conquer these two since they kinda go together. These two had actually grew up together but then drifted apart after the blood fever hit. I really liked Enzo. We learn a big surprise/twist about him and why he's such an important character. I definitely wasn't expecting him to be that huge of a person. But I really loved how he was the only member of the Dagger Society of the young elites that was willing to really take a chance on Adelina. He knew all about the darkness and vengefulness in her but was still willing to work with her. We later learn Adelina apparently looks like his former lover and that's why people think he likes her, but I don't think that's true. I think he just genuinely wanted to help her and work with her since she had such a strong power that could potentially help them. And Teren. I can't figure this guy out. His secret should put him in a whole different place with different loyalties. But it doesn't. Instead he's out there killing every single malfetto he can find, blaming them for everything. I'm confused as to why. Clearly he's trying to make up for whats happened to him but its not going to change that. So why bother? I also can't get a read on his plans. The Dagger Society had plans to kill the king but so did Teren? Even though he was working for the Inquisition which works for the king and queen. I mean, I get the whole the queen should be the rightful ruler stuff since she is technically the biological heir, but I can't help but feel there's a lot more than that. I really feel like there is a lot regarding Teren, his actions, the queen, etc. that will be revealed. Because there is definitely stuff we haven't been clued in on yet I feel. 

I definitely didn't see the surprise at the end involving Adelina's sister Violetta. I'm really intrigued on where this revelation of hers is going to take the story! And I'm definitely interested in seeing how The Rose Society is going to be formed now that the stuff with the Dagger Society went down. In all seriousness, I did see the Dagger Society somehow getting rid of Adelina, though I honestly thought they would kill her. I knew they were shady and not really trustworthy when it came to Adelina. I'm also really intrigued by the Epilogue. The whole thing with the malfetto princess in Beldain. Based on the few pages we get, I already have a pretty good idea of what she's going to do in The Rose Society, but I'm wondering if she will play any other parts in the story besides just doing what I think she will. 


  1. I own this whole series, but I haven't picked it up yet. This review reminds me why I want to get to it soon!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Yes! That's exactly why I made it a read-along pick. I've had the whole series sitting on my shelf since The Midnight Star came out in 2016 and hadn't even thought of picking it up.


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