The Young Elites

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Author: Marie Lu

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4/5

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Twelve years ago, the land of Kennetra was ravaged by a deathly plague called the bloodfever. It kills the adults who caught the disease while those children that survived were left with scars and other odd markings. Other people called those children malfetto.

Adelina Amouteru’s family was one of the many victims of the bloodfever. It killed her mother, left her sister unscathed, and her, a malfetto. Her hair and lashes turned silver while one of her eyes were removed by the doctor. Because of her label as a malfetto her family’s reputation suffered.

Berated and beaten by her father, Adelina decided to ran away from home. Unfortunately her father discovered her disappearance and tried to stop her. On that night Adelina discovered her hidden ability for the first time in her life. She can conjure frightful images out of thin air. Because of that Adelina accidentally killed her father, and was eventually caught by the inquisitors.

On the day of her execution, Adelina was rescued by the young elite that leads the Dagger Society. Young elites we’re those malfettos that posses magical abilities. At first Adelina thought that she finally found the place where she belongs, but as she unravel the extent of her ability, everyone can’t help but notice how different and dark her powers was.

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(This review was written for almost a month ago, I just edited it a bit.)

I thoroughly enjoy reading this book. It’s full of suspense, and its characters were superb. Honestly, I never felt an ounce of boredom while reading The Young Elites. I love Marie Lu’s writing style and her effort to write a story with dark characters. Though the book has a number of shortcomings, it didn’t hinder the message that Lu wanted to deliver to her audience, and that is to never easily judge evilness.

And now here I am trying to enumerate those things about The Young Elites that I totally love, and those that fell flat for me.

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1. The idea of writing a villain’s story
It has been done before (e.g. Fairest by Marissa Meyer and Disney Descendants on TV), and surely, more literary works that will made us understand the villains will come out in the future. But what makes The Young Elites different is the absence of the “good guys”. Maybe some readers will argue about Adelina being the good guy, or Refaelle and the Daggers were, but on my honest opinion no one in the book deserves the trusts of the readers to do the good things, especially Adelina. Every side has their own selfish motives, and everyone has something to gain and to lose. That reason for me is enough to question whether their actions we’re for the greater good or not.

2. The diversity of the characters
It is evident in the story that the author really put a lot of effort when it comes with the characters of this story. Not only on the physical aspects of the characters, which she really nailed, but also with the special abilities that she bless her characters with.

Adelina Amouteru has lost her eye, her beauty, and her hair and lashes becomes silver. In short, she’s very distinct. She’s scarred, and that made her a lot more enduring when it comes with the hardships that she’s about to face. Though a lot of times I wished that she acted differently, I can’t help but admire her courage and determination to change her destiny.

Correct me if I’m wrong but is the story originally about Teren? I read something like that on the acknowledgement written on the book. Moving on, I think that Teren has some loose screws up in that head of him. Killing his kind, then killing the king while warming the bed of the queen? That’s insanely overboard for me. Can a guy be that crazy? Not to mention his lack of interest to be the king. I think that Teren is just blinded by his love for the queen and by his belief that his sole purpose is to wipe every malfetto that walks Kennetra out.

I like Enzo, in fact, I love him. He’s been vanished and robbed of his birthright, but he didn’t lost his determination to get it back. Though he refuse to show his feelings towards his Daggers, it was hinted that he cares about them deeply. They are the only people he has left and because of that he became a very effective leader.

3. The Epilogue
The epilogue made this book suddenly worth reading. Before reading it, I was satisfied and craving for more, but when I read it? I became impatient, desperate and needy for the release of the next book. So immediately I preorder The Rose Society, and guess what? I already have it!

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Here comes my ‘meh’ moments while reading The Young Elites.

1. The world building
I am not that high standard when it comes with the setting of a story. As long as the characters we’re well written, and the ending is satisfactory then it’s enough for me. Unfortunately, I can’t help but notice how the world building in The Young Elites was a major disappointment. In my opinion, a book in the fantasy genre should always get an A+ when it comes with world building, there’s no excuses. It is fantasy after all.

2. RAFAELLE
I barely connected with his character and I think that he’s the biggest backstabber of all. He’s like smiling and taking care of Adelina, but on her back, he’s talking ill about her.

3. The point of views
Adelina’s POV for me is okay and wholly satisfying. She sounded how she’s suppose to sound, and her dialogue we’re superb. What got me into ranting is the men’s POVs. I can barely differentiate them from each other. They all sounded the same! Half the time I was reading, I can’t help but to look again on the beggining of the chapter to know who’s talking, especially when the characters were making some internalization.

In conclusion I loved The Young Elites, in fact it blew my breath away. It has some great ideas going on, and its diversity is something. Somethings may be needing some improvement, but it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth reading, IT IS. It talks about things that we don’t encounter on day to day basis, and it teaches us to not judge someone because of her background. (There goes my fail attempt to incorporate a moral lesson.) I personally reccomend this to everyone, because after reading this, you’ll surely run into the nearest bookstore to buy The Rose Society since it was released last October 13.

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