A Twisted Fairy Tale: A Review of Marie Lu’s “The Young Elites”

Posted: February 25, 2015 in Book Review, Young Adult

Goodreads.com Description: “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. “

My Thoughts:

Another slam dunk for Marie Lu! Adventure, romance, action and magic all rolled into one. The Young Elites is a creative page turner.

I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in Lu’s book. Adelina is a strong protagonist to sympathize with and even pity. Thanks to an evil father she ends up on a quest to find herself. When she finally gets in touch with herself, everyone should duck. Another strong character is the antagonist, Teren Santoro. Instead of identifying with the other Young Elites, he despises himself. You pity him for such strong self-hatred. He can’t embrace the beauty in his affliction. Instead, he buys into the propaganda of his world–all malfettos are abominations. Even the secondary characters in The Young Elites are strong namely Raffaele Bessette, the androgynous recruiter. Raffaele is smart and gifted. But, he is a person trapped in a world, not of his own making. If he could choose, he would not be a consort in the Pleasure Court.

The Young Elites reads like a twisted fairy tale–an evil parental figure (Adelina’s father) with a despised child (Adelina) and a much-loved child (Violetta) forces the despised one to act despicably which requires magic to fix. But, like all magic, it comes at a price. In Lu’s tale, the price is a major plot twist leaving the main character dangling in the wind.

I truly enjoyed Marie Lu’s The Young Elites. The only thing I disliked? It’s a series and I have to wait until October for the sequel.

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