The Young Elites - Marie Lu | ARC Review

6:59 PM
Pages: 353 ARC paperback
Publication date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: G.P Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
How I got the copy: Sent for review by Penguin Canada 
Rating:  4 out of 5
Series: The Young Elites #1


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.

*I received a free ARC copy from Penguin Canada for an honest review. Opinions are all my own.*
The Young Elites by Marie Lu, I'd heard this book would be fantasy unlike her last trilogy but I just needed to read it and if you follow my reviews you'd already know my least read genre is fantasy. However, after completing this book I came to the conclusion that The Young Elites is a unique and dark story. Yes.. there were times that I would just want to put this book down because I would have enough of the world but it had nothing to do with being bad in content or the writing style. It's just difficult for me to grasp several fantasy aspects at once or for a long duration but I'm glad I read it. 

Going into The Young Elites I would have never guessed that the content would make me cringe and that I would be reading about characters marked after a blood fever swept. This story is dark till the end and leaves little hope for all the characters. I really appreciated that the main character, Adelina wasn't perfect and had many insecurities, which she struggles with throughout the entire book, she fights for her right to finally be a "normal" person again after what the blood fever did to her. Leaving her as an abomination to her family name.

The book is set in the historical time of 1361 in the City of Dalia on the verge of a war, Adeline sets off to be find herself, only leaving her in more trouble than before and searched by Inquisition Axis leaders. Who are also searching for Young Elites, which leaves Adeline in a bigger predicament.

Not only is the book family focused, it also has a little bit of romance, a lot of action and violence. I believe each of these aspects help the reader connect with the character, gets the reader to understand and relate with the teenage character trying to figure herself out and find a place in the world for herself, which everyone can relate to. Minus the violence, maybe.

The ending, Marie Lu know's how to leave a reader wanting more. As a stated above, there came times that I had enough of the world but within the last chapter I couldn't put the book down. I wanted know what Adeline was going to do and how everything would pan out. Especially when I got to the epilogue I KNEW I'd have to pick up the sequel. The ending leaves readers with so much curiosity of what the next events will be.

Marie Lu's writing style is golden. She describes certain things that happen within a scene with so much detail and anticipation that the reader will wince almost feeling the pain through the pages. Like when Adeline's father broken her finger, that anticipation killed me. I didn't even want to look, like I was watching a movie. (<- Spoiler in the white space starting from the period, highlight to reveal). 

Majority of this book is told in Adelina's point of view with the few chapters that are told in a couple of different characters POV. This leaving the reader feeling betrayal or a little skeptical, which makes the book a little more thrilling.

I enjoyed the passages at the beginning of every chapter, it gave a little bit of insight where the chapter would be heading before even starting it. The same goes with Marie Lu's maps at the beginning of her books, I enjoy being able to visualize the area being described in a book exactly how the author saw it.

I can't say much about the fantasy world, to me it was enough to visualize and see the characters interacting in however, perhaps a little bit more explaining of the entire world would have been good but then again maybe that's why Lu always adds a map at the beginning of the books. The character development is good, I'd say a lot of the story would be focused on character development. 

I recommend this to the obvious YA fantasy reader and Marie Lu fans. It's a great start to a new world and story.

Book trailer for The Young Elites

Below is an illustration of Adelina 
Taken from Marie Lu's tumblr



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