|Title: The Young Elites|
Series: The Young Elites #1
Author: Marie Lu
Published: October 7, Putnum (Penguin Teen)
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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.
The Young Elites had me utterly captivated! From beginning to end it was one of the most unique, complex, and interesting books I have read in a really long time. From the characters, to the world, to the plot it was truly fantastic and I loved it!
The thing that first struck me about this book was the world. When the book began I wasn't sure if it was more of a dystopian novel or if it was more of a High Fantasy. It definitely had elements of both with a lot of political intrigue, a disease that changed society, and teens with powers. Speaking of those powers, the magical system here was incredibly unique. While it was supernatural in origin it was rooted in logical with each power being specific to the wielder and their particular nature. I loved learning about everyone's power and seeing the characters learn and experiment with them. And while I did feel like there was a bit of info-dumping or just a convenient way of showing off the individual powers of the characters, I'm going to cut this book a little slack because it didn't take me out of the story completely.
|Or do, your call, whatevs!|
Perhaps the most incredible thing about this book, however, was the plot development. The first quarter of the book was a lot of exposition and world-building. At this stage of the book it was much more character-driven, we were getting to know everything and empathizing with the characters. And when we develop am attachment to them the plot exploded! And from then on it was non-stop action and adventure. It sounds like a weird thing to say but the plot development was incredibly purposeful and thoughtful. Every action of the characters and every moment intentionally led to the thrilling climax of the book and when you sit down and think about it, you can logically draw the cause and effect. I'm not sure I've ever read a book where that was so clear, and I really enjoyed it. But as logical as it was in that respect the plot was also incredibly outrageous! This book is full of surprises, twists, and big reveals that I didn't see coming. I found myself on the edge of my seat, with my mouth agape, and bursting into tears at the unexpected WTF moments.
It was without a doubt an emotional roller coaster and I'm still not entirely over it three days later. I can't believe that this is only the first book in the series. It had feels, big reveals, and surprises that usually don't occur until the last book in a trilogy. Maybe that's why this is one of my favorite first books ever and one of my best books of the year.
I give The Young Elites by Marie Lu 9.5 (really more like 9.8) out of 10 stars
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: BUY, BUY, BUY! If you are a fan of Marie Lu, Dysopia, High Fantasy, and/or villain stories than you need this book in your life. Or if you are looking for a YA unlike anything you have ever read then check this book out. Give this book as a gift to that person in your life who is all "isn't YA just blah blah blah." This book is not for the faint of heart though. Be ready for the feels and a thrilling adventure!