The Young Elites Review

The Young Elites by Marie Lu


Rating: 5 Star Rating

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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.


From the beginning, this book had be hooked. The books starts with our heroine Adelina in jail for murder–which immediately caught my attention. The next few chapters, we learn more about Adelina and her life before and after the blood fever. Adelina is from a rich family with high standards and cruel, demanding father. Lu paints the picture of the family in an honest light. I like how there is no competition between the sisters, I feel like in any novel where one sister is considered prettier, the other sisters sulks in misery for at least half the novel wishing she were prettier. When Adelina is four, a plague wipes out a majority of the population and children mostly survive the blood fever but they were not unscathed by it. Adelina has silvery hair and lost her eye due to the blood fever and is labeled a malfetto–people scarred by the blood fever. Because of this, her life is believed to be set for disappointment. Physically scarred, Adelina believes her future is bleak and there is a pronounce sadness about her that makes me pity her. I love how Adelina does  not sulk but learns to slowly embrace her scars! People have a predjuice against malfettos and because of this, her father’s business plummets and his abuse towards her strengths. My Lawd, her father was cruel–truly, he literally tries to sell her! There is a stereotype about the malfettos that I found both chilling and familiar. It reminds me of the witch trails with the false accusations, the hanging, and the burning.

Adelina runs away–obviously. Her father offers her up like a prized horse! Her father does eventually catch her and when Adelina confronts her father, she discovers her new, dark powers and accidentally kills her father. We later learn of Adeline’s power of illusion. What a badass power to have!

“While my sister emerged from the fever unscathed, I now have only a scar where my left eye used to be. While my sister’s hair remained a glossy black, the strands of my hair and lashes turned a strange, ever-shifting silver, so that in the sunlight they look close to white, like a winter moon, and in the dark they change to a deep gray, shimmering silk spun from metal”

But Adelina is caught for killing her father and she is sent to be publicly burned! We meet the Lead Inquistador who is a complete weirdo/maschosist/sadist aka Teren and we later learn he is also a malfetto with cool powers and he has an unhealthy obsession with the Queen. I like how the text sets up Teren’s obsession as weird. There are too many YA novels that lets girls think it is okay to have guys literally bat-shit obsessed with them.

Luckily, Adeline’s powers kick in and she is saved–Yay! And with this–we learn more about the Young Elites–the rare malfettos who have powers. Led by the disgraced prince Enzo, we learn that he is leader of the Daggers who has the power over fire.

W also e learn more about the other Young Elites and their powers. Adelina finally feels safe as she meets others like her and her feelings for Enzo blossom. I understand how Adelina and Enzo come to like each other: they are both ambitious and fierce in their goals. Adelina is haunted by her past and her abuse and Enzo wishes to regain the throne he lost. They both find kinship in their fierceness and I felt like their romance grew at a normal pace–not the YA–omg-first-boy-I ran-into-now-I must-love-you–nonsense.

“No. I’m not broken easily. I will never break.”

But Adelina does not truly trust her fellow Elites, which she proves as she does not tell anyone about her sister Violetta being the prisoner of the maschost Teren. Adelina really digs herself in a hole which, I ironically life. I love chapters who are flawed–especially female characters when it is written in the write way. Adelina is confused and scared because of her growing dark powers and at every turn, she is spurned because of them. If she only had a person like me to talk to! Also, her powers become even more badass! She make people believe themselves in pain! Anybody with those types of powers will obviously be influenced by it.

Sadly, at the end, her friends turn their back on her and the boy Adelina was beginning to love, dies. Running away, Adelina is determined to create her own group of Elites, which revenge in her heart.

The last chapter is a nice, agonizing teaser for the next book. We are lastly introduced to Maeve who can bring back the dead–can I say this is not going to end well?!


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