Rating: *** Suggested Age: 13
Summary: “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.” (Summary found on Goodreads).
After reading Marie Lu’s Legend series, I was expecting The Young Elites to be just as fantastic. It wasn’t. It was lacking in a million different aspects. In hindsight, I wish my expectations weren’t so high because maybe I would have liked it better. I was quite confused about the main character, Adelina. I understand she’s supposed to be “bad”, but it doesn’t always come across that way. I feel that with more character development and planning, she could have ended up as Lu intended. Not to mention, she’s completely unlikeable. I was not drawn to her at all. The only character I liked is Raffaele because he’s just awesome in every way possible. Another reason I didn’t like this book is because it is written in present tense. Present tense doesn’t really work for me and I haven’t found many books that manage to use it well. Usually, the result is a novel that sounds really dumbed-down and choppy.
However, there are a few things I did like that earned it the three-star rating. I found the pacing quick and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Also, the plot is very creative and nothing like I have ever seen before.
I didn’t hate The Young Elites, but I’m not about to recommend it to every single person in the entire world. Instead, I’ll tell you to go read Legend, Prodigy, and Champion, the other books by Marie Lu, that are a million times better.