Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Young Elites ~ Marie Lu review [@PenguinTeen @Marie_Lu]

The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)
Putnam Juvenile
October 7, 2014
355 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depo/or Amazon

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.

In The Young Elites we do meet some heroes, but they are not the focus of our story. Instead The Young Elites is 'the origin story of a villain.' This makes the novel different right from the very start. Our main character isn't the 'good guy' who is going to save everyone and live happily ever after. No, Adelina is a girl who has darkness in her. Perhaps more than even she is aware of.

This first book introduces us to Adelina and tot he world she lives in. The blood fever swept through
 the country when she was a child. leaving adults dead and many children scarred or otherwise physically altered. Known as malfetto they are seen as bad luck and blamed for nearly any wrong to befall their family or their country.

Some were left with more than physical markers of the fever, a few gained abilities. The Young Elites.

The Young Elites, whose identities are secret, are feared - believed capable of amazing feats and thought responsible for numerous murders. The Inquisition Axis aims to find the Young Elites, to eradicate them in the name of King and country.

Adelina sees the Elites with that same air of mystery, of fear, and intrigue that others do. Never dreaming she could become one of them

I love Adelina's story. Her childhood is reminiscent of one in a fairy tale - one with all of the evil beings and hardships but without the fairy godmother or princess ending. The way her memories are worked into the story is fantastic. It not only adds to whatever the present situation is, enhancing that part of the tale, but also creates a fuller picture of Adelina and her character.

The world she lives in, with the malfetto, Inquisition, the Dagger society, the fever and how each group and what is thought about them and done by them has affected society, is incredibly well imagined and portrayed.

Not only is The Young Elites different from other stories, taking place in a fresh, unique world, the characters are brilliant. The more we learn about each of them, the better their stories fit together and the more you can connect with each of them. The there is some darkness to both Adelina and The Young Elites as a whole only makes for a more rewarding experience. With new revelations just when it seems everything has been discovered and the question of where Adelina's story will go, this novel will keep readers captivated until the very end. (And then eagerly awaiting the release of the second book.)




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