The Young Elites is, without a doubt, one of my favourite reads I’ve read this year. Gorgeous, elegant writing? CHECK. Intricate worldbuilding? CHECK. Intriguing characters? CHECK. Marie Lu took well-used tropes and wrought them into something fresh and so, so readable.
High fantasy is my hands-down FAVORITE genre there is, so as soon as I had a chance to read this one I snapped it up. I was enamoured by the lovely cover and premise, and was hooked from beginning to end. For me it’s hard to put my finger on what exactly it was about this book I loved so much—but I think it was more of a combination of things. The world, the characters, the general darkness of it all. (Oh. Oh, and do I even want to talk about that Plot Twist?) GIVE ME MORE, PLEASE.
“It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.”
—THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu
I do wish the magic system had been explained more—I felt myself fumbling through a lot of it. And from all the advance praise and reviews I read, I was expecting Adelina to be a bit more … villainous. But that was easy to be overlooked when I contemplated the novel’s strengths in comparison to the things I didn’t like as much. (Besides, I’ve heard that The Rose Society, the sequel, is a lot darker compared to the first in the trilogy.)
“Be true to yourself. But that’s something everyone says and no one means. No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.”
— THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu
I loved that Adelina was flawed. I loved the concept of the Young Elites. I loved the gentle, elegantly-written romance, and the cast of characters that followed Adelina on her journey, and the way that even though the prose was poetic and descriptive, never overbearing. So—should you read this? Oh, hell yes. Even if high fantasy isn’t your favourite genre, give it a chance anyway. You’ll be blown away by the complex, somewhat amoral characters and the way the story just … comes together by the end. It’ll leave you aching for the sequel.
Next up, I’m reading Stay With Me by J. Lynn (AKA, Jennifer L. Armentrout) which I LOVE. Good lord, this woman can write a romance. (Seriously. If you haven’t read her — and like contemporary romances, I can almost GUARANTEE you’ll love them.)
Title: THE YOUNG ELITES
Author: Marie Lu
Format / Length: Hardcover / 355 pages
Publisher / Date Published: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers / October 7th 2014
Category / Genre: Young Adult / High Fantasy
| THE YOUNG ELITES on Goodreads |
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.