Book Reviews

The Young Elites by Marie Lu book review



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 rumoured 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, byt 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. However, 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 don’t belong in this world.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Adelina has survived the deadly illness that killed a lot of people. But she’s marked. Her hair is now silver and a scar runs across her lost eye. Her father is cruel to her, hurting her, using her, putting her aside for favour of the younger sister Violetta.

Adelina has had enough, one night she overhears her father selling her to ne a mistress and she flees. When her father catches up with her however things go wrong. Her powers that have been kept hidden are unleashed and her father dies.

Adelina is now on the run, wanted for murder and she is soon caught by the Inquisition Axis. There she is put to death and on the day of her execution she is rescued by the Daggers.

While with the Daggers she meets Raffaele the sensual and beautiful Young Elite who  slowly shows her how to use her powers. But he knows something about her, about the darkness that lurks inside her.

Then theres Enzo, the leader of the Daggers who manages to steal her heart with just a look. But does he actually love her too? Or is he using her for his own gains?

Teren is the Leader who is hunting and killing malfetto’s and the Young Elites. He is driven by power but there is also a reason as to why he hates them…

Adelina is torn. Is her loyalty to the Daggers or to Teren, who is holding her sister as hostage for information on the Daggers.

One thing is clear though, someone is going to get hurt in this battle…


This book. Seriously I was hooked from the very beginning. I know I say this for a lot of books but this one did.

I loved the Legend Trilogy by her too and I always wondered whether this book would have a dystopian feel to it too but it doesn’t. This is set in olden times, where consorts and courtesan’s were all around, where merchants sold silks and rare fabrics, where people were perfect on the outside but dark on the inside. It was a Game of Thrones type of world. Think Kings Landing when you read it.

Adelina is the female MC in the book and I loved how different she was from the start. She wasn’t perfect. She was flawed. She wasn’t a damsel on distesss. She had conjured illusions and killed her father. She was badass. She was darkness. She resented her sister as she was still perfect and loved by her father. Adelina let the darkness build inside her for a long time which makes her a little unstable with her powers. I really enjoyed her. It was refreshing to have someone different as a female MC. Someone who, despite missing an eye and being flawed, was still beautiful.
Her relationship to peolel os strained. She finds it hard to trust and she is constantly being used by people so why should she trust the Daggers and Teren? Even though she does form some friendships in the book you can tell its tense.
Adelina is the one character in the book who was constantly changing. She was just brilliant.

Enzo. Oh dear goddess Enzo. Book boyfriend right there. His personification was the Reaper and he definitely was. He was cold and dark. He killed without a thought and yet when he is told that he must kill Adelina before she becomes stronger than what she is, he doesn’t do it. You can see that through all the hardness he cares, he loves. He’s the perfect person for Adelina. They match each other for fury and passion. And the feels…. OMG!

Raffaele is beautiful too and another potential for book boyfriend! He’s sensual and sexy. He feeds off the energies of others. But despite the friendliness and affectionate nature with Adelina he knows what lies within her. He knows that she could destroy everything.

Teren… oh he is brilliant as the evil one! He has a secret himself and when you learn of it you know that something bad must have happened for him to start hunting Malfetto’s and the Young Elites. He is mad with power and hungry to destroy. Yet through all of it I sensed someone crying out for help throughout it all. He wants to belong and sometimes himself and Adelina sometimes become the same person.

Violetta is Adelina’s younger sister. The one wgo came out of the illness without a mark. The one cherished by her father. I resented her too a little and when things are revealed about her I found her selfish. But in the end she loves her sister and is the only one who can potentially help her.

Everything about this book was perfect. From the characters to the scenery. From the visualisations to the writing. Marie Lu knows how to write. The Legend series is perfect for dystopian lovers and its written in a gritty fashion but this goes one better. This book is filled with passion and darkness. Filled with dark scenes and light scenes. There is a love story amongst it but its about being accepted. About what happens when people are treated with disdain. What happens when you let darkness consumes you.

This book is perfect for lovers of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo books. Its the start of a new genre and I don’t know what to call it! Its a YA Game of Thrones. Brilliant.

I desperately need the second book now because the ending and that epilogue… just give it me!

I can see why its been sanctioned for movie rights.

5 out of 5 stars.


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