November 23, 2014

Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

the young elites

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.

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The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1)
by Marie Lu
Publication Date:  October 7, 2014
Publisher:  Penguin

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** This title was provided to us by the Publisher for an honest review.
We were in no way paid for our opinions **


Gabby-2013I’m a sucker for fantasy and ever since I read the description for author Marie Lu’s The Young Elites I knew that I had, had, had to check it out. I’ve read the first two novels in the author’s Legend trilogy and was blown away by how awesome they were. That being said I had some pretty high expectations for The Young Elites and hoped with all of my heart that they would be met. I’m not surprised by saying that they were met a hundred percent.

The Young Elites takes place in Kenettra, a world divided into the Sunlands, Sealands and the Skylands. When the Blood Fever hits Kenettra, Adelina Amouteru, her sister and her mother are stricken by the illness. It claims the life of their mother as well as Adelina’s eye, but both of the sisters survive. Now a Malfetto, Adelina is nothing more than a burden on her family and there are rumors that Malfettos like her have survived the Fever and gained powers beyond their wildest imagination. These people are known as the Young Elites and are being hunted by the Inquisition Axis. When Adelina murders her father with the assistance of her strange abilities, the Inquisition prepares to burn her at the stake.

However the Young Elites save her life and take her to meet with the Dagger Society, a portion of the Young Elites that is dedicated to inducting people like Adelina into their ranks. There she meets the charming Raffaele and the Young Elite’s Malfetto leader and Prince of Kenettra, Enzo. But what once begins as an adventure meant to make Adelina a stronger version of herself and a weapon in every sense of the word turns into something else entirely. Her loyalties will be tested, loves will be put on the line, and inevitably nothing for Adelina will ever be the same.

The Young Elites reminded me a lot of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy. While the plots are totally different and the fantasy realms they’re set in are nothing alike, The Young Elites’ Adelina reminded me a lot of Bardugo’s Alina Starkov. And that isn’t just because their names include some of the same constants and vowels. Adelina is introduced to us as the daughter to an abusive father who has been forced to grow a hardened skin because of her Malfetto status. She can be sadistic, she can be a naturally good person, and above all she’s a special snowflake. Adelina and Alina share the same way of thinking but unlike Alina, Adelina embraces the fact that she’s a special snowflake. And I adored that in spite of some of the after effects it has on her character.

Kenettra is a place that I totally want to live in and go to if it were ever possible. Author Marie Lu does an amazing job of describing this new world she’s built. I have a very clear, very vivid idea of exactly what Kenettra is supposed to look like. I’m a huge fan of world-building and love when an author can create an entire world and give it its own lore, beliefs, creatures and the like. Reading The Young Elites gives readers the opportunity to enter a world unlike any other and become completely immersed in it.

Don’t even get me started on Enzo and Raffaele. It is seldom that a novel can describe a character alone and have me falling in love with them. No further actions necessary. (I can be pretty vain when it comes to characters). Lu’s descriptions of Enzo and Raffaele are golden. They’re both physically gorgeous but as the novel progresses we find out that one of these boys is a total sweetheart and needs to be protected at all costs (Raffaele) and the other is a badass who could probably rip you in half if he so desired (Enzo). I liked that there wasn’t a love triangle and thank goodness because I was getting that vibe at first, and that both boys didn’t have their priorities set solely on romance.

Raffaele is a, for all intents and purposes, prostitute and Enzo is the big bad leader of the Young Elites. They’re close friends and Adelina’s presence doesn’t change that. Even when her romance with Enzo begins to bloom both characters motives don’t change. I’m thankful for getting to read a novel where love doesn’t suddenly warp everybody’s minds. I absolutely despise when characters are reduced to nothing all because of a little bit of love.

With an ending that left me dying for more, I would recommend The Young Elites to any readers who want a novel that they will finish in one sitting. Any readers who want a novel that is action and fantasy and romance should also give this a read. And if knowing that I think this is one of the best novels released this year also piques your interest, then you should also give this a look.


marie lu

I write young adult novels, and have a special love for dystopian books. Ironically, I was born in 1984. Before becoming a full-time writer, I was an Art Director at a video game company. Now I shuffle around at home and talk to myself a lot. :)

I graduated from the University of Southern California in ’06 and currently live in LA, where I spend my time stuck on the freeways.

Connect with the Author:  Website Twitter Facebook | Goodreads


  1. Eileen

    Yay to hearing there’s no love triangle! I love fantasy so I’m definitely going to be checking this one out. Thanks for the review :D

  2. […] THE YOUNG ELITES by Marie Lu Reviewed by Chapter by Chatper […]

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