Author: Marie Lu Published: October 7, 2014 Pages: 355
Stars: 4 out of 5
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. 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. 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.
What kind of person would you be if you grew up in an abusive home, always being told you were worthless, and that nobody would ever want you? What if you were completely consumed by self loathing that you would do anything to rectify the world of the demons living around you and within you? The Young Elite is a surprisingly dark book full of action, terror, romance, and disappointment. The ending is unpredictable with shocking twists and turns along the way.
Lead heroine, Adelina, is one of two daughters from a once respected merchant. Once the blood fever hit, it took the life of Adelina’s mother, scaring Adelina, while leaving her sister intact and perfect. Because of Adelina’s scared eye, white hair and eyelashes, she has become a disgrace to her family and only receives the negative attention from an abusive father. But once Adelina is pushed too far, a suppressed darkness within her rises and her fathers dead body is all that remains. Adelina is a wild card, leaving the reader with doubts about her innocence and intentions. Adelina isn’t exactly a strong heroine (although some may disagree) in the sense that she has the strength to conquer all. In fact it is quite the opposite. She is weak, constantly fighting demons within, and struggles controlling the dark powers within her. With everyone always turning their back on her, it’s easy to see why she is full of self doubt and doesn’t think highly of herself. But she is strong in the sense that she never stops fighting. Even when she is overtaken by darkness, hurting others and making mistakes, she still doesn’t give up.
The other two main characters are as mysterious as Adelina is dark. Enzo, also known as Reaper, is the leader of the young elites and the rightful king to the throne. But because he is a malfetto, he was banished. Struggling to reclaim the throne, he puts his faith in Adelina. Teren also puts his faith in Adelina. Although he is the queens right hand, he has a secret that will cost him his life if it was ever discovered. Capturing and threatening Adelina’s sister, he propositions her to join him and turn her back on the other Elites. Enzo and Teren both try using Adelina and both struggle to keep ahold on her.
The last couple chapters in the book had me up late last night, not wanting to put the book down and for the first time wishing for a happy ending. This book is no light read. Although you can easily finish the book within a couple days, the depth and story behind the characters lingers long after. This book was well written, characters stayed true to themselves and were well developed. I recommend this book to anyone looking to start a new series packed full adventure, misguided trust, and a darkness that blind the best intentions.