Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Young Elites: 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 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.


To be honest, I wasn't completely anticipating for this book. I had my doubts. I feared that it would be a typical hero/heroine story and I was not sure how I would respond to that. But The Young Elites is anything but typical. Because according to Marie Lu, this is not a hero/heroines story. It's a villain's story. 

This is why everything becomes more interesting. It blurs the line of good and bad from the very start. Adelina is a girl who has the potential to do great things for the Dagger, yet her dark abilities might be her rise and ruin at the same time. The Daggers are supposed to be the saviors - yet when it comes to some aspects, they pose a lot of harm. You really have to keep an open mind reading this, instead of holding your prejudice and see all the characters as a good/bad person alone. I really love these blurred lines of morality, because everything has its positive impact as well as negative ones. It's good and it's bad at the same time. There's really no definition of light and dark. It makes the book more complex and three-dimensional, and it's rare among YA novels. It's a very mature book.

The only part that I don't think the author does justice is Teren's story. When I read the book, I was very surprised that Teren's story was so short. I think his background can be a catalyst to a great story of his personal battle. But no, he stays a terrible person in the book. I was hoping for some of his character development but I could only found little. I'm not sure whether he will appear in the next book. But if he does, I want more of his story. He has great potential, despite his wickedness.

There's another thing that I like: You will probably never guess what the next book is about. Of course there's a sequel, judging by the way the book ends. But it's definitely unclear that whether it's still Adelina's story or if there's a change in point of view (as well as main characters). Both have equal opportunity, but I personally opt for the latter. I feel like a change in main characters might do well for the series, and I'm not sure how Adelina's story can continue with her, um, current state.

The Young Elites has exceeded all my expectations and I strongly recommend this book. It's not a story of heroes fighting for a true value. It's more complicated than that. The whole story is a twist of light and darkness, blurred together in a kaleidoscope of waves, and I love every single second of it.

Rating: 8.5/10 

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