The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 2014
Synopsis: 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.
Comments: I LOVE THIS BOOK. Why? Because I’m tired of reading about protagonist girls who are whiny without cause (or from trivial causes)… or whiny because of love. I’m tired of main characters who are so love sick they can’t do anything right because they just want to be “poked” though it’s under the guise of “love” and yes, I am exaggerating, but I’m tired of those girls who can only think of pretty dresses and being a self supposed ugly – duckling and being transformed into a swan through a big poofy dress and make up. So this is why I liked this book. Yes, there is a little bit of everything I just mentioned in this book here and there, but it’s not sickening. Adelina does cry over a boy, but not because he doesn’t quite love her but because of her feelings of helplessness to help herself. There’s a BIG difference here. Plus I LOVE revenge stories and DARK stories. And Adelina is filled with wrath and darkness…. oooOOoooh so tasty.
My favorite character was the male consort who consorted with other men though not because of what I just said but because of the way he was described. Beautiful, intriguing, self-righteous just enough to exact a bit a revenge and without a doubt not exactly good. In fact, not many of the characters in this book are lawful good and not even neutral good (<D&D lingo… which I think should be a thing outside of D&D cause it’s very relevant). Each have their own ambitious need so they can feel like they fit-in their world; each willing to give up a little of their humanity to get their version of justice. It’s like watching two trains collide. You know the end results is bad but you just can’t turn away because you want to see the aftermath. There’s is no kind Disney Cinderella here, taking the abuses with happy cheery singing when she is alone, dreaming of a happily ever after. Nope. There is a wounded, hurt, young girl who is fed up with the world and her life’s luck so she’s finally going to do something about it and why not start with the people who hurts her.
Sure, she placed herself in situations where she’s between a rock and a hard place… but sometimes you just gotta play both sides of the game to set the world on fire and watch it burn. *Sighs in satisfaction* Yessssss, ashes to ashes – ALL OF YOU.
So if you don’t like female characters whose motivations are driven by being tired of being a punching bag… step aside this is not for you. Move along to your pretty dresses, twirling dances, and nauseating “doth he loves me?” books or I’m a
pretend rebel, assassin, hero, chosen one, etc and forced love triangles. (I most likely used the word doth wrong here, but… this ain’t no research paper AND there’s nothing wrong with liking those types of books either).
Not only do we have a dark main character. We also have an equally dark, if not darker, villain whose obsession and warped mindset makes for an extremely interesting train crash.
So maybe it’s the darkness in my soul that aches for attention, but I like this book. A lot. Strange, ’cause though I enjoyed Lu’s Legend series…. I thought that series just was okay. But The Young Elites, I want the whole series now.
(Covers are hyper-linked to their Goodreads’ page.)
Why the Recommendation: Both features two female main characters who are hunted because of their extra-human abilities. They both struggle with their self identities because of the stigma of having such abilities. Both also fall into a rebel group of sorts to bring down the tyrannical government who hopes to kill all their ilk. Though this book isn’t as dark as Elites.
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Why the Recommendation: Same as above though this one is a bit more romantic in nature, focusing on a bit on the romance aspect.