Book Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Hey my lovelies, welcome to my first book review of the month of May and it is, drum roll please, The Young Elites by Marie Lu. I first read the Young Elites, when it first came out and even though I did enjoy it, I probably wouldn't put it down as one of my favourite books. But after reading it a second time, I definitely found it a lot better. 

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Penguin 
Pub. Date: October 7th 2014
Date Read: 9th April 2017
Pages:  356
Rating: 4.5/5 stars
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.


The Young Elites opens up with a kingdom still recovering from the scarlet plague, which took place years previous. Leaving the adults who contracted it to die and the children marked with the scarlet mark. With these children being known as malfettos, with few being shown to have extraordinary power, with a select few going against the patriarchy and naming themselves the Young Elites. 


It is beautifully written, for such a short 356 page novel, and the world building is exquisite. Making me really feel as if I am in Kenettra. It was just the little things that I loved, such as the weird royalty laws. Like them not allowing female heirs in Kenettra, unless the female heirs were to marry (like the old British monarchy), whereas in Beldain, they have to have a Queen, with female heirs.


It is split into three main points of view; Terin, Adelina and Rafaelle. This creates a diverse atmosphere, as it ensures that we are finding out what is going on from all angles. And considering The Young Elites is a fantasy story, I really enjoyed how real some of the characters seemed, and that all of the characters had flaws. 

Adelina was such an amazing character, I love a good antihero, and with the exception of 'And I Darken' by Kiersten White, I don't think I've really read any other books with a female anti-hero, so that was an amazing character she is. I felt anger, when she felt anger, I felt upset, when she felt upset, and I think that is amazing for an author to do, as I don't tend to feel sympathy for characters that often anymore. Adelina's main flaw was probably her jealousy and contempt for her younger sister Violetta, and I truly loved their relationship, in both flashback and when they were together, because their was just something so raw about the pair. Violetta herself, is a great and complex character hiding herself behind naivety and kindness, even if that kindness has a detrimental effect on others. Teren was another complex character, from his love for his Queen, to his insecurities and how they effect him. 


Overall, I really enjoyed The Young Elites, much more than I did the last time I read it anyway. However, it did take me around 2 hours and a half hours to finish it, due to my awful reading slump, which isn't really the best for me. I do have high hopes for The Rose Society now though, which I plan to read as soon as I finish this review. As I really want to learn much more about Queen Guiletta, as I feel like she has the potential to become a much more complex and deeper character. 


I recommend this to fans of YA fantasy, and specifically fans of the Red Queen series by Victoria Aveyard, Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas and And I Darken by Kiersten White. And I Darken due to Adelina being a strong anti- hero. Red Queen due to the magical powers aspect and Throne of Glass because of the violence and the magic aspect again. 

Book Links

Author Links

Next Book Review: The Rose Society by Marie Lu
Next Bookish Post: Battle of the Bookcovers