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The Young Elites (Young Elites Series #1)
     

The Young Elites (Young Elites Series #1)

4.3 104
by Marie Lu
 

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From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series 

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

Overview

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series 

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.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
09/01/2014
Gr 8 Up—A rollicking series opener from the author of the "Legend" series (Putnam). Imagine surviving a plague of fever, only to be marked as an abomination by your countrymen. Most survivors of the sickness that vanquished thousands in this alternative medieval world possess a strange and unique marking, whether it be a facial coloring, oddly tinged hair, or, in Adelina's case, a missing eye. Called malfettos, some are endowed with magical gifts that enable them to control wind, fire, earth, and even humans. All Adelina has ever wanted is to feel accepted and loved, but she's ignored by her father, and her sister doesn't have the power to save her. When the teen escapes an unwanted proposal, she unwittingly becomes a member of the Dagger Society, an Elite group of malfettos bent on using their supernatural abilities to escape the Inquisition's genocide and place their leader, Enzo, on the throne of Kenettra. Adelina struggles with an increasing distrust of Enzo, her fellow Elites, and herself, all while learning how to control her powers of illusion and disillusion. Lu seamlessly melds an unforgettable and intoxicating historical fantasy narrative with a strong female protagonist that grapples with an issue experienced by all young adults—acceptance of one's self. Well written, fast paced without being confusing, and enjoyable enough for teens, reluctant readers, and even adults. Brimming with engaging battles—physical and emotional—and meticulous backdrops, Lu's new series will be a surefire hit with old and new fans alike.—Amanda C. Buschmann, Atascocita Middle School, Humble, TX
Publishers Weekly
★ 08/18/2014
In this series opener, Lu (the Legend trilogy) pivots from the “coming of age via romance” formula to pry apart the many emotions that pass under the rubric of love. Adelina Amouteru, once-privileged daughter of a merchant, is irrevocably changed by the blood fever, an epidemic that wiped out infected adults and left most child survivors permanently scarred malfettos. A handful also underwent mutations that conferred strange, often lethal powers. All malfettos are persecuted, but these mutant Young Elites are special targets. Harrowingly, Adelina discovers that she is one. Rescued by a masked firebrand from certain death under the government’s Inquisition, she awakens in the custody of Raffaele, a male prostitute, and Enzo, malfetto aspirant to the throne. A beautiful woman surrounded by beautiful men, Adelina nevertheless is not defined by romance. Warped family bonds shape her consciousness and yearning for acceptance, and the men are out to get what they want from her. There’s nothing easy here, for Adelina or readers—there are no safe places where the pressures of betrayal, death threats, and rejection aren’t felt. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Marie Lu’s The Young Elites:

A New York Times bestseller!
Five starred reviews!
An Amazon Best Book of 2014 – Teen & Young Adult!
An Amazon Best Book of the Month, October 2014!

“By permitting her characters some grand failures, she raises the stakes in the best way possible…There is clearly more to know, and I look forward to it. This is a world worth revisiting.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Lu pivots from the ‘coming of age via romance’ formula to pry apart the many emotions that pass under the rubric of love… There’s nothing easy here, for Adelina or readers—there are no safe places where the pressures of betrayal, death threats, and rejection aren’t felt.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Readers should prepare to be captivated—and to look forward to a continuation of the Young Elites series.”—Booklist, starred review

“A must for fans of…totally immersive fantasies.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A Game of Thrones meets X-Men in this 14th-century fantasy from Marie Lu (the Legend trilogy), in a world where ‘fear is power.’ … The overriding epic fantasy will keep readers hooked for book two, which teases to be a game-changer. Bring it on.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“The taut, tightly packed narrative provides an engaging mix of pulse-quickening fight scenes, heart-stopping near escapes, touching interpersonal interludes, and devastating betrayals.” —BCCB, starred review

“Lu weaves her magic across the page as she unfolds the story of Adelina and the Young Elites. Nothing is as it is expected.”—VOYA

“Lu seamlessly melds an unforgettable and intoxicating historical fantasy narrative with a strong female protagonist that grapples with an issue experienced by all young adults—acceptance of one’s self… Lu’s new series will be a surefire hit with old and new fans alike.”—School Library Journal

VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Barbara Allen
Disease ravaged the land, leaving its mark behind on children. Scars and markings only scratch the surface of what was left behind. Some of the once-infected have developed special abilities, making them the Young Elites. The government wants to do away with these cursed teens by rounding them up and executing them for being abominations. Adelina Amouteru discovers that she is special as she tries to run away from her father and his plans to make her the mistress of a powerful man. She kills her father with apparitions she creates in her mind. She has never been able to do this before. The guards find her as she tries to flee from the scene of the murder. Right before Adelina is excuted, she is rescued by a band of Young Elites. They are bent on saving all teens with powers and overthrowing the harsh government that would see them all killed. Lu weaves her magic across the page as she unfolds the story of Adelina and the Young Elites. Nothing is as it is expected. This is good-versus-evil right on par with Marvel and the mutant X-men. The dystopian world leaves little hope for those that are different. The Young Elites shows that different does not have to be bad, but it can be scary. Adelina’s power scares her family and the Young Elites are worried that she could destroy them all. Reviewer: Barbara Allen; Ages 11 to 18.
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-08-27
A new series—fantasy, this time—from the author of the best-selling Legend dystopia. Twelve years ago, the blood fever raged through Kenettra, killing all infected adults and leaving the surviving children marked with scars, patterned skin and unnaturally colored hair. Malfetto, the survivors are called, and everyone knows they are terrible luck. A few malfettos are rumored to have great and mystical powers, and these Young Elites are sought by the Inquisition even while the common people secretly cheer on their defiance against a cruel and ineffectual king. Adelina is a 16-year-old malfetto, tormented by her abusive father until her own Young Elite power reveals itself. Both the Inquisition and the Young Elites want to use her, but Adelina wants only to protect herself and her beloved sister. She's no heroic savior; Adelina's Young Elite strength is honed by a decade of abuse and torment that's turned her into a force motivated foremost by rage and terror. Shifting points of view reveal the forces that treat Adelina as a pawn in a game much larger than she can understand, driving her to an extremely unusual lead-in for Volume 2. In a gorgeously constructed world that somewhat resembles Renaissance Italy but with its own pantheon, geography and fauna, the multiethnic and multisexual Young Elites offer a cinematically perfect ensemble of gorgeous-but-unusual illusionists, animal speakers, fire summoners and wind callers. A must for fans of Kristin Cashore's Fire (2009) and other totally immersive fantasies. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698171725
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/07/2014
Series:
Young Elites Series , #1
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
5,939
Lexile:
740L (what's this?)
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

13 Juno, 1361
City of Dalia
Southern Kenettra
The Sealands
 
* * *
 
Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows.
Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake.
Some worship us, think us children of the gods.
But all know us.
—Unknown source on the Young Elites
 
 
Adelina Amouteru

 
I’m going to die tomorrow morning.

That’s what the Inquisitors tell me, anyway, when they visit my cell. I’ve been in here for weeks—I know this only because I’ve been counting the number of times my meals come.

One day. Two days.

Four days. A week.

Two weeks.

Three.

I stopped counting after that. The hours run together, an endless train of nothingness, filled with different slants of light and the shiver of cold, wet stone, the pieces of my sanity, the disjointed whispers of my thoughts.

But tomorrow, my time ends. They’re going to burn me at the stake in the central market square, for all to see. The Inquisitors tell me a crowd has already begun to gather outside.

I sit straight, the way I was always taught. My shoulders don’t touch the wall. It takes me a while to realize that I’m rocking back and forth, perhaps to stay sane, perhaps just to keep warm. I hum an old lullaby too, one my mother used to sing to me when I was very little. I do my best to imitate her voice, a sweet and delicate sound, but my notes come out cracked and hoarse, nothing like what I remember. I stop trying.

It’s so damp down here. Water trickles from above my door and has painted a groove into the stone wall, discolored green and black with grime. My hair is matted, and my nails are caked with blood and dirt. I want to scrub them clean. Is it strange that all I can think about on my last day is how filthy I am? If my little sister were here, she’d murmur something reassuring and soak my hands in warm water.

I can’t stop wondering if she’s okay. She hasn’t come to see me.

I lower my head into my hands. How did I end up like this?

But I know how, of course. It’s because I’m a murderer.
* * *
 It happened several weeks earlier, on a stormy night at my father’s villa. I couldn’t sleep. Rain fell and lightning reflected off the window of my bedchamber. But even the storm couldn’t drown out the conversation from downstairs. My father and his guest were talking about me, of course. My father’s late-night conversations were always about me.

I was the talk of my family’s eastern Dalia district. Adelina Amouteru? they all said. Oh, she’s one of those who survived the fever a decade ago. Poor thing. Her father will have a hard time marrying her off.

No one meant because I wasn’t beautiful. I’m not being arrogant, only honest. My nursemaid once told me that any man who’d ever laid eyes on my late mother was now waiting curiously to see how her two daughters would blossom into women. My younger sister, Violetta, was only fourteen and already the budding image of perfection. Unlike me, Violetta had inherited our mother’s rosy temperament and innocent charm. She’d kiss my cheeks and laugh and twirl and dream. When we were very small, we’d sit together in the garden and she would braid periwinkles into my hair. I would sing to her. She would make up games.

We loved each other, once.

My father would bring Violetta jewels and watch her clap her hands in delight as he strung them around her neck. He would buy her exquisite dresses that arrived in port from the farthest ends of the world. He would tell her stories and kiss her good night. He would remind her how beautiful she was, how far she would raise our family’s standing with a good marriage, how she could attract princes and kings if she desired. Violetta already had a line of suitors eager to secure her hand, and my father would tell each of them to be patient, that they could not marry her until she turned seventeen. What a caring father, everyone thought.

Of course, Violetta didn’t escape all of my father’s cruelty.

He purposely bought her dresses that were tight and painful. He enjoyed seeing her feet bleed from the hard, jeweled shoes he encouraged her to wear.
Still. He loved her, in his own way. It’s different, you see, because she was his investment.

I was another story. Unlike my sister, blessed with shining black hair to complement her dark eyes and rich olive skin, I am flawed. And by flawed, I mean this: When I was four years old, the blood fever reached its peak and everyone in Kenettra barred their homes in a state of panic. No use. My mother, sister, and I all came down with the fever. You could always tell who was infected—strange, mottled patterns showed up on our skin, our hair and lashes flitted from one color to another, and pink, blood-tinged tears ran from our eyes. I still remember the smell of sickness in our house, the burn of brandy on my lips. My left eye became so swollen that a doctor had to remove it. He did it with a red-hot knife and a pair of burning tongs.

So, yes. You could say I am flawed.

Marked. A malfetto.

While my sister emerged from the fever unscathed, I now have only a scar where my left eye used to be. While my sister’s hair remained a glossy black, the strands of my hair and lashes turned a strange, ever-shifting silver, so that in the sunlight they look close to white, like a winter moon, and in the dark they change to a deep gray, shimmering silk spun from metal.

At least I fared better than Mother did. Mother, like every infected adult, died. I remember crying in her empty bedchamber each night, wishing the fever had taken Father instead.

My father and his mysterious guest were still talking downstairs. My curiosity got the best of me and I swung my legs over the side of my bed, crept toward my chamber door on light feet, and opened it a crack. Dim candlelight illuminated the hall outside. Below, my father sat across from a tall, broad-shouldered man with graying hair at his temples, his hair tied back at the nape of his neck in a short, customary tail, the velvet of his coat shining black and orange in the light. My father’s coat was velvet too, but the material was worn thin. Before the blood fever crippled our country, his clothes would have been as luxurious as his guest’s. But now? It’s hard to keep good trade relations when you have a malfetto daughter tainting your family’s name.

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What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
Praise for Marie Lu’s The Young Elites:

A New York Times bestseller!
Five starred reviews!
An Amazon Best Book of 2014 – Teen & Young Adult!

“By permitting her characters some grand failures, she raises the stakes in the best way possible…There is clearly more to know, and I look forward to it. This is a world worth revisiting.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Lu pivots from the ‘coming of age via romance’ formula to pry apart the many emotions that pass under the rubric of love… There’s nothing easy here, for Adelina or readers—there are no safe places where the pressures of betrayal, death threats, and rejection aren’t felt.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Readers should prepare to be captivated—and to look forward to a continuation of the Young Elites series.”—Booklist, starred review

“A must for fans of…totally immersive fantasies.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A Game of Thrones meets X-Men in this 14th-century fantasy from Marie Lu (the Legend trilogy), in a world where ‘fear is power.’ … The overriding epic fantasy will keep readers hooked for book two, which teases to be a game-changer. Bring it on.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review

“The taut, tightly packed narrative provides an engaging mix of pulse-quickening fight scenes, heart-stopping near escapes, touching interpersonal interludes, and devastating betrayals.” —BCCB, starred review

“Lu weaves her magic across the page as she unfolds the story of Adelina and the Young Elites. Nothing is as it is expected.”—VOYA

“Lu seamlessly melds an unforgettable and intoxicating historical fantasy narrative with a strong female protagonist that grapples with an issue experienced by all young adults—acceptance of one’s self… Lu’s new series will be a surefire hit with old and new fans alike.”—School Library Journal

Meet the Author

Marie Lu (www.marielu.org) is the author of the New York Times bestselling Legend series. She graduated from the University of Southern California and jumped into the video game industry, working for Disney Interactive Studios as a Flash artist. Now a full-time writer, she spends her spare time reading, drawing, playing Assassin’s Creed, and getting stuck in traffic. She lives in Los Angeles, California (see above: traffic), with one husband, one Chihuahua mix, and two Pembroke Welsh corgis.

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The Young Elites 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
Addicted_Readers More than 1 year ago
5 Stunning Stars... I can't even begin to express my love for THE YOUNG ELITES! Seriously, there is no words to put on my feelings for this book!! The only thing I can think that comes even close to putting my feels into words is that it was a dark spellbinding, adventure, that will have you on your toes, holding your breath, and screaming for more!! And those words really does no Justice for THE YOUNG ELITES!! It was just amazing!! I mean it blew me away!!! I was actually amazed at the dark turn Marie Lu took in THE YOUNG ELITES. I'm use to her, mild writing, with life compactions, and yes, war and death, but what Marie Lu brought to the table in THE YOUNG ELITES goes far and beyond anything she's ever written, and I LOVED IT!!! THE PLOT... In a world full of darkness and destruction, a virus known as the blood fever has brought a county to it's knees. Throughout a decade, the blood fever has swept through in waves, leaving no city untouched by it's deadly wrath. The blood fever has killed thousands, leaving others scarred and marked for life. The ones that came out scarred and marked were known as the malfetto's. But there were others that bore the scars and marks, and they were either blessed or cursed depending on how you looked upon it. They came out with unique powers, powers that were not of their world, and with a power and control that could either save them, or doom them all. And they were known as The Young Elites... The Young Elites were feared by the royal family, and thus ruled unfit for this world, and ultimately, they were hunted and killed if ever revealed and seized! ~ Adelina Amouteru is one of the survivors of the blood fever that swept through her country when she was young. She survived, but barely, and didn't come out unmarked. She has a jagged scar over the left side of her face, and lost her left eye from the disease. She is considered a malfetto that was left scarred, but with no special powers. She is shunned and treated with disrespect by those around her, especially by her father, who now owns damaged goods, her! Her father is determined to make some use out of her one way or another. For she is unworthy scarred and marked. So he persistently reaches for a darkness deep within her, twisting and nurturing it, allowing it to manifest inside of her, hoping to push her to the breaking point and release some unrevealed power. Adelina, twisted from being used and abused, she has a hatred that runs deep, a darkness within that is eager to unleash the wrath, and wreck havoc on all opposing sides. Adelina unwillingly unleashes a darkness within that she did not know existed. A power so strong it can bring a man to his knees. The power of Illusion is what she possess, and that is when she is revealed no more as a malfetto, but as a Young Elite. And now she will be hunted, captured, and burned at the stake like all other unruly malfetto's and Elites. But when her world collides with other Elites all set on a common goal and eager to recruit her, she decides with nothing or no one else to turn too, she recruits into the Dagger Society. Their goal is simple: Bring The Young Elites out of hiding and dethrone the king and queen that has killed and tortured so many, and create a new world for them all. But of course that is easier said then done, especially with the Inquisition Axis's hunting and killing them off little by little. ~ Enzo Valenciano was deprived of his birthright when he was marked by the blood fever, possessing elite powers that are not of their world. He fills his days fighting for the malfetto and Elites. He wants equality for the marked and unmarked. To claim his birthright he was given at birth. To take control of Kenettran and rain hell on their tortures and dethrone the queen and king. To end the suffering that the marked and malfetto's have endured at the hands of the royals and Inquisition Axis's. He wants a change, and he is the only one who can bring it, and bring it he will, or die trying! ~ Teren Santoro is the leader of Inquisition Axis, and the queens right hand man. He will do anything for his precious queen, he will turn away from his people to appease her, he will kill and torture if it pleases her, he will hunt the earth for the very last Elite and rid them of their wretch life if it satisfies her. He will, and he has, and he is not done yet, he is only beginning!! All three of these lives will collide and wreck havoc on the world. They will either be the downfall of their world, or bring peace and lightness to the darkness they call earth. But not all of them want the same thing, and their are some who are willing to do the unthinkable to get what they want. The battle between marked and unmarked has begun.... THE YOUNG ELITES is one of the best books I've read this year!!! I know I'm being repetitive, but I just loved this book!! Every single thing about it!! The characters were rigid and complex, with layers and layers of depth and personality that just won me over from the beginning to end!! I loved all the characters, especially the main ones, Adelina, Enzo, and Teren! They were just so interesting with their dark powers that was fascinating and devastating at the same time!! I was never bored with this book. Even the slow parts like the beginning wasn't enough to make me want to put this book down. I thought it was paced just right, with enough of everything to give it the balance it needed!! Overall, THE YOUNG ELITES is a MUST READ for any supernatural/dystopian fan out there. If you want a book that will WOW the pants off of you, THE YOUNG ELITES is it!! It will not disappoint and leave you yearning for more!! NOTE: I received a physical ARC from Putnam Books (Penguin Books) for reviewing purposes! All opinions expressed are my own and are not influenced in any way!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love the main character of the book. Adelina is the main character that you rarely encounter. The reason why she gets so dark and creepy was well illustrated that you could not help but empathize with her. I understood that if you grew up being abused, you will develop your shadow persona.  The other characters are also layered in personality. I guess the premature deaths of some characters in the book is necessary. I could not wait for the next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once again Marie Lu doesn't disappoint. Loved her Legend series and feel I will love this series as it unfolds as well! Can't wait for the next installment.
Andrea17 More than 1 year ago
It took me a while to get into the story and I feel the first half was a bit on the slow side. I was expecting more of a fast-paced novel, given the nature of the synopsis, but I was given something more slow and detailed. At least in the first half, the second half took off like a rocket! Not that it's necessarily a bad thing, it just wasn't what I expected so it took me a bit to be excited about this story. Adelina is an exceptional character and I liked her from the beginning. She lost her left eye, and her mother, due to the blood fever and her father is a cruel man attempting to find out what her power is and profit from it. Adelina doesn't start out a strong character and it takes a while for her to completely find her footing. I love her character development because you can see her slowly coming into not just her powers, but also becoming more herself. She changes from someone who was terrified of her father and becomes a force to be reckoned with. I know that sounds cliche, but that's really what happens. The other Daggers fear her. Not because she's evil and is out to get them, but because her power comes from fear and anger. Dangerous combinations for anybody, but more so when that person can kill you with merely an illusion. Teren is a great character, even if he's considered the villain of the story. He has a dark secret - secrets really - and is on a mission to rid Kenettra of malfettos. The thing I really like about Teren is that he's not a crazed villain out on a mission to destroy / take over the world. He believes he is doing good by ridding the world of these "demons." In his eyes, he's not the bad guy, he's the good guy. And in Enzo's eyes Teren is the bad guy, and the Daggers the good guys. I love stories where the good vs. bad isn't clear cut. Both sides have points and both sides aren't technically wrong. That's what I feel from Young Elites. Yes, killing the malfettos in cold blood isn't great and maybe there's some compromise to be met, but at the same time some of the malfettos are dangerous - see Adelina killing you with her mind - and unknown. While it did take me sometime to get into The Young Elites I am so glad I hung on and stuck it out. Lu's writing is excellent and perfectly detailed. We're not overwhelmed by facts - something I find can happen in first books a series - but gently entered into this world. The Young Elites is a great start to what I'm hoping will be an amazing series. I didn't read Lu's Legend series, but given the love I've seen for it I have high hopes for The Rose Society and Book 3.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I cant wait for the next book. I became sooooo invested while reading this that I couldn't even sleep till I finished the book. Marie Lu is one of my all time favorite authors. She always adds the right amount of action and romance that just pulls you in every book she writes.
Stella1213 More than 1 year ago
Marie Lu has really done something special in giving a voice to a heroine like Adelina Amouteru. A modern day Dracula, she is both fascinating and terrible. Trying to adapt to her extraordinary powers, Adelina teeters between wanting to love and wanting to destroy those around her. I can’t wait to see how her character develops in the next books! Hands down the most interesting and difficult heroine I’ve encountered in YA fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
After i read he legend series i loved it and couldnt wait for marie lu to write more books. This book was really good but the title is kinda lame, though im not sure what else yiu could call it. I am 11, and there were some things that werent appropriate for my age, but it is a teen book and i still read it because it was really good. Like, extremely good. Though not as good as legend. Cant wait for the sequel.
chapterxchapter More than 1 year ago
I’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.
Julie_BooksAndInsomnia More than 1 year ago
Think X-Men in a fantasy world living in a Renaissance era and you pretty much get The Young Elites. Only, this is so much darker. Marie Lu is right; The Young Elites is not a hero story. This is a story of a villain. Adelina Amouteru did not survive the blood fever that swept her entire nation unscathed. The plague that killed her mother also took Adelina's left eye and gave her markings that distinguished her as a malfetto. Not just an ordinary malfetto, though. A Young Elite, gifted with a supernatural power that feeds off the darkness inside and around Adelina. This same gift calls the attention of The Dagger Society, a group of Young Elites that uses their powers for a secret agenda. When her and her sister's life gets threatened, will Adelina be able to call on her powers to save them? Or will it just endanger herself and those around her? I dived into The Young Elites with high expectations because a lot of people have been saying great things about this book. I haven't read the Legend series so I had no idea how Marie Lu writes. Turns out she doesn't disappoint. Kick-ass characters. Exquisite world-building. Awesome powers. Great action. Only the romance fell short, in my opinion. But that's totally fine with me, because I picked up this book for its promise of fantasy, cool powers and epic battles. I got those and more! The Young Elites has a really good plot, dynamic and interesting characters, and a story you wouldn't want to miss. I liked everything about this book so I'm not going to enumerate the reasons why you should read The Young Elites. From beginning up to the last page, this book is perfection. And if it's even possible, it gets so much better because the epilogue promises more of Adelina Amouteru and the Young Elites. I will definitely be waiting for the next book! GO READ IT NOW!
LovinLosLibros More than 1 year ago
When I first picked this one up, I had no idea this book would blow me away the way it did! I was immediately pulled in and I loved the setting in this one! Lu has done a brilliant job of writing fantasy and creating memorable characters and storylines. I loved the characterization in this one. Adelina has this darkness and anger to her that is absolutely bone chilling. I can't even consider her the heroine of the story. She's more of an anti-heroine. She has been verbally and physically abused by her father for all her life, never knowing true affection like her sister. Having survived the blood plague, she has now been marked as a malfetto. Some malfettos have gained special powers from the plague, and they call themselves the Young Elites. They have formed a society in which they seek out others like them and work to restore the true prince to the throne. The loneliness that Adelina feels is just heartwrenching. Lu does a great job of showing us her layers and we get to see her vulnerability as much as her toughness. The book alternates between three primary POV's: Adelina's, Enzo's, and Teren's. Multi-POV's can be tricky, but I felt Lu handled them really well. We are mostly with Adelina, as Enzo and Teren's chapters are quite short. I liked getting into their minds though, especially since Teren is viewed as the enemy! There is a lot of action and adventure in this one and a hint of romance too. I had some issues with the romance, as I could never tell if it was genuine or not because of the role someone else played in the past. I want to believe real feelings were involved, as I think Adelina just once needs to feel loved and wanted. That ending though! OMG. I just.... I was left with my mouth hanging wide open in shock. I did NOT see Lu going in that direction and I'm STILL stunned. This was not at all a predictable read and I am so thankful for that. Not everyone is who they seem to be and the twists and turns are endless! I highly recommend this book to fantasy fans out there. The epilogue does a great job of setting up the next book in the series and I cannot wait to find out where Lu takes Adelina and the others!
melanielost More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing since the first page, I was afraid to end it because I know I have to wait God knows how long for a sequel. This book is the journey of a villain trying to know herself and her power, trying to redeem herself but failing at it and accepting her true nature. I could get into the character very easy and understand Adelina. It felt like when life hits you and hits you and you have no choice but to be bad because you are full of hate. It's something I never read before specially for a Young Adult book. It shows the dark side of ourselves that we never dare to talk about. I loved this book so much and it broke my heart at the edge of my tears flooding my eyes.
Kyler_Tab More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic! The main character (Adelina) was easy to relate to and understand. I can't wait for the next book in this series.
Endlessjoys More than 1 year ago
I loved it! 
StevieH More than 1 year ago
I give this book more of a 4.5 stars. I really enjoyed it. It's essentially the origin story of a villain and I'm excited to see where it goes. Adelina is such an interesting and unstable character that gives the story an extra kick. I thought the world was gorgeous, at least the way it was described and from how I pictured it. Only problem I had was I didn't feel like I knew Enzo or Raffaelle that much. I found myself not really caring what happened to them and I couldn't connect with how Adelina felt about them. Other than that, I would highly recommend it. I also loved the epilogue. 
Anonymous 15 days ago
It was ok. Plot was good. Didnt like the main character so much shes so dark. The story also kinda dragged on alot it got kinda anoying. It was a nice effort. ~RachelBueman
Anonymous 5 months ago
I lived this book it had so many twists and turns. I could not put this book down! If you are looking for a anventure, fantacy, romance novel this is the book!
pooled_ink More than 1 year ago
pooled ink Reviews: 4.5 Stars Set in a world reminiscent of Europe in its renaissance era and filled with gods, powers, and royals THE YOUNG ELITES will hold a blade at your throat and drag you through the blood of justice from page one to the end leaving you gasping for breath and terrified for what will come next but you’ll notice that you’re also hiding a grin because that little strand of darkness within you is actually hungry for the chaos that is brewing. Cheers. P.S. So in a way I definitely see the comparison to the basic Darth Vader story but gender-swapped (Adelina is Vader). Or (or perhaps and) Adelina is reminiscent of Elphaba from Wicked. Click here to read my FULL review: https://pooledink.com/2015/10/30/the-young-elites/
BookWorm221 More than 1 year ago
I’m a big fan of Marie Lu’s previous series Legend and was very excited when this book came out, but somehow I kept putting it off and putting it off until this year when the TBR spoke and made me read it. I gotta tell you, I’m so happy to have read this book and I’m figuratively kicking myself for not reading it sooner, the story is so original and cool, the characters are well developed and the book is full of twists and turns! I find the fact that the book is not about heroes doing good all-around very refreshing, we have young people fighting for what they want and yeah killing and deceiving along the way, Adelina is in no way perfect, she is flawed, she has darkness inside of her and sometimes she just can’t/won’t control it. Now, I’m not saying they don’t have a conscience, what I’m saying is that they go to whatever place the story takes them and embrace it. The world building was spectacular with many things I’m sure still to discover.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The best book ever. It has everything to make the perfect book. It will not disappoint readers.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
Oh my, what a world Lu has created! In TYE universe, a mysterious blood fever ravaged and destroyed a third of the population, and the surviving children came out marked in different ways. While it may seem like science fiction or dystopia, the world is more aligned with fantasy. The magic in the world is contained in everything, and the Young Elites can draw on it to create as they are aligned. Adelina, who from her childhood had been mistreated by her father and looked down upon for being scarred, has never known kindness except the one from her younger sister. Her love for her sister is still tainted by the fact that their father sees the younger one as more valuable to him, since she is beautiful and can be profitable for him. As for Adelina, he torments her in an effort to bring out her powers, and that kind of violence has nurtured the darkness in her. As the author says in the acknowledgements of the book, this is the story of a villain, not a hero, and it shows in how unpredictable and unconventional the plot is. Adelina only sees people using her for their benefit, and kindness without strings attached is not a concept she has experienced. She, however, on meeting the Dagger Society, starts hoping for it, but there is also the fact that she is being hunted and cannot let her guard down. She is drawn to the leader of the Dagger Society, but is also afraid of his wrath if he finds the truth about her. Adelina’s path, wherever it may lead, is sure going to be an interesting one. She shies away but also embraces her darkness; she is ashamed but also revels in causing pain – and this alone would have made her a complex character. But it is also the way in which she forms relationships with others, and the way the others treat her that add an extra layer of depth to her character. As for the world, I loved how it incorporates an entirely new culture, and draws on it to create the elements of their magic. The alignment stuff was pretty interesting, and opens up a whole mythology around it. I, however, felt the repetition of it a bit annoying – we get it, she aligns with fear and rage, and power, the latter because she was devoid of it her entire life. The ending was shocking, to say the least, but the epilogue really made me interested in the possibilities this world could contain. Very excited to read the sequel!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very much enjoyed this series
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I had high hopes for this book because I love the legend series, but i was disappointed with this. I don't really knkw why, but the whole timr I was reading it I was just really uninterested, I couldn't get lost in the story like I do with other books. I didn't finish it because I just HAD to know what happened next, I finished it hoping that maybe the next chapter would get more interesting. I do not like the main characater. She's just not likeable, really, and has no redeeming qualities. From the second I started reading this book it felt off to me that this girl was the main character, it didn't seem to fit. This book felt like a bad prequel to what would have been the main story. Like when authors write other books in series on a different character's backstory. The entire time reading it I was thinking to myself, "I really don't feel like she was meant to be the main character. It feels like the author wrote a story, and then decided she wanted to write it from a secondary character's point of view instead." And then when I finished the book I found out that was exactly the case! The fact that I could tell that from when I first started reading it is not so good. I honestly wouldn't reccomend buying it. It's just not worth it. But do buy the Legend series, those are excellent! (Not a big fan of the ending though.)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome book!!! I love Marie Lu. She is a really good author. The ending is very unexpected. I was shocked and devestaded. My best friend read it and loves it as much as me, but she literally threw the book at the end because of what Adelina does! I screamed into my pillow! I don't want to give anything away, but lets just say I was very angry with Adelina at the end. This is my new favorite book. READ IT!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is amazing!!
MichelleChung More than 1 year ago
“So. Tell me, little wolf. Do you want to punish those who have wronged you?” This book was awesomesauce to the tenth power. I can't understand for the life of me how anyone could low ball this book. The mixed morals were so captivating for me. And the swoon-worthy characters. This book was action packed and heartbreaking which is my kind of fantasy read. This is fantasy perfection and one of my favorites for sure!