Book Review: The Young Elites

20821111Publisher:  Speak
Author: Marie Lu
Release Date:  August 25, 2015
Pages: 384 pages
Format: Paperback
Series: The Young Elites, Book 1
Genre(s): Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance,
Reviewed by:  mkgdes
Rating: 4/5

Adelina Amouteru, one of the survivors of the blood fever that swept her nation a decade ago. Every survivors were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver white, eye lashes turned pale and   was left with a scar on her left eye. The people called them Malfetto, an abomination, a monster and a curse to their family, ruining their reputation and good fortune. Yet, some possessed more than that — powerful gifts and special abilities. People feared them but some revels in their power and are called The Young Elites.

Teren Santoro is the lead Inquisitor of Inquisition Axis, a peacemaker society who believes Malfetto and Young Elites are vile creatures that must be destroyed. But, Teren possesses one of the darkest secret.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society, a secret league consists of the Young Elites. The Dagger searches far and wide for powerful malfettos before the Axis captures and kills them. When the Daggers saved Adelina, what they’ve found is someone who possesses a powerful power that they’ve never seen before. (Source:


I’m upset.

I really am.

When I attended Marie Lu’s Book Signing Event, I didn’t get to the front rows. Fans have banners demanding justice for whoever that character. I just knew I’m going to be spoiled so I recoiled of staying at the back. I’ve read the Legend Series and don’t get me started. It was a masterpiece! I thought that the character’s death there was the certain one the fans have been screaming for.

I was wrong.

I was bloody wrong.

And, I am upset. I couldn’t lift a finger to start another book.

Gone was the easy style of writing that Marie Lu used in Legend trilogy. The Young Elites proved to be more darker than the last. In this new fantasy series, I had thought she would first built up the setting, familiarize us with the surroundings and the environment. Yet, Marie Lu delve right into linking us emotionally to the characters.

The repetitive vanilla-type woman protagonist has been on the rocks nowadays in most YA fantasy novels. I’m having none of it. It’s too predictable to say the least. Where other fails, Marie Lu succeeded. I love how Marie Lu knows the innermost struggles of her characters. What makes it more realistic for me is how she conjures the darkest emotions.

Adelina knew the darkness inside her. How it corrupts her and turns it to a weapon, whether that would be for the better or to head towards darkness. She loved it. She craved for it. And knew she would possibly regret it. Fear, Darkness, Love, Miseries, Happiness and Regrets — those sorts of emotions have always been at the surface for someone who has been on Adelina’s shoes.

When Michel was training Adelina, weaving illusions, it was mentioned how a perfect replica has been done. A white stone isn’t white but created with different colours so tiny you wouldn’t even see them. A perfect unflawed beauty intricately made of bits and particles. Those imperfections are what makes it perfect. Like Adelina, her unstable emotions are what makes her true to her character. There’s a choice whether we are going to act on our thoughts of darkness or simply our conscience.

I was kind of hoping to see Enzo’s thoughts even at the beginning. He’s recluse and elusive and mysterious that I wanted to uncover him.

I knew when the moment Raffaele talked about the illusions of pain and fear that Enzo was going to suffer through Adelina’s hands. The pull and attraction of their budding romance  was so immense that when I get to that part, I couldn’t be more happy. But, Marie Lu knew how to twist it in a more painful arc (like how she does in Legend Series).

I don’t want to talk about the ending. Pain and rage are an apt description for it, which translates as, an ending you would love, anticipate and to die for. And yes, Marie Lu knew how to give her readers the best ending. Halfway around the novel, I was already screaming, “this cannot end in a way what I think it would”. I was muttering it loudly while I was reading on the car. I knew it’s gonna happen the same way as the Legend. Even though I knew it will happen, Marie Lu surprised the hell out of me.

I refused to believe that Enzo’s fate has been sealed. I cannot accept that. The epilogue was my breathe of hope. Foreshadowing at its best.



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