The Young Elites (The Young Elites #1) by Marie Lu

Adelina Amoutera 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. 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 survivor are rumoured 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. 

Teran Santoro works for the King. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is her 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 Teran who may possess the darkest secret of all.

Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seek out other 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 Teran 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 (from Goodreads).


Well, this book was a crushing disappointment. Having read the blurb, I was really looking forward to a story of a budding revolution, of two sides gearing up for a war they both know is coming. Unfortunately, that's not what I got.

The Young Elites is a very boring, very slow read with some kind of sad power struggle between deposed Prince Enzo and Teran, leader of the Inquisition Axis or whatever it's called. They're both just sad little boys, both just one-dimensional characters. Teran had no depth to him whatsoever, Enzo is just boring. But Adelina is the worst character of the lot, and she unfortunately is the main character. 

I can't stand whiny, useless female characters, and that's exactly what Adelina was. She's such a shit heroine/anti-heroine and her presence did no favours for the book. While she herself holds great powers with illusion, she's just incredibly stupid and annoying and her motivations during the entire thing were just dumb. She can't seem to take responsibility for her own actions; everything is always someone else's fault, and she just makes more of a mess any time she tries to help. I had heard Adelina was this badass character, but she is one of the worst characters I've come across in a long time. This book promised action and unexpected collisions and intrigue, but it provided none of that. It was simply Adelina's poor judgement and weak character that caused most of the problems. And how is Enzo not on Adelina's side? It says right there in the description Adelina wishes to believe she can trust him, suggesting perhaps he isn't sharing his true motivations with her, but he does. What I expected based on the description and what I got in this book were two very, very different things indeed. 

The plot moves at far too slow a pace, and the constant switching of narrator really didn't help me engage with any of the characters or explain their motivations. It just complicated everything. None of the reveals in the book shocked me, like they were obviously meant to. It just wasn't very engaging at all, and I found the entire thing poorly written. There was so much clunky exposition, and it just clogged up the story, which there wasn't much of anyway. 

Last month, I gave The Heir by Kiera Cass two stars because I thought it was boring, but this book is making me reconsider that rating, because The Young Elites is so much worse. So, since I'm not going back to increase The Heir's rating, this book is ranking at a mere one star, just to show there is nothing of substance within its pages. The only reason I even made it the end was because I was reading it on the train on the way to work, and there was nothing else to do. Safe to say, my eagerness to read book 2, The Rose Society, has completely evaporated. 

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