BOOK REVIEW: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

“No one wants you to be yourself. They want you to be the version of yourself that they like.”

Y'all, I tried so hard to like Marie Lu's The Young Elites; but there was literally nothing that I enjoyed about this book - no matter how many times I thought something might pop up to change my mind. NGL, I have had a 50/50 positivity rate with Lu's books {some I love, some I loathe, and sometimes I start to love one well after the halfway mark}; but this one just did not cut it for me. Womp womp.

One decade ago, a deadly illness known as the blood fever swept through Renaissance Italy. It claimed the lives of almost everyone it touched; but some children were spared - left with their lives, but scarred with strange markings that earned them the title malfettos {abominations}. Sixteen-year-old Adelina Amouteru is one such survivor. Her beloved mother, however, was taken; leaving her in the hands of a monstrous father who cannot see beyond her changes. Her once black hair turned silver, her eyelashes paled, and her once beautiful left eye is now nothing more than a jagged scar. In her cruel father's eyes, Adelina is only a malfetto - a burden upon their family's good name, standing in the way of lavish fortunes. Adelina thinks otherwise. She has heard of other malfettos - malfettos with strange abilities that leave people fearful; abilities that give them power. These are the Young Elites, and Adelina is determined to find them.

Burning with anger after learning her father's plans for her, Adelina kisses her younger sister, Violetta, goodbye and flees into the night. She has not gone far before she is found, and accidentally unleashes a dormant fury within, killing someone. Now armed with the knowledge that she too has powers, powers that would make people fall at her feet, she is even more convinced of her belonging to the Young Elites. But she'll have to reach them first. When she is apprehended by The Inquisition, led by the young Teren Santoro, and sentenced to death, her future seems unclear. But then she is rescued by none other than the Elites, and feels that things are falling into place. That is, until she feels their less than warm welcome.

Helmed by the handsome yet mysterious Enzo Valenciano {aka The Reaper, who, btw, gives off major Assassin's Creed vibes}, the Young Elites {aka the Dagger Society} is composed of a group of malfettos with abilities that range from manipulating other people's emotions {Raffaele} to commanding and controlling animals {Gemma}. Though their abilities are different, they share a commonality: they don't know what to make of Adelina and her illusionist abilities. Some want her dead. Enzo, however, the son of the late king of Kenettra, vouches for her, welcoming her into the folds of the Dagger Society, and determining that they will train her in her abilities. But Adelina has a secret - an agreement with Teren that she can't extricate herself from. One that will place all of her newfound Elite friends in grave danger.

This was the worst book I've read all year. Marie Lu can write, she can; but this one was just drudgery. The characters were mindblowingly boring who read like one-dimensional cardboard cutouts. I legitimately could not discern one from another because they were so uninteresting. Adelina, who I thought was going to be an amazing character was just dark and angry. And the supposed spark between her and Enzo? Yeah, I didn't feel it. In fact, I felt no chemistry between them; and even if I did, it wouldn't have mattered because Enzo was every bit as boring as Adelina. NGL, there were times when I really loved Raffaele {perhaps because of his calming nature}; but he was not strong enough to hold the weight of the entire book on his shoulders. I will say this...the ending, starring Maeve Corrigan, the Princess of Beldain was brilliant. Unfortunately, her appearance came too late for me; thus, I will not be reading the sequel The Rose Society.

Star Rating: **1/2


1 comment

ellie said...

Oh, I loved this review. I truly did. Thanks for your honesty! I loved that line.."Spark between her and Enzo? Yeah, I didn't feel it." Thanks so much for this review.

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