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.
I've only read one of Marie Lu's other books, the first book of her Legend series, I liked it well enough. But something about this book captured my attention stronger. I'm not sure if was the setting or just the mix dystopian/fantasy characters...with powerful, unexplainable gifts. I picked up this book while waiting in Barnes & Noble and read a few chapters and knew I needed to get ahold of a copy as soon as possible. The first 20 pages grabbed me and I was very eager to finish reading.
There's a hint of something familiar about this book, it reminded me a little of Morgan Rhodes' Falling Kingdoms series although both books are still quite different. Maybe it was the group of young people mixed with politics and strange powers all mixed together with a sense of danger, desperation, and romance. Either way, I liked the vibe of this book a lot and enjoyed the plot just as much. Towards a third of the way through I thought I had figured out the way the story would swing, but I was almost completely wrong. It has a different ending and it's not necessarily a bad one, it's just surprising and it leaves you wanting more and questioning what could happen next. And practically dying for the next book ;)
There are a lot of things that are original to the story, the world-building and the countries in this fantasy world, some of the creatures, and certainly the gods and the gifts they have apparently bestowed upon certain malfettos (children scarred by terrible blood fever that swept through the land of Kenettra) that have led to the formation of the Young Elite. It was all very interesting and was one of the main reasons I was drawn to this book and enjoyed it so much. However towards the end of the book things take a darker turn, it had been building up and it was almost inevitable. It doesn't really get very dark, but just dark enough to let you know that things aren't going to be a simple. They're going to be complicated and maybe play with your emotions.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book even with it's darker elements. It had a nice fantasy vibe, a unique group of heroes with gifts that some call curses and others praise, and the world-building was great, I really loved it, with an Italian feel but still different. I liked the characters and thought that Adelina was very interesting and despite how the book ends, you understand her. However, it still was a bit dark and that probably took away some of my enjoyment, even if I know that was kind of the point of the book...to be different than the cliche hero plot. So I'm giving The Young Elite 4 out of 5 flowers.
Sara Bennett happens to be a slightly crazy girl. A slightly nerdy girl. A slightly strange girl who likes being that way. A slightly obsessed girl when it comes to things she loves. A girl who cries when reading books. A girl who desperately wants her own personal library. A girl who is a total bookworm. A girl who would rather read than watch reality tv. A girl who wants to be an author someday. A girl who loves her Savior. And a girl who just loves to read.