The Young Elites: A Book Review - Reading List

The Young Elites: A Book Review

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The Young Elites

Marie Lu

The other side of the story, or rather, the vantage of the villain, seems to be the fad story to tell right now.  My guess is Disney somehow started this fad, what with the focus of villains in their hit show Once Upon a Time taking a look into the villains back stories this past season and then The Descendants book and movie captured young teens this summer.  It only makes sense that the literary community would be on this train as well... I mean there is a whole slew of books for kids that look into the vantage of the villain.

I personally have gone back and forth on this technique.  But since I enjoyed Lu's Legend trilogy, I figured I'd give this new book a shot.

The Young Elites  by Marie Lu  A Book Review on Reading List

Story Overview 

Adelina survived the blood fever as a child, when so many others did not.  She grows up in a world where life is hard, and getting harder, especially for her.  While she is physically scarred, she is also finding out the fever left behind a power she has no idea how to control. As her father's abuse escalates Adelina flees, and finds herself in a group of other fever survivors, The Young Elites**.  Teren pulls Adelina into the society and tries to guide her in her new life. However, it doesn't take long for Adelina's abilities to attract the attention of Enzo, a leader in a special sect - The Dagger Society- which further pulls her into this world she is fearful of. Through a series of events Adelina learns to slowly control her new found gifts, but will it be in time to help Enzo, or will everything fall apart, as it always seems to. 

Personal Likes

Lu is incredibly gifted in creating characters that seem so real.  Her masterpieces in this particular story are Teren and Enzo.  Both of these characters are complex and full.  They capture the readers attention fully, and honestly kept me turn pages long after I should have turned off the lights.

Adelina, the main character, has an intense background.  She survived a horrible disease only to find herself the brunt of her father's hate and abuse.  There is no wonder why she ran, or why her abilities are so twisted and dark.  I kept hoping that she would catch a break, find love, want to rise above. That just wasn't Lu's goal with this story.

Quote from The Young Elites by Marie Lu  A Book Review feature on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

This is one very dark book.  It honestly is the making of a villain, plain and simple.  Still I had hoped something would happen, but ***SPOILER ALERT*** it doesn't really.  Adelina is too deeply scarred by her father's hate to turn around.  She spirals out of control to the pit and her powers reflect that.

The bullying and abuse of Adelina's childhood are difficult to read. So if you are not into stories that contain such story lines you might want to skip this one all together.

It comes down to the fact that I want my books to end well, not with a horrible death scene that cements a villain's course for this anti-hero.

Reasons to Read

For those who simply love the "other side" of the story, this book could be very interesting.   So often characters go through a horrible chain of events, but end up finding their happy ending, but this book is the exact opposite.  Mostly, this is nothing like anything else I've read in years, in fact I can't come up with another.  Maybe Shelley wrote some points that echo this, but that's only a maybe.  So if you are looking for something different, this is your book.

Also, as a dark fiction, this book gives a good reason to need light, hope.  It is amazing how bright gold can be when it's next to black - when was the last time you reminded yourself of the opposite side?

Reading List Rating

Three heart rating on  Reading List

I so wanted to give this a great rating, but I can only get it a three heart rating.  It was very well written, and I could see a big audience for this story.  Personally I am on the fence for the sequel that is scheduled to come out soon. 

My Suggested Audience

While this is found in the Teen section in the stores, I would suggest a mature audience for this one.  Teens that can understand the evil side of the world, could handle this, but there is a ton of death, darkness and abuse in this one.  Young adults might be the best audience out there.

I could see many adults getting into this series.  The characters are well established and there is a refreshing side to the newness of the whole perspective.  Especially dystopian and science fiction fans will enjoy this read, no matter their age. 

How would you define an Anti-Hero? Can you give an example? @Reading_List1

Anti-hero is defined as a central character in a story who lacks conventional heroic attributes.  A dark hero is one who displays no heroic abilities, yet ultimately sides with good.  Do you have any examples of either hero type? Would you teach these character types to your kids? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

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