Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Thoughts on The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The last two sentences in the description explain this book very well: “It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.” If this sort of dark, evil power is something you enjoy in a main character, this book is all for you. I, however, am not in that boat.


Series: The Young Elites, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopia

Format: Audiobook, Narrated by Carla Corvo and Lannon Killea

Rating: 2.5 stars


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.


The last two sentences in the description explain this book very well: “It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.” If this sort of dark, evil power is something you enjoy in a main character, this book is all for you. I, however, am not in that boat. I found it very hard to sympathize with Adelina, the main character, since her power is controlled and fueled by other people’s fear. In fact, I never really felt connected with any of the characters, even the more “good” ones.

The ending of the book was also a disappointment, since Adelina seems to end up in a situation no better or different from the one she began with at the beginning. This really emphasized my feelings that there was no real plot or goal that drove The Young Elites. 

However, the book does revolve around a very unique and interesting magic idea, that magical powers can be brought on my disease, leaving the survivor with a marking and a power unique from everyone else’s. I love how the theme of magic can be taken in so many different directions, and this was one I’d never contemplated before. In addition, the themes we have seen historically of witch hunts and the inquisition are seen in this book as well, a haunting path of discrimination and murder.

Although I had been considering reading Legend before this book was published, despite it not being a genre I tend to enjoy, The Young Elites has shown me that Marie Lu is not worth my time. Initially, I thought I’d enjoy the fantasy aspects of The Young Elites, but the world-building, characters, and plot were not too my liking, so I will not be continuing with this series.

This book counts for the School YA Bingo Challenge. 


6 comments on “Gwen’s Thoughts on The Young Elites by Marie Lu

  1. lilajune
    January 17, 2015

    So… I was/am one of those who would bend over backwards to get the Legend Series into someone’s hands… that being said: TYE didn’t do it for me either…

    As a Lu fan I will probably continue with this series (in my opinion the Legend series improved with every book so I am holding out hope) but this book was sadly just not as clean or thought provoking as Legend.

    • gwenkate
      January 17, 2015

      Interesting… okay so I’ll not cross Legend completely off the list, and maybe look into the following books in TYE. But I just didn’t love the characters or plot or idea very much. Anyway, thanks for the input! I appreciate your comment! ~Gwen

      • lilajune
        January 17, 2015

        Hahaha yeah…I didn’t particularly like them either and I felt a little bad about that as a Lu fan!! But they just weren’t particularly likable and the relationships were not believable.

        If Legend isn’t your genre than ah well…but…i assure you the character development in the series is SO much better, the emotional stakes are higher and the characters have heart. :)

      • gwenkate
        January 17, 2015

        Alright thanks so much! You’ve convinced me. I’ll definitely keep Legend on the to-be-read list :-) ~Gwen

  2. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge: BINGO!! (#1) | Gwen & Kate's Library

  3. Pingback: School YA Bingo Challenge FINALE!! | Gwen & Kate's Library

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2015 by in Author: Gwen, Review, Young Adult and tagged , .
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