The Young Elites by Marie Lu
There are no words on this universe to describe how much I love this novel. Flawless does not even begin to cover it.
Note: This review will contain a lot of quotes, because Marie Lu’s writing is incomparable, every sentence is stunning.
Let me start with our young protagonist, Adelina Amouteru. There are little things on this planet more fascinating than the inner workings of a villain’s mind.
To read a novel from the perspective of a villain was a very new experience for me, and I can tell you confidently that I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Adelina tries so hard to supress from herself, and everybody around her, that she enjoys people’s pain, that she thrives off of it.
“To my shame, excitement instead of horror wells up in my chest, and my fingertips tingle. My darkness is a building storm, black as the sky, the threads wind tight with tension and filling every crevice of my mind.”
Adelina is most definitely intended to be an anti-hero, and she does terrible things throughout the course of the novel, but I couldn’t see her as pure evil. It’s hard for me to see her as a criminal when I read her inner thoughts, and know of some of her darkest desires and fears, when I’ve been inside of her head.
Lu has miraculously managed to make me think of Adelina as a victim, instead of an offender. If I had gotten to read the entirety of The Young Elites in Teren’s perspective, I feel as though Lu could make me have had compassion for him, instead of the deep-seeded hatred that I now have for him.
I can still see the darkness inside of Adelina, a blind man could, and it definitely grew through the duration of the novel.
When she killed her father, she lost control of her power and she wanted him to die, but when she killed him, she panicked. She was frightened.
Fast-forward two hundred and fifty pages, she kills Dante. She is a merciless killer without remorse in those few paragraphs when she slowly and painfully ends his life.
CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT GUYS!! (Sorry for caps, I am a sucker for good character development in novels – it’s not so easy to come across).
OH MY GODS GUYS – THIS SCENE (is soooo amazing)
“Heat explodes inside me, flooding every vein in my body, a fire so intense that I can’t catch my breath. My mouth opens, gasping for air until he seizes my kiss back. The hand he uses to lift my chin now runs along the naked line of my jaw, careful and caressing, but even as he restrains his deadly abilities, I can sense the raw power churning under the surface.”
AND THAT’S ONLY A FRACTION OF THE SCENE.
Marie Lu’s writing is so incredible and engaging, I feel as though I am there, witnessing the story take place, instead of reading about it.
The way she weaves together all of the words is magical. No other word would suffice. Her writing is just pure magic.
Okay, next thing – the plot.
It was so incredibly engaging, and there was always something happening or about to happen, it kept me on the edge of my seat. I couldn’t put it down. I brought the novel with me everywhere. When I had to put it down I didn’t stop thinking about it. My mind would always wander back to the story.
Just, read this:
“We play together in the small garden behind our home, a blanket of green surrounded on all sides by an old, crumbling stone wall and a bright red gate with a rusty latch. How I love this garden. Over the walls climb blankets of ivy, and along the ivy bloom tiny white flowers that smell like fresh rain. Other flowers grow in bouquets along the wall’s edges, brilliant orange roses and cornflower patches, red oleander and grape-colored periwinkle, stalks of white lilies.”
Have you ever read anything so beautiful? No. No you have not. Simply because no one has ever written anything so beautiful.
Enzo’s death was definitely a very sad point in this novel, but also crucial to the plot. We needed him to die for Adelina to get cast out of The Dagger Society. I was actually spoiled for Enzo’s death when I first started this novel, so I knew it was coming. In some ways, I am definitely glad it was spoiled, otherwise I would’ve gotten a lot more attached to Enzo, and probably would have been a sobbing mess when he died. (I get very emotional when people I like die in novels).
I was still really attached to him though, he was a great character, and really intriguing. I was still quite upset when he died.
I was really surprised about Violetta’s powers. (I was also spoiled on this). Though I knew she was a Young Elite, it was a surprise to learn that her power was the same as Raffaele’s. I was under the impression that all Young Elites have different, unique powers.
I was really annoyed at Violetta when we – the readers – discovered that she had known she was a Young Elite since she was nine, but she never told anyone and let Adelina suffer alone.
Yes! An epilogue! I love epilogues and prologues – they’re quite possibly my favourite part of novels. And this was no exception.
I’m really intrigued by Maeve. She must be the malfetto that was referred to earlier in the novel, the one who can bring dead people back to life. I’m excited to see what the cost of doing that is. She’s brought her brother back, but she keeps him locked up and out of sight. I’m eager to find out why.
Maeve’s thoughts about Lucent are confusing me a bit. Were they friends? Or perhaps lovers? I’m hoping for the latter, as I’m a sucker for a good romance, and I feel as though YA fiction could have a bit more same-sex relationships.
This was a stunning beginning to the trilogy, and I cannot wait to read The Rose Society. Marie Lu is a creator of masterpieces.