Friday, December 12, 2014

Kaniesha Reviews: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Title: The Young Elites
Series: The Young Elites #1
Author: Marie Lu
Release date: October 7th 2014
Publisher: Putnam Books for Young Readers
Genres: fantasy, high fantasy, magic, dystopia
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 Young Elites is Marie Lu’s, author of the Legend trilogy, latest title. As a huge fan of her Legend trilogy, I anticipated her to write this one beyond my expectations. This was probably my mistake. I tend to be far more harsh when reviewing good authors (authors that I've read and liked already) than when reviewing debut authors. I honestly think that this is fair so prepare for my ranting and general disappointment regarding The Young Elites.

Now, if any of you were following Marie’s progress with The Young Elites prior to its release, you would know she was talking up the new main character, Adelina. She said things about how Adelina was all things bad and evil, but that she still loved her and loved writing her. I was waiting for this girl to come in, kick everyone’s ass and take names. Instead we got a girl that had minor anxiety attacks any time the “darkness inside her” flared up. Basically, she’s trying to reject it throughout the entire story and it’s ridiculous and annoying. It’s clear that this is going to be the main part of her personality, so what was the point of dragging out her - for lack of better words - failure for the entire book? Nothing about Adelina is redeeming -surely she deserves respect and love for just being a person and surviving but this is not what anyone wants to read of a main character in an action-oriented novel.

On to the actual conflict and plot: Adelina is a malfetto. Malfettos were created by a plague that swept through the country/continent/world. Some of those that survived the plague gained powers of some kind but they’re very rare. These are called the Young Elite. Of the hundreds, possibly thousands, of malfettos, there are only 4-5 Young Elite that Adelina is ever introduced to. So here we are with my second complaint: If there are so few with powers, why is literally everyone afraid of them? They’re not hurting anyone, they only use their powers to keep from dying in certain situations, so what’s the problem? Not only are they being hunted, but all malfettos are being killed, murdered, butchered in the streets. Problem number three: everyone who isn’t a malfetto hates malfettos because they ruined the economy. That’s it. That’s the only "logical" reason. So why did they support them through the recovery? Wouldn’t it have been easier to have let them suffer and die while the plague had its grip? Problems number four and five: I’m not going to get into because they’re spoilers. But trust me, they’re pretty bad.

Truthfully, this one just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t enjoy it because I was too busy wondering how any of it made sense or why things were happening. I was hoping for a brilliant story describing a dark, well developed female character but I didn’t get it. To be fair, this review is less of a review and more of me being a brat. I’ll probably check out the second in the series due to the ending of The Young Elites but I know to lower my expectations exponentially.

Rating: 3 of 5 stars

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