Melanie's Musings
January 13, 2015

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

 

The Young Elites is the origin story of a villain. It is set in an alternate fantasy version of Renaissance Italy. After the equivalent of the Black Death sweeps through the world, a few survivors come out of the illness with supernatural powers. The [story of the] main character, Adelina, chronicles her downfall into darkness (from Marie Lu’s tumblr).

 
Raised eyebrows was my response when hearing that The Young Elites was the story of a villain. After all, I like to root for my heroes to slay the villain from the beginning of the story to the end.

On the other hand, I’m fascinated by the complexity of humanity. The ferocity we use to protect ourselves, and sometimes those we love.

Protecting herself is in part, if not in entirety, what Adelina is trying to do. From her overbearing father who wants rid of her. The government who wants to kill her. The people who want to use her. From herself.

The story’s multiple viewpoints reveal what drives many of the characters, showing that the line between strong leadership and deceitful manipulation can be too easily crossed.

A harrowing quote: I will find you all. I will use everything in my power to save your souls. I was born to destroy you (p 119).

Though I found the writing awkward in a handful of places, with phrases that sounded thoroughly too modern for a “fantasy version of Renaissance Italy,” the the complicated characters and storyline made it a worthwhile read. Twisted love, a yearning to be accepted, and a power too strong to control collide in Adelina.

As much as I love stories of redemption, I’m unsure if The Young Elites will ultimately be one of them. Regardless, I can’t wait to find out a bit more in The Rose Society, The Young Elites #2.

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Posted by Melanie at 8:48 am - Comments (8)
Categories: book review

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Comments

  • January 13th 2015
    Serena said:

    I am an odd duck, and love hearing about the complex darker emotions and tendencies of humanity!

    [Reply]

  • January 14th 2015

    I love twisted romances when they’re done right. But see heroes/villains are subjective, it’s all in he perception. Haven’t read this one yet, but I’m not as worried as I was before about it. :)

    [Reply]

  • January 14th 2015
    Lindsey said:

    It’s certainly an interesting choice to focus on a villain. But many authors make their characters too simplistic – all good or all bad – so it’s great to read about people who don’t necessarily think they are bad, even if we do.

    [Reply]

  • January 14th 2015
    Sandh said:

    I still need to read her legend trilogy! and I did not know that this book was about the villain. interesting…

    [Reply]

  • January 14th 2015

    I enjoyed this too :) although I did expect it to be darker. And the betrayal and secrecy kind of annyoing me; déjà vu!!!! Curious about book two too though! Nice review!

    [Reply]

  • January 21st 2015
    Veronika said:

    I’ve yet to read anything by Marie Lu, though my friend is a HUGE fan of her Legend trilogy and keeps trying to convince me to finally give a shot to Lu’s books. I’m not that sure The Young Elites is exactly for me because I keep seeing mixed reviews around but I’ll give it a chance.
    Great review!

    [Reply]

  • February 10th 2015
    Cynthia said:

    This is a book that I have actually been looking forward to reading. It had been on my TBR for a while. I loved her Legend series. Great review. Sorry you didn’t enjoy it a bit more.

    [Reply]

  • February 11th 2015

    I agree with you about looking forward to the next book (I have to admit, I wasn’t sure about it, but the epilogue sold me!) As for the story of a villain thing… I just don’t think Adelina IS a villain. I think she’s broken, and does bad stuff, but she isn’t a villain to me, which I think is what threw me off from the story a bit. Very nice review, and I hope we both enjoy The Rose Society!

    [Reply]