The Young Elites by Marie Lu

As a huge fan of Marie Lu and her Legend series, I was really looking forward to The Young Elites. However, it wasn’t what I expected and I don’t know how to feel about it.

20821111 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.

This story was filled with desperate and damaged characters, elaborate world-building and magic powers. I was devouring each tense encounter, action scene and emotional moment and then I reached the end. The twist (was it really a twist?) made my heart drop to the ground. As a lover of happy ever after, I knew not to expect it completely but come on, give me a little hope here!

You see, this book isn’t about a hero/heroine. It’s almost the origin story of a villain; one that was easy to like and relatable. I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone and give too much away but the main character stole my heart and then broke it into a million pieces. She is both victim and instigator, Innocent and guilty. I want to see what else happens in her story but I was left with a bad taste in my mouth based on the ending. Is there room for redemption in this story? As a reader, do I want that? Is that where this story should go? I’m not sure. I’ll probably give the sequel a chance because I love Marie Lu but I’m uneasy about this series.

STARS: 3.5 out of 5

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