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Author Redemption | Book Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

If you’re looking for a great new debut series to sink into, The Young Elites is where its at.

Book Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Goodreads | The Young Elites | Marie Lu’s Website

the young elites marie lu book review

Title & Author: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Genre: Young Adult – Fantasy

Release Date: October 7, 2014

Series: The Young Elites #1

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.”

Back With a Vengeance

Even after not really loving Marie Lu’s Legend series as much as everyone else, I still found myself attracted to The Young Elites.

The premise was intriguing (after a deadly fever sweeps the land, the survivors are physically marked and have developed strange powers), and I was in the mood to start a new fantasy series, so I jumped in.

And, boy am I glad I did. The Young Elites is a total redemption for me and Marie Lu.

Adelina, the main character whose powers suddenly appear years after the fever, is kind of a bad guy. I didn’t see that coming! While she’s fiery and strong like many YA heroines, she’s tempted by the darkness of her power (conjuring horrifying apparitions) and its threat to consume her.

The writing style was very unusual. The story is mostly told from Adelina’s point of view, but there are a few chapters told from other characters’ perspectives. In those chapters, the story shifts into a third-person, past tense voice that I found interesting if a little odd.

Oh, and did I mention that this is a kissing book? Cuz it totally is and it is GREAT. I’ll leave it at that…

I really enjoy it when fantasy books that have a lot of magic make sure to ground the story in issues around the human condition. Adelina has always struggled with needing acceptance from her father, which impacts her life and her future decisions. Using this largely relatable problem, I felt that much more connected to Adelina and her development.

The Young Elites is pretty dark. A lot darker than I was expecting, any way. Plus, the darkness sometimes came out of nowhere. Like shifting alliances that seemed so off. I think this is part of the master series plan, but at the end of the book, I was confused as to what was happening between a few different characters.

Beside that, though, the ending GRIPPED ME. I was totally enthralled and now totally hooked on what will happen next. This is definitely a series to bump up on your TBR list.


I am so happy I read this book. It’s more than I was expecting, and this looks to be a very promising series. Mixing dark powers with the powerful grip of ambition, toe-curling romance and the need for acceptance, The Young Elites is a book you’ll want to make sure you read sooner rather than later.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Kayla @ The Thousand Lives

    Kissing book, you say? If i wasn’t already beyond excited to read the copy I have, then that would be the final push I needed 😉 But as it is – I really can’t wait to get into it!

  • Lisa Schensted

    Ahhhhh I can’t wait for this one!!!

  • This sounds wonderful! I didn’t care for Legend at all, but I ended up enjoying the series more as it continued. It would be nice to start enjoying Lu’s newest series right from the beginning, however, and this just sounds so unique and fascinating. Great review!