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The Young Elites | Marie Lu | Review

“Everyone has darkness inside them, however hidden.” 

I had known about this book for a little while before I read it. It was the announcement that it was going to be a movie that really made me make a conscious effort to find and read it. With all the hype I had heard/read about it I was ready for it to be amazing. And for the most part, it was.

"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 rumoured 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...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." - Good Reads

This isn't really a dystopian novel, although I thought it was before reading it. It's more a fantasy story, with magic and powers, and princes trying to take back their throne. It's about villains who are more than just the bad guy, and about a girl who isn't really a hero at all, at least not your typical one. Adelina is broken and hurt, and scarred, literally. But she's strong in her darkness and her pain, and she kicks some serious butt with her powers.

While easy enough to read, the way it was written was a little strange. Adeina's voice was in first person, but then there were the occasional chapters where the story was told from the perspective of Enzo, the leader of the Daggers, a secret society that aims to protect the Young Elites, and Teren, a young man searching for Adelina, and the 'villain' of the story...but the chapters are in third person. I guess it was so you heard their side of the story, but it wasn't as personal as Adelina's. It was well written, and, as I mentioned, easy to read and had great flow, it was just a little jarring at first jumping from first person to third, and then back again.

If you're after a young adult novel, with a dark fantasy feel, and characters who are magical and powerful, and a land wrought with conflict, pick up a copy of The Young Elites. The second in what will be a trilogy, The Rose Society, is due for release in October this year.

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