Saturday, 18 March 2017

The Young Elites- Marie Lu BOOK TALK

*** (3.5 stars)
This was so surprisingly good- much better than I thought it would be. I sped through it- it's such a quick read! I'd previously glimpsed at the book and thought it may get a bit confusing with all the different points of views but it was fine! The pacing was good and it definitely had the gripping factor to it.
I'd describe this book as a mix between Throne of Glass (Sarah J. Maas), The Darkest Minds (Alexandra Bracken) and The Winner's Curse (Marie Rutkoski). I noticed a few parallels between this book and Legend- Lu's other trilogy- but not enough that it overly bothered me.
The Young Elites follows a society where young people who have survived a disease have developed powers (see the obvious instant link with The Darkest Minds?) and these malfettos are discriminated against in society. When Adelina is sentenced to death for a crime that was not her fault, she discovers her powerful abilities and searches to find how to control them- encountering a society of Young Elites.
The thing I loved most about this book was how dark our protagonist was. Protagonists are normally so selfless and heroic but Adelina has a deep evil streak which I love!!!

I'm going to start with a mini rant to get my feelings of Adelina known!
There's a bit of controversy on Adelina because many people don't like her. I personally think the complete opposite. I love her- how evil she is and how dark her character is. I love it because it's original. Most protagonists are so self-righteous and heroic but Adelina? She is problematic and she is human! She is evil. She is dark. And she is gritty. Her weakness isn't saving her friends (I'm looking at you, Percy) or being stupidly selfish (Tris, you know what you did). Adelina's weakness is the dark parts of herself consuming her and I admire that! Sure, killing makes her feel good but... we have plenty of time for character development and it will be epic!
I feel like I aligned so many of these characters with others. Adelina, for example, was totally Celaena Sardothian (Throne of Glass) in my mind but with less sass. Enzo was the Chaol (Throne of Glass) character completely- he has walls built up, trains her and slowly warms to the protagonist. This may've put a lot of people off but, I love Chaol and so, liked Enzo!!

And, finally, Rafaelle was Kenji (Shatter Me) in my head which is totally bizarre but can you see it? Can you??
I loved Adelina's power of illusion- it's definitely the power I'd want (either that or fire). I loved seeing how she learnt to use it until her epic illusion tricked her!!! (But we'll get onto that later). I can't wait for her to explore more about how to work and how to torture people with it! (Maybe I'm worryingly a bit like Adelina.)
I liked Enzo and Adelina together but... the relationship seemed a bit forced for me- having a relationship just for the sake of including a love interest. We don't see enough of Enzo's lovable/teasing/vulnerable side to fully love him yet. He was a bit too cold and untouchable- making it difficult for me to really love the relationship growing.
I also found myself unsure of Enzo's true feelings. This Daphne chick is mentioned a lot and I think he's still hung up on her- apparently her and Adelina look alike? I just don't think Enzo and Adelina spent enough time or secrets together to be considered in love with each other!!
Yes, they shared a kiss or two but...they don't really know much about each other. They never really talked all that much, to be honest. Hence why the relationship felt forced. Case closed.
The fact that there was this whole idea for betrayal and inner turmoil is a bit cliché for me at this point. So many protagonists have secrets from their supposed friends when, in reality, the group could've helped her save Violetta if she'd just told them! This unwilling betrayal trope is a little old now!
I'm not sure how much I like the young elites- as in the group. They're essentially terrorists- killing innocents in order to make a statement. Having said that, they're better than Teren.
I'm a bit befuzzled on the point of Teren. He wants to kill malfettos... even though he is one? All for the queen who is most likely using him? Well, done, Teren, well done.
Dante is another problem person in this book. He's instantly represented as that jack-ass who's really jealous of the new girl. But, I understood everything he said! I don't think he was a major jerk- only a little one. None of his accusations about Adelina were wrong- he thought she was working with Teren? She was! He was spot on but Enzo was too busy making googly eyes to notice.
Am I happy he's dead? Well, I'm not sad. I loved seeing the darkness in Adelina come forward- it will make for a very interesting trilogy.
Adelina going all bad-ass illusionary in order to rescue Violetta was epic but why didn't she do that sooner? Before she had to betray all the Daggers?
I like that Violetta has powers. It may not be all too awesome but at least she'll be useful and not a constant burden to us.
I love that we saved Rafaelle!!!
And that dual! I loved how Adelina and Enzo worked together to defeat Teren but... it kind of backfired didn't it?
I can't believe that Enzo was killed. I gasped so loudly because you just don't expect the love-interest to die in the first book of the trilogy! I can see him coming back though because this Mauve chick is definitely bringing him back from the dead- no doubt.
I hated that Rafaelle sent Adelina away- that's not the best way to make her a better person. Now she'll be gunning for your asses too!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment your thoughts! Stay amazing!


  1. You should have heard me when Enzo died. I just kept repeating no no no no no no no no out loud. I am glad no one else was home else they'd think I am mad!- then again they are used to me shouting and crying over books.......

    1. I didn't really cry... is that bad? I wasn't a massive fan of Enzo to be honest.