Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Published by: Speak
Publication date: 25th August 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Dystopia, Magic, Fantasy
In a world where a fever killed thousands and left many physically marked a decade ago, there are a few that rise above the scorn and discrimination that they face from the public. They’re rumored to possess strange powers and have been aptly named the Young Elites. The corrupt government (always the corrupt government) is killing off Young Elites left, right and center, and our leading lady isn’t going to be treated any differently.
Adelina’s father is power hungry. He believes that malfettos show their strengths when in pain and after Adelina was left marked from the fever, he tormented her every day of her life. He played mind games with her, sometimes thinking if he was really kind it would bring out her powers and because Adelina was just a child, that he could use her to become powerful himself. ”I do this because I love you…You may not understand it right now, but it is for your own good. You are a monster. I still love you. I will set you right.” He eventually gives up and agrees to marry Adelina off to an old businessman and this is what finally sends Adelina over the edge of no return.
The Dagger Society is a secret group of Young Elites who seek out those who possess unworldly power, like themselves, before the Inquisition can kill them off. Their leader has a very specific vendetta against the government and ultimately they plan to overthrow it with the help of other Young Elites. But they’ve never seen someone with Adelina’s capabilities and each member of the Dagger Society has a different opinion of her and her powers, and whether or not she should be allowed to join them or even be spared her life.
Adelina desires utter destruction and turmoil, more than anyone ever should. ”My fury heightens. Everyone. They will cower at my feet, and I will make them bleed.” and ”On this night, I swear to you that I will rise above everything you’ve ever taught me. I will become a force that this world has never known. I will come into such power that none will dare hurt me again.” show her menacing, tortured character pretty well, if you ask me. It’s not even that she has a dark side. Adelina is just dark; and it’s kind of refreshing to read from the perspective of a character like herself.
I haven’t read many books where the main character is so flawed. There were times in this book were I was angry with Adelina and was about ready to throw the book across the room. And frankly, I give serious props to Marie Lu for creating such a warped character. In a book where everyone is a threat to be reckoned with, you can’t help but begin to wonder, is our main character, our eyes and ears, a villain, too?
It’s safe to say, I’m ready to devour the second book in this trilogy.