The Young Elites by Mary Lu

20821111Adelina 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. – Goodreads

So. I am clearly among the few who did not like this very much, and that’s alright. There were some positives for me, but for the most part, I did not enjoy this book. In fact, the only reason I finished is because of the cold, hard cash I laid down to download this.

I love books because I love the characters and the worldbuilding. For me, these two aspects of the book did not do it for me. Let me start with what I did like, though, before I touch on the parts I did not.

The magic was interesting. I liked the concept of the blood fever inducing magic effects in some kids. And the concept of a malfetto—a marked person who survived the illness—was neat, too. It did remind me of The Darkest Minds a tiny bit, probably because I just finished reading it…and it’s literally about kids who get sick and develop powers.

And now to the not so great.

I found 98% of the characters irritating as hell. The only two I liked were minor side characters—Rafaele and Gemma. I could not stand the main character, Adelina. She felt conceited, whiny, and selfish. The prince was even worse (and apparently, as described multiple times, has a voice like “velvet”, whatever the F that means).

I also had issues with the worldbuilding. The names for lands felt random, and nothing was really explained. Several animals popped up out of nowhere with no description or explanation. I didn’t feel that I had a clear picture of the city. I did, however, feel that the underground catacombs, the consort court and the Inquisitor’s Tower were described well.

In all, this book was definitely not for me. However, that doesn’t mean it won’t be for you—I would definitely tell folks to check it out for themselves, as I seem to be an outlier. I rated it a 2/5 on Goodreads.

L

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