Marie Lu isn't a new author to me. I read the entire Legend trilogy last year and highly enjoyed it. In fact, I've made 4 other friends read it since. One of whom now owns the entire series as a birthday gift. But I'm getting off track here. The point is, I've read Marie's work before and thought that it was always really great and really fast paced. I've also always enjoyed her character descriptions, something I think she does quite fantastically. So when I found out that she was coming out with The Young Elites, I immediately freaked out and texted my friend. I'm pretty sure I spammed him with messages and pictures of the book before it was published.
I pre-ordered it and was super excited when it came, but then put it off because I heard several other people say that the ending made them want the next book immediately. I managed to put it off for six months, then I caved and read it, knowing that it was going to be great.
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
A blood fever has swept through all the lands, killing any adult that is infected. The only people who come out of the blood fever alive are children. Some are fine, but others are marked, becoming outcasts.
Rumors swirl that certain marked childrenhave strange abilities, belonging to a group known as The Young Elites.
Adelina Amouteru has been marked by the blood fever. Her hair and lashes have turned silver and she has a scar where her left eye used to be. Her father believes that she is an abomination, ruining the family. But all Adelina wants is to be accepted.
When the Young Elites find Adelina, she begins to discover a life that could potentially be more than she ever wanted. But is she safe and can she trust the Young Elites?
When this came out, there was a lot of hype around it. Mostly because it was a new Marie Lu book and this time, it was fantasy. But then, there came a number of mixed reviews. Some people really loved it, while others thought it was mediocre. However, that didn't stop me from having high expectations and knowing that I would love the book.
I didn't actually know a whole lot about this when I went into it. I refused to read the synopsis, and all I knew was that Adelina had been affected by the blood fever and that her hair was silver and she was missing an eye. That was it. That was all I knew before I started reading this.
Right from the start, I was hooked on the plot. It didn't take me long to get completely absorbed into the storyline, and I finished this pretty quickly. I read this while commuting to and from work and a couple of other places, but I read the majority of this book while going to work. Which was probably a bad idea because al I wanted to do was read this and not teach little kids.
While the story isn't super complex or has a crazy fantasy world, it is interesting and complex enough to consider it a fantasy world. I would say that this is a pretty good book if you're just starting out with fantasy and don't want to dive into something complex like Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson or Throne of Glass by Sarah J Maas.
I really loved the plot and the direction of the book, and especially the setup for the second book, The Rose Society, which is coming out on October 6, 2015. The ending made me want the sequel immediately and I kind of regret that I read it in public because I wanted the freedom to freak out and flail around a bit without being judged for disorderly conduct in a train. Once I was done with it, I wondered how I was possibly going to wait patiently until The Rose Society came out, and I've determined that I'm not going to wait patiently. I'm going to pre-order the sequel and wait in jittering anticipation.
One thing that I've heard a few people say about this book is that they had a hard time connecting to Adelina, the main character. I didn't have that problem at all. In fact, I connected with her quite easily and loved her throughout the book. Maybe I'm just a fan of darker main characters, but I'm not really one for the protagonists who are always happy-go-lucky or super positive all the time. I like a more realistic main character, and I felt like Adelina had every right to be the way she was, especially when you get to know her backstory.
I loved the way that Marie Lu established the love story here. I loved Adelina love interest and I'm really looking forward to seeing what Marie does with these characters in the next book!
5 stars and so highly recommended. I'm going to make a few of my friends read this, though I'll probably warn them that the sequel won't be out for another 5 months. And even then, they'll have to wait for me to get the book and read it before I lend it to them.
But yes, I encourage you all to pick this up and give it a try.