Series: The Young Elites #1
by Marie Lu
Published by Penguin Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
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 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.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it's Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they've never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: 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.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
So it’s been a bit of a recurring trope of the last few books i’ve read, where the female lead is imprisoned/intentionally kept down.
In the Young Elites, there was an epidemic called the “blood fever” that ravaged Kenettra. Those who survived are forever changed, both physically and internally. Some of the survivors started developing special abilities and they’re allied Young Elites. Society started calling the survivors, malfettos, which means marked.
Malfettos are treated very poorly, less than human. Adelina has it real bad with her dad. He was greedy and ambitious enough to try to benefit of having a malfetto for a daughter with special powers. He tried everything to try to bring out Adelina’s supposed powers, nothing worked and he eventually gave up.
Adelina is about to be sold to a married man to have her as a side piece or something and Adelina didn’t want that and so she set things up to run away before the deal goes through. She had almost made it when her dad caught up with her and in the struggle, Adelina uses her suppressed powers and kills him. She gets arrested and is set to be executed when she’s rescued at the last minute by the Dagger Society.
The Dagger Society is made up of Young Elites. It’s Enzo aka The Reaper, and their leader, who rescues her. At their hideout, she meets the rest of the Society and is eventually trained to try to get control of her powers.
All the while, Teren, the lead Inquisitor and a Young Elite, is out hunting down the Dagger Society and using Adelina to get to them. When Adelina’s sister, Violetta, went to Teren for help, he instead took her prisoner and used her to blackmail Adelina. As Adelina began to get control of her power, she got Enzo to allow her into the Society. She meant to spy on them and report to Teren but she couldn’t do it and in the end went up against Teren to rescue Violetta. Turns out that Violetta was also a young elite and she had been suppressing Adelina’s powers all along.
Adelina’s insecurities and distrustfulness ends up getting her kicked out of the Dagger Society once it was know that she had been spying for Teren even if she never really reported back to him. It also costs them something big and at the end, they’re all on the run.
My takeaway from the story is to not be so judgmental without knowing where a person comes from. The whole nature/nurture thing really played a big role here. Also shows that even when someone is troubled, if they’re shown sympathy and are given a safe space, they don’t have to end up even more troubled or cause anyone grievances. Another thing, communication is key. Had they all communicated better, a lot of the things that went wrong could’ve been avoided.