Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Release Date: 7th October 2014
This book really exceeded my expectations! I’ll be honest, I only bought it because the whole trilogy was on offer for £5 as a bundle and I’m weak, but I’m really glad now! I chose this book for the ‘book with a weapon on the cover’ challenge for the #TheReadingQuest readathon (TBR here). It really is perfect for a readathon because it is definitely fast-paced, fairly short, and the writing isn’t something you need to think too hard about.
The Young Elites follows a girl called Adelina, who is a survivor of a plague that spread through her land.
However, surviving the plague isn’t a good thing. Those who do pull through – Malfettos – end up with markings on their body, and some develop powers. These are called Elites. Because of this, there is a lot of prejudice towards Malfettos and resistance groups of Elites are set up. Adelina finds one of these groups called the Dagger Society, and the book goes from there.
What I loved most about this book was how dark it was. I don’t mean that it is gruesome or particularly brutal, but the main theme is the battle between good and bad within a person, and where a person’s moral limitations lie.
Adelina was a brilliant character to demonstrate this. The vibe I got from her was that she was the morally grey, bad girl side-character we all love but as a protagonist. Some of Adelina’s actions are horrific and she accepts that, but doesn’t have the same level of remorse and guilt other ‘good’ characters have to feel.
Another aspect of Adelina’s character I loved was how power was one of her main motivations, and she admitted that to herself. The side characters also acknowledge this and see her for the dangerous, powerful person she is. I haven’t come across many main characters like this in YA fiction, especially female characters. Her instinct isn’t just to survive, but to hurt and rise above where anyone thought possible.
It just felt so refreshing because it was so unpredictable. I honestly didn’t know what Adelina was going to do next and I have to say, I loved how this ended. I know she isn’t a character I should be rooting for because she is more of antagonist than protagonist at this point but I want her to take over the world. I would kneel!
I will definitely be reading the second book in the trilogy and will have a review up when I finish. In the next one, I’m looking for maybe more world-building and development of side characters a little bit more than in this book.
Have you read The Young Elites? Let me know and we can discuss!