Reviews

The Young Elites, by Marie Lu

geo_ix's review against another edition

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5.0

I really enjoyed this? To me the writing didn’t feel dated like some of these older YA books can be.

The main character isn’t exactly likeable but she grew on me? I liked the twists & that this was actually quite dark for YA, and I’m super interested in continuing!

demetria_books01's review against another edition

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4.25

Ta książka jest przerażająca. Nie ma w niej ani krzty humoru, żartu, czy jakiejkolwiek ironii. Jest pełna patosu i wzniosłości. Jedyne emocje, jakie przedstawia to strach, wściekłość, ból, żal i tęsknota. Świat w niej przedstawiony jest dosłownym piekłem na ziemi, pełnym okrucieństwa i niesprawiedliwości. Doceniam pomysłowość autorki, w końcu nie jest łatwo wykreować świat od podstaw, tym bardziej jeśli ma się do dyspozycji jedynie dwa podstawowe odcienie rzeczywistości. Mimo to... powieść w tak depresyjnym nastroju to dla mnie trochę za dużo. Książka dogłębnie mnie poruszyła, momentami wywołując złość, irytację, a nawet chęć mordu ( to się tyczy niektórych bohaterów). Wiem, że jest to opowieść fantastyczna, ale były takie momenty, gdy cały ten świat i brutalność z nim związana zdawały się zadziwiająco prawdziwe.

Kiedyś, z czystej ciekawości przeczytałam recenzję tej książki, w której to ktoś stwierdził, iż największym antagonistą, największym złem jest główna bohaterka. Ja to odbieram trochę inaczej. Sama Adelina nie jest złą osobą- współczuje, kocha, uparcie szuka w ludziach dobra. To realia tego świata, zaraza i jej konsekwencje tak ją ukształtowały, że nie panuje nad gniewem i tak jak ojciec czerpie z bólu i rozpaczy radość. Według mnie jest jedyną, prócz swojej siostry, pozytywną postacią. Czytając, zastanawiałam się dlaczego daje się tak łatwo wykorzystywać i oszukiwać. Było mi jej okropnie żal. Potem dopiero zdałam sobie sprawę, że ona tak naprawdę nigdy nie doświadczyła takich uczuć jak miłość, czy przyjaźń. Dodatkowo, ta dziewczyna była w moim wieku! Wbrew wszystkiemu szesnaście lat to wcale nie tak dużo i pod wieloma względami Adelina wciąż była dzieckiem.
Polowanie na ludzi Malfetto skojarzyło mi się z wyłapywaniem Niezgodnych. Malfetto również zabijano, tylko w o wiele gorszy sposób. Nie ważne, czy byłeś dzieckiem, czy nastolatkiem wchodzącym w dorosłość, jeśli miałeś jakieś niezwykłe zdolności, palono cię na stosie jak wiedźmy w średniowieczu. Nawiasem mówiąc, czasy przedstawione w książce odrobinę owo średniowiecze przypominały- mamy tu króla, królową, Inkwizycję, ect.

Już w jednym z pierwszych rozdziałów mamy scenę, w której to ojciec sprzedaje swoją córkę pewnemu szlachcicowi, by móc spłacić swoje długi, a kiedy ta ucieka, chce ją zabić. Od razu przypomniałam sobie podobną sytuację w ,,Córce Kleopatry". Tam jednak ojciec przegrywa walkę w sądzie o swoje dziecko, a dziewczyna zostaje uznana przez przekupionych sędziów za niewolnicę, własność jakiegoś bogacza. Zrozpaczony mężczyzna podcina córce gardło. Woli ją zabić, niż skazać na taki los. Robi to, bo ją kocha. Dwa podobne przykłady sytuacyjne, dwóch ojców i tak różne reakcje. Oba te przykłady pozwalają zrozumieć, czym jest, a raczej czym powinna być prawdziwa rodzicielska miłość.

Jeśli chodzi o wygląd książki - każdy nowy rozdział rozpoczynał piękny, duży inicjał, co niesamowicie mi się podobało. Poza tym, autorka dołączyła na samym początku mapkę świata, który stworzyła. Uwielbiam mapki, więc daję za to wielki, wielgaśny plus.

Podsumowując, ,,Malfetto: Mroczne Piętno" to niezwykła, choć okrutna powieść. Mam problem z jej ocenieniem. Jak już mówiłam jestem zdecydowaną przeciwniczką tak dużej ilości negatywnych emocji w książkach, dlatego też postanowiłam obniżyć ocenę o jeden punkt w dół.

jherrick_'s review

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5.0

Okay, first off I have to say that this is the first YA fantasy/dystopian to make me cry. Of course I've gotten teary during really sad parts of books (The Bronze Horseman, The Fault in Our Stars), but I've never actually shed tears because of a book. The ending of this one though!! It seriously got to me. Basically the whole book Adelina has felt alone, and unwanted all because of her cruel, evil father, and then at the end basically everyone leaves her, including the one person she thought she could actually trust. That really got to me, and the way it was written and the emotions, it was amazing.
Moving past that, I think Marie Lu is an amazing author, and I loved the Legend series, although the end bugged the crap out of me, and this book was just as good as I expected. I loved the way the kids got their powers (kind of similar to The Darkest Minds, no?) it was so dark and mysterious. And I always love a girl with a little bit of a dark side to her as I've said before. Adelina definitely fit this category. I'm still not sure how I feel about Enzo... especially with what happened to him. I usually root for the love interest, but I just wasn't sure if they were right together.
And then we get to the Epilogue, and holy crap! I seriously can't wait for the next book to find out what happens! That sneaky Lucent! Who knew she was so important. I really want to find out who the new Elite's are, and what powers they all have!
Basically, I can't say enough about this book. I loved it, thought it was great, and now wish I had bought it instead of borrowed it from the library. Might have to buy it anyways!

raylawler's review

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2.0

I listened to this. It wasn’t for me, but I could see why people would like it. There was way too much flowery language and romance for me and I didn’t really care for the story. The narrator also bugged me. I gave it 2 instead of 1 star because it wasn’t poorly written. Just not my cup of tea.

sarahrara's review against another edition

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3.0

Also published on my blog.

I’ll start by saying that this review in particular comes down to personal preference and that I feel like the story warrants a higher rating, I just didn’t really care for it personally. I probably should just give up on YA fantasy as there are just SO many books out there in this category that the chance of finding ones I really enjoy and connect with is really slim. But there’s also so many intriguing premises and reviews that I keep getting sucked in…

So, this story is set in a world that seems vaguely inspired by Italy (at least Kenettra does) in language and scenery, but it’s also magical and filled with exotic creatures and people with special abilities. While I really liked the world and could visualise it, it wasn’t a fun place to be as the story is pretty much only dark. There are basically no light moments, no jokes, and very little hope. And that’s just not my jam.

Adelina Amouteru is a malfetto, a term used to describe the survivors of a horrible blood fever that swept through her world, killing lots and maiming many more. Malfettos are by many seen as inferior and treated badly, and they all have some kind of marking from having been ravaged by the fever and are therefore often easily identifiable. However, some malfettos have manifested special powers (creating rain or fire or illusions, manipulating air or animals to name a few) and are part of the group that is referred to as The Young Elites. The Young Elites are mysterious, with hidden identities and are feared and revered in almost equal measures.

A small group of The Young Elites form The Dagger Society, who aim to overthrow the king. The king in his turn has The Inquisition Squad at his disposal – seeking to hunt down and destroy the elites who are an obvious threat to his rule. Adelina gets caught up in the dagger society and learns to use and grow her power of weaving illusions, with disastrous consequences.

I have no problem with morally ambiguous protagonists and really enjoy them when they’re well-written, deep and complex. Unfortunately I felt this was not the case with Adelina. She has lived a life of abuse and deprivation, starved of love, so you can absolutely see why she would have all this darkness in her. My problem was that I felt that was all there was to her. Darkness, hurt, ambition and vengeance. The whole thing about her having good in her didn’t really come through, in my opinion. And mainly because of that I found her kind of two-dimensional and struggled to connect with her. Admittedly there’s also a lot about her alignment with power and ambition, and I just don’t find those things terribly interesting. At least there has to be a compelling reason behind the ambition and the need for power, and here I didn’t really see one.

I enjoyed the world building and that each chapter started with a little quote from an in-world book or document – that was a nice touch. But story- and character-wise this book just didn’t quite work for me.

But if you’re looking for a story of darkness and death and a struggle for power set in an interesting fantasy world then this could certainly fit the bill.

crimsonrogue's review

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4.0

After reading a couple books that never really clicked with me, the Young Elites was such a welcome change that I finished it in two days. This book takes YA fiction to a darker place that few books go to. The main character, Adelina, is flawed but compelling, and throughout the book you see her ambition, pain, and thirst for revenge pull her away from that shining light of perfection and goodness that so many novels trap their main characters in. This book features dynamic characters who show realistic struggles with their own situations. The Young Elites highlights that things are not always Good vs. Evil, the world is not black and white, and morality is often cast in grays.

The setting was wonderfully enjoyable, with heavy influence from renaissance Italy, which I quite enjoyed. The romance is not forced, nor does it take over the story, but is still very enjoyable. The imagery was very well done, and I overall really liked this book. It is not perfect, but it is a very promising start to the trilogy, with twists and turns I did not predict. I can't wait to read the sequel, and will be getting it tomorrow! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a dark YA fantasy novel.

evee88's review

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4.0

Wow this book is so contraversal. And wow did I love it.
Honestly, this is going to be the trashiest review ever, because legit I haven't done this is SO LONG. But I decided to start again with this book, because wow. Just wow.
Let's start with the beg, as all good books start. So we meet Adelina who I can only describe as probably youre darkest alter ego imaginable. Like 10x all your evil thoughts and 10x your will to do them. She's crazy, but a part of you sympathizes with her and thinks, its ok, it's going to get better. I feel like the best representation of her is with the And Then I Darken's main character Lada Dragwlya. They're both just so twisted in their minds that your like WOW GIRL YOU HAVE PROBLEMS. BUT THAT'S SO INTERESTING I MUST READ ON. That was the whole vibe of this book for me. I'm not going to lie, there was a lot of parts were I was like... she shouldn't be doing this omg so controversial nuuuuuuuu. But it sure did make the plot vv vv interesting.
Since we're going be talking about plot, might as well start with the ship. So the ship was probably like 30% of the book, but I found it interesting so I'm talking about it first lol. Unlike Marie Lu's other series, the ship is VV VV SLOW (Cough cough Warcross was insta) but you knew it was coming. To the point I totally expected it and was like HURRY UP OML. I don't know if she tried to do the love triangle thing but it didn't work out if she did. bUt OmG mY feEliNgS. ;(((((((((((((((((
So here's the spoilery section because I don't know how to describe this book without just full on ranting about all its spoilery bits. Let's just say ish goes down and no one is prepared for it.
One point I really liked about this book was the diversity. The book was very open about consorts which is a touchy subject, and was a bit romanticized, but overall not bad. There was plenty of acknowledgement of sexuality and the book had many diverse characters when it comes to the regions of the world. When it comes to representation I would give this book a solid 4.5/5. It really impressed me, but Marie Lu always does so ;)))))))))
But here's my warning:
If you're going to read this book, HATE EVERYONE IM NOT KIDDING LIKE HATE EVERYONE. Otherwise you'll end up sad and disappointed like me ;((((((((((.
Spoiler Basically everyone she thought was her friend wasn't. I'm not going to lie, she was problematic af and I would've turned on her too, but in a twisted way I rooted for her to change and become one of those amazing heroes like everyone else. I wanted that for her, and was SO SAD THAT DIDN'T HAPPEN OAHDSI. What made me the most shook was Raffaele. I loved him sm as a character. Like aosdihfaoidsfhaoihfds HE WAS LEGIT ONE OF MY FAVS. He was just so gentle with Adelina that I thought FOR SURE HE TRUSTED HER. But he was just like everyone else, and in the craziest way in some forms he was actually the real leader, not anyone else. tWisTeD. Oh, and Teren being an Elite? didn't see that coming AT ALL. Made the plot like 10x more interesting as he legit can heal himself asap and block out powers like aohdsoifhaf THAT'S SO COOL AND SO BAD FOR US. I'm totally team Adelina even though I know I'm technically not suppose to be ;)))))))). I see so much pain for myself in the future wow cry. THE MOST HORRIBLE THING TO HAPPEN IN THIS BOOK WAS ENZO DYING. LIKE HELLO? WHY? NOT OK. HE WAS PERFECTLY OK TO STAY ALIVE THANK YOU VERY MUCH! AND YES I AM VV EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED. WHAT ABOUT MY SHIP MARIE LU?!?!?! Ok but in reality he's probs going to come back to life (he better oml) because of the epilogue in the back. I swear if he's dead for real I'm legit quitting. Ah and Violetta is an Elite as well. Which is so useful like wow love her. If she dies I'm quitting pt 2. That new girl better save them all from dying like if that girl dies asodifhoiahfdoi. I'm not ok, this review is so trashy I'm so sorry for whoever reads this.

Overall I want to give this book a 4/5. Maybe just for how interesting this book was because I finished it in a good 5 sittings. the main character made me want to scream yet I loved her sm. I'm definitely going to take advantage of the fact that this whole series is out and binge it. Pray for me I'm gonna get hurt ;))))))))))

bookswmoony's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional mysterious sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

sarahgreads's review

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2.0

Agh, disappointing. Like other reviewers who didn't love this book, I started out really excited about the story -- there was so much potential! But it quickly fell short. By the end, I was disgusted by the shallow characters and disappointed to feel completely unfulfilled by the book. I was particularly exhausted by attempts to make the main character into some kind of likable, understandable antihero. No, she was completely ridiculous with shallow selfishness and bloodlust. That could have been pulled off, but not here. But props to some interesting twists and turns along the way. At first, I thought I would be itching to get my hands on the next book -- the wait would feel so long! -- but by the end I realized I wouldn't be going on from here. :/

anabelscorner's review

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4.0

Oh that Epilogue! Can't wait to see what happens in the next book!!! More characters, so many possibilities!