The Young Elites by Marie Lu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Young Elites is a different book in a lot of senses. Honestly, most of the time I was reading it I was thinking "this is, like, 3 stars max", but as the book progressed it improved to a solid 4 stars. Here's why!
Adelina is a brilliantly flawed protagonist. You pity, fear, adore, hate, and respect her all at once. She has <1% of a good experience throughout the entire book, haha! But watching her internal struggles and development throughout the story is intriguing. I would not say that I love or even relate strongly to Adelina, but I appreciated the chance to get to know a protagonist that's a little different to usual.
Raffaelle almost single-handedly pulled this book up to 4 stars for me. I loved that from the very start of the novel he was presented as a friend, and a relatively mild and non-threatening one at that... He seemed to have a fairly boring power compared to the others... And then we realise there's more to him than meets the eye. I am very excited to see how his story progresses going forward.
Finally, both the shock death in the ending and the epilogue cinched my love for this series. I love an author that is not afraid to kill of beloved characters because it creates such angst - and great motivation for the remaining characters! The epilogue, Maeve and Baldain in general all made me hunger for the next book (also - potential for a main character to be queer? YES! And a society that passes royal titles down to the women by default? YES YES YES!).
Overall, I found this book a little hard to get into to begin with, but I am definitely glad I stuck with it. A worthy read with complex characters and an intriguing world.
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