Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Young Elites Review: Adelina

I am a survivor of the Blood Fever.
It left me with the marks of a malfetto.
Some believe that malfettos possess powers.

My father is cruel.
He believes I have strained the family name.
I hate him for that.

There is a group of malfettos out there.
A group that all posses powers.
They call themselves the Young Elites.

They are feared among people.
They are worshipped among people.
They are known by all.

I am a Young Elite.
I will make those who hurt me pay.
My name is Adelina Amouteru.

Hello! Today, I happen to be Adelina Amouteru...

Book: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Series: The Young Elites
Book Status: Book 1
Setting: Kenettra (another world)
POV: mostly Adelina (first person), bit of Teren (third person)
Genre: YA fantasy

Reading: First time
Favorite lines: 
"I am tired of losing. I am tired of being used, hurt, and tossed aside. It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt. My turn."
"Some hate us, think us outlaws to hang at the gallows. Some fear us, think us demons to burn at the stake. Some worship us, think is children of the gods. But all know us."
Rating: 4 stars

If you're looking for a dark book with an even darker protagonist, this is definitely the book for you. Adelina is downright scary. Not in a bad way, but her thought process...well, let's just leave it at the fact that her powers are fuelled by fear and hatred. Get the picture?

Actually, what I really liked about Adelina is that through her, I was able to express and experience emotions that very seldom books explore. Yes, Adelina is the heroine here, but she is in no way a hero of light. Her powers are formed through darkness, and she herself is a dark person with even darker thoughts. 

Her life has not been easy, and she has a lot of bottled up hate and anger for everyone. She isn't the classic character where she learns to get over it and forgive. She takes the hatred, holds it close, and draws strength from it. Nothing has gone right for her, and she's coping with it the only way she can.

Adelina's darkness is really unique. On the inside, she's lost and doesn't know what to do. Rather than turning to light, she turns to darkness, mostly because there is little light for her to turn to. 
This is a story where it's all right to have dark thoughts, to want to take the dirty way out to get what you need. The emotional conflicts Adelina has and how darkness generally triumphs is beautifully written. I really felt Adelina struggles as my own, how at some point, you just have to let go. Not all of her actions were for the good of anyone, but her drive to do the things she needs to get done is admirable.

Adelina's intentions are good at heart, though her thought process and actions are less. But still, whether people like to admit or not, we all have those moments of darkness, where we let ourselves go willingly into it. Adelina finally brings to people a way to relate to it, to find strength in one's darkness while not letting it fully consume you.

(Side note: this book is rich with Venetian culture. Beautiful silks, masks, scenery, everything!)

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