Sunday, March 22, 2015

Young Elites by Marie Lu

Overall, Young Elites had the potential to be great, but it was lacking something that the Legend series had, a sense of reality within a fantastical world.  Fans of Marie Lu may be disappointed, but I expect will still enjoy the story.

Adelina never thought she was anything special. After years of living with her father's mental and emotional abuse, she leaves-- accidently murdering him on the way. From there Adelina is thrown into the world of the Young Elites, a group of young adults marked by an illness that swept through the country years earlier.  With their powers, they hope to gain freedom for their kind.  Will Adelina learn to harness her powers and become one of the group?  Or will she find herself murdering once again?

I enjoyed the way Adelina is portrayed. It's easy to like her and feel sorry for her, despite the fact that she is NOT a good person. I even find myself rooting for her when I knew she was bad.  Marie Lu has written us an anti-heroine you can love and root for and try to convince to do the right thing, even though you know it’s never going to happen. That’s not who she is.

However, what I didn’t enjoy was the overuse of words like alignment, energy, and weaving.  By the last 50 pages, I cringed every time these words were used because it just became annoying and distracting. In addition the names were so ridiculous that every time a new character was introduced at the beginning, I stopped and thought “what in the world?”  What was needed was a few characters with familiar names.  It sounded as if all their names (both first and last) were just vowels and consonants thrown together haphazardly in an attempt to make them sound magical and exotic.  Instead they sounded fake and completely took me out of this magical world that had potential.  The world of this novel lacked something concrete to hold you down and keep you entrenched in the world of the Young Elites.  Anything would have been nice.

Despite this, the story wasn’t terrible, but it doesn’t come close to Legend and I’m not at all interested in reading another book about the Young Elites.  However, I’ve spoken with a few of my students who have read it and they are excited for upcoming novels.  Maybe the younger crowd is less concerned with feeling a connection to reality.  

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