In an unfortunate turn of events, I will be starting school on Wednesday. Wednesday. As in like three days from now. The 11th of August??????? ELEVENTH!!!! Thinking??? Ice breakers?? It all makes me want to cry.
Speaking of wanting to cry (not in a good way) (please hold the applause for the smoothest transition on earth)… do we remember the project Rachel and I announced a couple weeks back?? When we were all mysterious and pitching the idea of the hype-o-meter here and here?? Where we pit popular books against it to see if it measures up against the hype?? Any bells??
Well, the time has come. Our first hype-o-meter showdown. Young Elites vs. The Hype-O-Meter *insert dramatic game show music*
Book: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Published October 7th 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Format: ebook and audiobook
Murder, Torture, Violence, Death
I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.
Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. Adelina’s black hair turned silver, her lashes went pale, and now she has only a jagged scar where her left eye once was. Her cruel father believes she is a malfetto, an abomination, ruining their family’s good name and standing in the way of their fortune. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites.
Teren Santoro works for the king. As Leader of the Inquisition Axis, it is his job to seek out the Young Elites, to destroy them before they destroy the nation. He believes the Young Elites to be dangerous and vengeful, but it’s Teren who may possess the darkest secret of all.
Enzo Valenciano is a member of the Dagger Society. This secret sect of Young Elites seeks out others like them before the Inquisition Axis can. But when the Daggers find Adelina, they discover someone with powers like they’ve never seen.
Adelina wants to believe Enzo is on her side, and that Teren is the true enemy. But the lives of these three will collide in unexpected ways, as each fights a very different and personal battle. But of one thing they are all certain: Adelina has abilities that shouldn’t belong in this world. A vengeful blackness in her heart. And a desire to destroy all who dare to cross her.
It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.
I guess I should start with the fact that I liked Legend. Ok? I enjoyed it. Was it a fantastic dystopian world?? Not really. Did the font choice make me want to scream into the abyss?? Yeah. But in the end, I was emotionally invested and Marie Lu made me feel too many feelings. Not sure how to feel about this one though.
I guess at its heart, it just felt sort of basic?? I wanted so much more.
Starting with the fact that this would have been so much better if it was grittier. Darker. The writing totally threw me out of the mood. I wanted it to be more lush. More vivid. Give me all the darkness and angst. And not the whiny sort of angst, the actual morally grey, internal conflict sort of angst.
First person just didn’t cut it, resulting in a younger feel that was way more chill. Adelina lacked direction as a character, which made the narration often feel repetitive and winding. I think that third person would have made the story directionally a bit clearer as well as a bit grittier.
That being said, third person worked for Adelina’s character arc, especially as she came to terms with her powers, but ultimately it put a damper the atmosphere of the story and made me want to hit something. Girl was confused and was basically the walking incarnation of oh no! basically the whole time. Arg.
The girl spent the entirety of the book being confused and indecisive. There were so many directional possibilities this could have gone, instead we just trotted around in a giant circle. I needed more commitment to the plot and less being pulled back and forth.
Ok this book is what every emo tumblr kid in middle school thinks they were. And I mean that as an insult. It really didn’t work for me. Maybe it would work as a phaser into the young adult genre, or someone who is a big fan of fantasy written in first person. But I am neither of these things, which means the hype-o-meter must firmly decree that this is a nay.
But wait! There’s more! For more thoughts and another equally showstopping battle against the hype-o-meter, be sure to check out Rachel’s thoughts here!!!
Have you read The Young Elites?? What did you think??