Book Recommendation: The Young Elites

Batten down the hatches, a storm is coming!

It’s hard to tell from my last name, but I am super Italian. Like, “I talk with my hands” borderline stereotype Italian. Like, “I believe dinner should be minimum three courses” Italian. Like, “cut me and I bleed balsamic vinegar” Italian.

So when I hear about a book with a setting inspired by Renaissance Italy, my interest will be piqued. When I hear it also has magic, I will be excited.

And when I hear that book is written by Marie Lu, I will pre-order it so fast, my credit card will get whiplash.

Here’s what got me so excited:

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.

I swear, if this book was pasta, I’d ask for seconds.

What Intrigued Me: Um, everything. Seriously. A plague that causes super powers? Vaguely Italian setting? Political plots? Yes, yes, aaaaand yes.

What Hooked Me:

That’s all I’m going to say on the matter

What Made Me Fall in Love: Adelina is not your typical protagonist. She is driven by fury, ambition, and pride. When someone crosses her, she doesn’t just get even. She makes them cower at her feet. Typically not good qualities. But, the more you read, the more you learn the extent of Adelina’s emotional trauma and understand her motives.

And, frankly, I think there should be more stories starring bad girls. There’s something about the complex, morally conflicted characters that makes them so compelling. And Adelina is kind of scary. And she’s kind of good.

She’s scary good.

It’s true

The Young Elites is available on Amazon and at your local purveyor of sinister stories (a.k.a. bookstore). C’mon, be a little bad.


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