The Young Elites by Marie Lu

I debated for a while on doing a post for this trilogy together instead of separately, but I’m struggling to get through The Rose Society, so I wanted to share my thoughts on the first book.

***SPOILER WARNING***

I have a lot of mixed feelings about Adelina. I find myself drawn to her struggle, and her loyalty to her sister and to Enzo were appealing.  Conversely, I was disturbed by the darkness in her character.  This darkness combined with her willingness to betray those around her makes me hesitant to see her character develop further.  I think this is why I’m struggling so much with the second book.

Violetta really surprised me.  I was not impressed with her character early in the book.  She seemed weak and naive.  I absolutely loved the twist at the end.  It completely changed my perception of her.  She demonstrated more intelligence and shrewdness than I gave her credit for, and I loved that. I also enjoyed how Lu developed the two sisters to balance how each other’s strengths and weakness.  Violetta became the reason I had hope for Adelina’s future in the series.

Enzo was an intriguing character for me.  I would have really like to see more of his story and character development.  It felt like there was a lot of untapped potential in both his tortured past and his prospective future.  It would have been fascinating to see how he went about gaining the throne, what he did once he had it, and how his relationship with Adelina was influenced by both of their pasts and then how it changed both of them.

I gave this book 4 stars.  It is fulfilling the following reading challenges: Popsugar’s 1st book in a series I haven’t read before; Popsugar’s book with an eccentric character (Adelina), and Read Harder’s fantasy novel.

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