The Young Elites by Marie Lu
Publication date: October 7, 2014
In a fantasy world where a disease has swept through the lands, killing many and marking others, those marked are known as malfettos and thought to be sinful. Some malfettos, such as Adelina Amouteru, developed certain abilities after being marked, and are known as Young Elites.
I've never been a particular fan of fantasy novels, if I'm being completely honest; books with completely different worlds never really "clicked" with me-- so you could say I was going in to THE YOUNG ELITES slightly apprehensive. For the most part, it was the same as it always had been-- the fantasy world of THE YOUNG ELITES did not particularly draw me in; it was rather the book's protagonist, Adelina, that kept me reading. Rarely have I ever kept reading a book solely for the main character-- in fact, this may be the first time I've done so. Unlike most main characters, Adelina doesn't seem to always make the right choice... And her intentions aren't always the purest ones, either. Contrary to the typical "Mary Sue" main character, who can do no wrong, Marie Lu has written Adelina with the capacity to make the wrong decisions-- and to feel the consequences and impact of them. It was refreshing to read about a more in-depth protagonist, and the fact that Lu can concoct such a detailed character highlights her exemplary writing skills. I'd recommend this book to anyone ages 12-17 who are bored and done with the typical Mary Sue heroine, and want a more twisted and intricate protagonist.