Another slam dunk for Marie Lu! Adventure, romance, action and magic all rolled into one. "The Young Elites" is a creative page turner.
I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in Lu's book. Adelina is a strong protagonist to sympathize with and even pity. Thanks to an evil father she ends up on a quest to find herself. When she finally gets in touch with herself, everyone should duck. Another strong character is the antagonist, Teren Santoro. Instead of identifying with the other Young Elites, he despises himself. You pity him for such strong self-hatred. He can't embrace the beauty in his affliction. Instead, he buys into the propaganda of his world--all malfettos are abominations. Even the secondary characters in "The Young Elites" are strong namely Raffaele Bessette, the androgynous recruiter. Raffaele is smart and gifted. But, he is a person trapped in a world, not of his own making. If he could choose, he would not be a consort in the Pleasure Court.
"The Young Elites" reads like a twisted fairy tale--an evil parental figure (Adelina's father) with a despised child (Adelina) and a much-loved child (Violetta) forces the despised one to act despicably which requires magic to fix. But, like all magic, it comes at a price. In Lu's tale, the price is a major plot twist leaving the main character dangling in the wind.
I truly enjoyed Marie Lu's "The Young Elites". The only thing I disliked? It's a series and I have to wait until October for the sequel.