Marie Lu is a talented writer. The moment I cracked open The Young Elites, I knew that she has the craft and talent to weave the tale of the synopsis above tells of.
First on a positive note, Marie Lu effortlessly write sentences full of beautiful and imaginative adjectives that gave me shivers as I visualised them.
If that’s not gorgeous writing, I don’t know what is. The sentences. with Adelina’s memories intertwined to show the reader the pain and afflictions that brought her to the anger and hatred she has locked away, the memories and people that made her run away, and eventually brought her to the destination of being a person who became trapped in the world of magic and politics, walking the lines between loyalty and independence, unsure of where her true place lies.
On the same note, the memories were also something I stopped enjoying after awhile. Sure, they establish Adelina’s character, her past and her personal battle of trying to discover where she belongs, but these flashbacks are used too much, and I began to feel that they became more of a bland plot device for the author. The problem with this said plot device is that it completely wipes away any tension or build-up in the writing, thus, I was left with nothing that impacted my emotions and pushed me to continue to read the story.
I didn’t find myself caring what was going on with the characters and even found myself looking ahead just to see if the plot actually got better. The only time I felt anxious to read more was when the ending came, and that’s just because very dramatic things happened.
Another problem I had was the world-building. Before going into this book, I thought it was high fantasy. Now, after reading, I’ve officially labeled it as low fantasy (our world, but with some fantasy elements). Someone corrected me if I’m wrong about the type of fantasy levels, but after some research, I’m pretty sure that a high fantasy world wouldn’t be our world with only three moons, weird ray things that fly through the sky, and blood fever mentioned around the novel make it qualify as high fantasy.
A long read written but what can I tell to be is a talented writer. The Young Elites has an amazing dialogue and general writing, but fails to have an entertaining plot and a consistent world. I found tiny moments were I really enjoyed The Young Elites, and other moments when I wasn’t captivated.