Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

 

Title: The Young Elites
Author: Marie Lu
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 
 4 stars
Goodreads rating: 3.96

 Summary (Goodreads): 

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.


Cover: 2/5

The cover isn’t the best compared to many others I have seen. I could of easily passed this book on the shelf but I recognised the name of the author and picked it up.

 


Review:

I really enjoyed reading this book, though the start was a bit slow and flat for me it really picked up towards the end part of the book. The plot twists in this book are superb and really kept me reading on until the end. I was a little upset with myself with finishing because it was so fast and sudden and I just wanted The Rose Society in my hands straight away.

Plot: The plot was totally unique to me and I liked how there weren’t any YAY moments if you know what I mean. There was always a sense of darkness surrounding the plot which was deliciously intriguing. The multiple POVs were not annoying because the chapters were quick and rather interesting. A shoutout to Teren! I wanted more chapters for him please! The fast paced plot, after the slow and flat start, was a dream to read because Marie Lu’s writing is a dream to read simply! Nothing felt jarring and no event seemed unnecessary.

Characters:

Adelina was such a cool character to read! By the end of the book I felt so strange towards her and then I realised it was because I am not used to reading from an anti-hero’s perspective! I didn’t know if I should of been routing for her or wishing death upon her! It was a pretyty new, but good thing to feel. Not the standard I like her or I dislike her. Though from time to time I found her annoying, Adelina a character you really do route for. All of dark stuff she has experienced has consumed her and interesting to see a character embrace that and not want to completely suppress it at the end of the novel. Also her power is awesome- nuff said.

Um can I talk about Teren…because I LOVED HIS CHARACTER! What a beautifully written person. So twisted and dark and sympathy attracting. His story was a very compelling read and even writing about it makes me want to know what the hell happens to him in The Rose Society. All of the characters in this book are dark- but Teren is so wicked.

I guess I have to talk about Enzo. I felt a weak connection to this character. Though towards the end of the book I started warming up to him, the connection to the character was still feeble. It’s probably because he never really developed from a cold, stony faced prince for me. That doesn’t mean that I wasn’t sad when that thing happens to him.

What I liked:

  • Plot
  • Majority of the characters
  • The fast pace (excluding the beginning)
  • *Casually puts Teren on the list.

What I disliked:

  • The beginning
  • The little we know about some of the side characters

Verdict: I feel like you have to be in the mood to read a book like this, but when you are in the mood for a dark, angsty book pick up this one- it was amazing!

I’ll write soon!

-Astra

(P.S. I knew I should of pre-ordered The Rose Society! Now amazon doesn’t have it in stock!)

Review: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Title: The Book Thief
Author: Markus Zusak
Genres: Historical Fiction
My Rating: 
5 stars
Goodreads rating: 4.35

Summary (Goodreads):

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.


This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

Cover:

I love how the cover is so simply yet so symbolic. It seems like Liesel had been dancing with Death all through her life, so this is very fitting.   

 
Review: 

Wow. Just honestly wow. I will have to say more for this to be a valuable review, but wow. This book is absolutely stunning. Half of this review is going to be spoiler free, while the other half is going to be full of them because I have so much to say. When I was only a measley 70-100 pages in, people were already telling me that I am going to love this book, or that it is a brilliant book or that it is the best book they have read. Well, I did love this book and it was (as I said before) stunning and it is definietly up there with some of the best books I have read.

During those 70 pages I don’t really feel connected to the characters but fast forward 300 pages and I was ugly crying over a sentence.

Writing: I had to make this catergory just for the Book Thief because how it is beautifully written impacts how you read and feel the book so much. If you have saw the blurb for this book, you would know that it is narrated by Death. Death is a very straight talking, cynical and curious narrator I have to tell you. But he is brilliant at story telling. Even though when I started reading this book I thought the writing was absolutely weird, choppy at some points,  you DO get used to it and I found Death quite comforting in a twisted way. And obviously this is a very unique way to write a novel.

Plot: As I think I have said before, I don’t really read Historical Fiction books set in world war two just because I find them too depressing to read, but though the book had a blanket of depressive tones, the blanket never suffocating. Though some chapters were heavier than other, it was still light- if that makes sense. I loved following Liesel’s story because while she was still a child, she wasn’t blinding naive , she had an air of wit to her which helped me follow on a story of a girl much younger than me.

Themes: There is no hope in this book. And when there IS hope in this book, it disappears in an instant thanks to our very own narrator. I would say the over arching theme to this story is words and how powerful they are. Words, spoken, written or read it doesn’t matter, in this book literally determines if a character survives or not, or if they a have a good three months or a crap three months. By the last 150 pages of this book, I really started to understand that, maybe because Death kept on reminding me.

Characters: 

Liesel is a joy to read about. She is smart, passionate, rebellious and she loves books! Her character is really intriguing because she is only 10 when this novel starts and you read her growing up until she is a teen. Liesel becomes this confident, well put together girl and all you have to do is read some of the earlier chapters about her and then read the lasts chapters of the book to see that. Character development executed finely. She is funny as well! I found myself laughing at her lines of speech sometimes. I think the words, saumensch and saukerl will be permenanatly stuck in my vocab.

Max is a wonderfully deep character as well. I really liked how we are introduced to him as well, just a small, unassuming chapters in the book, and he blossoms into this beautiful character. His fighting spirit defines him a lot and it is because of that fighting spirit which makes his core strong even though he is crumbling on the outside. His generally, sweet and kind character really left me wanting to read more about how he copped during the later struggles he faced.

Hans must be one of the best father characters written. His character oozes warmth like hot chocolate. He is written so smoothly and real, he has flaws which pushed him into some deep trouble I’m telling you that, but he is just a man. I could almost here is accordian playing or smell the cigarette smoke when he was smoking. Hans is a character that every body should try to be like.

What I liked:

-Writing

-Plot

-Characters

-Pace

What I disliked:

-The epilogue could of been explained and described a bit better

Verdict:

What are you waiting for? You will love this book, I garantee (and hope!). Adults and children alike should experience the great writing of  Mark Zusak.


SPOILER ZONE- cross at your own risk!

Firstly.

What the hell? Everyone dying on Himmel Road except for Liesel! I was crying my eyes out. I am so not use to reading books where the happy ending really isn’t that happy at all.

Even before that. DEATH IS SUCH A SAUKERL! He was basically spolling the book which made me so apprehensious and always on edge. And Rudy…I was crying my eyes out every time Death was like ‘he will never get that kiss’ or ‘it’s a shame he only has three months’. ARE YOU KIDDING ME DEATH! Are you seriously telling me that Rudy is dying in three chapters! Not on. That’s when I started disliking death a little. Who am I kidding, a lot actually.

And please you guys need to tell me what you think of this ending. Even though this book was a definite 5 stars, the ending was slightly odd. I wish the epilogue was longer- I would love to know if Liesel became a writer, or if Max started fighting again.

I still can’t believe Rudy is dead and that her didn’t get his kiss…seriously bombs suck.

Okay I think I might cry again, so I am going to finish off this post.

I would love to hear you thoughts on this amazing book, so comment below.

I’ll write soon.

-Astra