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Thursday, April 16, 2015

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Audiobook Review: The Young Elites by Marie Lu (You Can Be A Productive Napper?!)

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

The Young Elites #1
Marie Lu
Narrators: Carla Corvo, Lannon Killea
Length: 10 Hours, 9 Minutes
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Reviewer: Sophia

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Legend series.

I am tired of being used, hurt, and cast aside.

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.

It is my turn to use. My turn to hurt.

Well, here's to my first audio book review (because napping on the bus for an hour isn't exactly productive and I'm one of those who gets a bit woozy if I read in motion). Bear with me if I fail, and feel free to criticize me away without actually being Rundus and calling me an ugly or dirty Communist in the process (apparently our friendship/cobloggership is a level 3: insult make fun of each other relentlessly).

The Young Elites, no matter how impressed I am that Marie Lu actually wrote from a villain's point of view instead of a hero's/heroine's point of view, is a book that I'm not too fond of and I'm not too sure why exactly. It's not entirely the narration – there's something amazing having someone else "reading" a book to me instead of me reading it myself (because I'm half asleep and I still manage to know what's being said). Of course... I had the misfortune fortune of actually being able to snag an ebook copy of this particular book on Overdrive, which eventually resulted in me wondering if I should continue on with ebooks... or if I should just stick with being unproductive (as Lupe suggests) for an hour every morning on the bus.

The starking contrast in having an audio book is the mere fact that there were some parts of the book that changed. Completely changed – some were taken out and replaced with something entirely different, or some had a few additions. Sadly, I'm not exactly a big fan of changes between the two. There's something highly annoying with an unabridged audio book not following the book (though I totally understand the audio book is probably a recording of an almost final draft).

I did have other problems though. For some reason, I can't stand Adelina, or the majority of the characters aside from maybe a few side characters. Problem? I don't really know why I can't stand Adelina. There's something about her that I don't like. Adelina seems to be extremely open-minded and dark, too dark.

I also can't stand the plot, no matter how interesting and complicated (because nothing can get more complicated than two or more potential villains) it is – both are absolutely ironic. Spoilers behold, but for an Inquisitor who's not only an Young Elite himself and totally "welcomed" Adelina into a deal/trap/whatever, Teren apparently hates Elites and wants to rid the world of Elites.

Let's just say the mean side of me wants to tell Teren to screw off because that's pretty much saying he wants to get rid of himself as well... after ridding the world of Elites. (Read: Should I find out the plot of future books of the series being anything like this, I'm tucking my tail between my legs and hightailing it straight out of here.)

I just feel as though the main point of the plot is Adelina trying to decide which side is right and being the mole of the Elites. In the long run though... she just chooses to go on a completely different path. Whether it's darker or not I'm not too sure I want to find out.

On a similar note, I don't think I can stand the common people either. The "Young Elites" are people who are survivors of a deadly plague that swept through the nation and have powers that aren't exactly normal. They also have scars, which are called "markings," and they're also called "malfettos." Of course, as soon as someone who can do some mind-blowing healing comes around, the people might actually be on board with the Elites and start kissing their shoes... right?

I liked The Young Elites, but I don't like it as much as I wish I could have liked it.

3 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.