The Young Elites

Marie Lu, Author
Marie Lu. Putnam, $18.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-399-16783-6
Reviewed on: 08/18/2014
Release date: 10/07/2014
Compact Disc - 978-1-61176-301-0
Compact Disc - 978-0-553-39686-7
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In this series opener, Lu (the Legend trilogy) pivots from the “coming of age via romance” formula to pry apart the many emotions that pass under the rubric of love. Adelina Amouteru, once-privileged daughter of a merchant, is irrevocably changed by the blood fever, an epidemic that wiped out infected adults and left most child survivors permanently scarred malfettos. A handful also underwent mutations that conferred strange, often lethal powers. All malfettos are persecuted, but these mutant Young Elites are special targets. Harrowingly, Adelina discovers that she is one. Rescued by a masked firebrand from certain death under the government’s Inquisition, she awakens in the custody of Raffaele, a male prostitute, and Enzo, malfetto aspirant to the throne. A beautiful woman surrounded by beautiful men, Adelina nevertheless is not defined by romance. Warped family bonds shape her consciousness and yearning for acceptance, and the men are out to get what they want from her. There’s nothing easy here, for Adelina or readers—there are no safe places where the pressures of betrayal, death threats, and rejection aren’t felt. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary Agency. (Oct.)
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