I know, I know, I’ve been slacking. I have been reading and I have been listening to a lot of great music. But life got busy and didn’t leave a lot of time for blog posts. But HERE I AM, ready to tell you why you need to start The Young Elites series immediately. I read the first book when it came out and had been dying for the follow up. It lived up to the hype I created in my head.
It’s dark, in the best way. Okay, not everyone likes dark books. I like dark books more than I should. Maybe I’m destined to be a villain. My potential villainous tendencies aside, this series’s darkness is appealing for a few reasons. For starters it isn’t “shock value dark” (i.e. most premium channel shows). Every twisted, sinister detail has a purpose. The darkness also grows and simmers. You’re reading about a girl’s descent into ~evil~. It’s fascinating. The first book starts it out, and then everything explodes in the second.
No sophomore slump.The first book was great. It took me a little time to decide I loved it, but in the end it grew into a favorite. It’s hard to live up to the first beloved book in a series, but Marie Lu manages a deliciously dark second book that delivers what the first book promised.
Not your typical “people gain powers” book. You’ve likely read or watched a story before where something happens that gives a bunch of people superpowers. Some use them for evil. Some for good. This series takes that idea and twists it into something new. The lines between good and evil are excellently blurred. And the powers? The main character’s power is unique and beautifully described. A lot of the powers are what you’ve seen in superhero media, but Lu makes them so much more interesting.
Not a whitewashed fantasy. With wonderful characters. People really like to make up reasons why it’s okay that the likes of LOTR and whatnot has all these white characters. There are excuses why dragons can exist but PoC can’t in a FANTASY. Thankfully these books don’t fall into that category. The world of the young elites isn’t ours, but it’s as diverse as ours. Despite all the supernatural, unordinary things going on, it feels realistic because the characters are complex and human. And honestly sometimes when I read books, the images of characters in my head look very similar to other books I’ve read. There’s definitely a lineup of similarly looking white male MCs in my head from various books. (Maybe my imagination isn’t that great?) Lu however describes her characters well and creates a distinct cast that I adore.
Everything else. This would be an endless list if I continued with all the reasons I loved this series. There’s action. Romance and vengeance. Twists and turns. Most of the time you’re unsure of who to even root for. And while it’s marketed as young adult, it feels more about young adults than for them. It’s definitely on the more mature side which means some boundaries are pushed. IT’S REALLY GOOD, OKAY???
You might read this and be horrified and in that case GOOD. It did it’s job. I’m horrified, too, but I love it. Also, a secret: Game of Thrones bored me. People have drawn comparisons between GoT and this series. Those people are wrong. I get there are some similarities, but I was never bored reading either of these two books.
In conclusion, this series might end up being my favorite fantasy ever. I’ll wait for the next (and final?) book to make a definite judgment though. *starts twitching because there isn’t even a release date yet*