Well, well, well. This seems to be the story of a villain in the making! That fact alone made this book unique and made me forget and forgive its faulWell, well, well. This seems to be the story of a villain in the making! That fact alone made this book unique and made me forget and forgive its faults. Exquisitely dark and surprising, The Young Elites is the most unusual book I've read this year. Part of it had to do with my expectations. I read and loved Marie Lu's Legend series so maybe I was expecting the somewhat typical recipe for YA high fantasy which weaves world-building with some magical aspects and the girl-meets-boy story.
This was none of that. It focused primarily on the magic and the exploration or Adelina's powers, her memories and her journey. It delves a lot into her feelings and thoughts and all those caged feelings we all keep compressed inside. The terrible things that happen to her before she becomes the hardened version of her we see at the beginning of the book. And that ending.. Oh, the sequel has such potential!
Also, when I said it's none of that, it also includes the world-building. Not much of it was done. I had a picture of the world on my mind based solely on images of previous medieval-type fantasies. I wish this aspect had been richer.
The characters felt a little underdeveloped and that might've been slightly on purpose for the reader to be more suspicious of every character and identify with Adelina, but I wish we would have gotten more insight about Enzo, Teran, Lucent and Raffaelle. I didn't enjoy much the scarce alternating POVs perspectives or the fact that some were third person whereas Adelina's was first. But overall, a book unique in it's darkness and villain-type main character that is more than worth checking out!...more
I wonder how she can write a book about Hispanics in Miami with no Cubans in it whatsoever. Or any other HispanicsUGH. I'm pissed. DNF at chapter 23.
I wonder how she can write a book about Hispanics in Miami with no Cubans in it whatsoever. Or any other Hispanics for that matter. It was just about stereotypical "Mexicans" who eat nothing but tacos and burritos, are gang members and/or cartel, bat-shit poor and work at a Mac Donald's. I guess that's what happens when you fervently wish as a community to have more diversity in YA. It comes back to bite you in the rear.
Nothing like Simone Elkeles, they should NOT have said that. They should have bothered though to show this book to someone who knows at least something about Miami before publishing. I'd rather read "white" books all my life than get more books like this.
Also, it's not only the ethnic issue, it's also the lame insta-love, the duh-non-surprise of who Lobo was, the cheesiness and cheap mystery of it, and well, everything else. There were even comments along the book like "you don't even look Hispanic" as a positive thing, and WTF, lady.
Stephen King says the 1st tip to writing is WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. Maybe authors should stick to that. ...more
Sometimes marketing strategies for books end up working against them. My biggest problem with this story was the misleading aspect of the cover and blSometimes marketing strategies for books end up working against them. My biggest problem with this story was the misleading aspect of the cover and blurb. If I feel like reading a romance, I grab a romance. If I feel like reading something else, I will grab something else. The fact that they've tried to sell this out as a romance instead of a very character-driven book about a conflicted conniving boy, enraged me. If it weren't for my expectations, I'd have enjoyed this story a lot more.
So I will save you the trouble. First ignore the cover, and the text about bot meets girl. Jesse aka Sway is one of the coolest characters I've ever read. He's bad-mouthed, offensive, selfish and blunt. He's also at conflict with himself. And somehow, through it all, I loved him as a character. The staging of the scenes sometimes bothered me because we are pulled from somewhere and suddenly placed somewhere else without a straight pattern of what is going on. Jesse spills pieces of his life at a slow pace, which might make readers dislike him without the full picture. But the sole fact that he develops heart-warming friendships with a disabled kid and a bitter old man in a nursing home, speaks volumes.
The array of secondary characters was also part of the strengths of the story. Carter, Joey, Fake Grandpa and especially. Pete. I loved Pete. He was almost as outwardly shelled as Jesse yet somehow one of the cutest characters ever.
Overall, through my anger at the deceiving presentation and the lack of romance, and despite the fact of getting bored several times during the middle part of the novel, I closed the book with a satisfied smile and found myself really liking many aspects of it. I will attempt to read something else from this author because she definitely has a knack for writing exceptional characters. ...more