Middle school students have reading interests that run the gamut from Diary of a Wimpy Kid to Twilight. Sometimes as a parent it is hard to know what is age appropriate for your child. Through this blog, I will try to help parents make informed decisions about what is available in our library. I am hoping that this blog will be a resource for our parents, and that we can all work together to make our students life-long readers!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Young Elites

The Young Elites
by Marie Lu
From the publisher:
"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."

I pre-ordered this book from Amazon to get it for my library as quickly as possible because this author's Legend series is hugely popular. Because I pre-ordered it, I had no reviews to read so I had no idea it would be dramatically different from the Legend series. This is a dark, dark book. It makes you feel horrid inside when you read it, and I don't like to feel like that, and I'm positive no middle schoolers need to feel like that. Don't get me wrong, it is gripping and the writing flows, but it has no soul. I only remember 1 cuss word, and there is not a lot of sexual content, but the whole feel of the book is soul-less, violent, and darkly sensual. I can't think of a better word to describe it than dark - not bleak, not gloomy, not despairing, just a deep darkness. Parents - watch out for this one.

Areas of concern:
*Tremendous amounts of violence.
*The characters live in a bordello to try to remain hidden and it gets too descriptive about what is going on there.  One of the main characters services clients there.
*A character who glories in violence and draws power from other people's fear.
*An incredibly abusive father.
*Just darkness everywhere (if I didn't make that clear above).

Suggested Ages:
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
School Library Journal - Grades 8+
*There are many people who love this book - it was a starred review from Publisher's Weekly.  My recommendations for ages would be much higher.

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