Title: The Rose Society
Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: October 2015
Publication Date: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Synopsis from Goodreads:
Adelina Amouteru’s heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she flees Kenettra with her sister to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good when her very existence depends on darkness?
Marie Lu does it again with the second instalment in The Young Elites series. Lu is an accomplished story teller, creating worlds that are vivid, all encompassing, and sensory. Opening the cover of her series is like stepping into a brand new world. The Young Elites series is cut-throat, dark, deadly series. Allies become enemies in the blink of an eye and vice versa. There’s no way to know who will side with whom . Characters do what’s necessary to push their agendas and accomplish their goals. It’s intense and fast reading.
While Lu is a master story writer, I struggled with her choices with the main character, a now infamous antagonist, Adelina Amouteru. Adelina goes down a very dark path in this book and it’s tough to reconcile with. We know her story and how she’s struggled and been at the mercy of many terrible characters. We’ve rooted for her to succeed and we’ve admired her for her imperfections. Her inner darkness is what has made her a relatable character. She’s real because she has flaws and she doesn’t always make the right choices. She cannot always see clearly. This novel took her down a bleak spiral. There are no redeeming qualities although I found myself rooting for her the whole way, hoping she’d display some vulnerability.
Still, I’m hooked. This is a great series and I’m waiting with bated with the next instalment. I’d highly recommend it if you haven’t read it, as well as any other of Lu’s wonderful books. She’s got to be in my top 10 favourite authors.