Book Review: The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2 by Marie Lu)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Once upon a time, a girl had a father, a prince, a society of friends. Then they betrayed her, and she destroyed them all.

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?

Bestselling author Marie Lu delivers another heart-pounding adventure in this exhilarating sequel to The Young Elites.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS

Hello, readers! Welcome to a new review of the amazing second book in the The Young Elites Trilogy by Marie Lu.

First of all, I just want to say that I have never encountered a book like this. A book where the “protagonist” is originally a villain; where her power feeds on fear and fury that it starts to blind her at times. This is, indeed, the darkest book I have ever laid eyes upon.

In this second book, we dive further into the mindset of the protagonist, Adelina Amouteru. Together with her sister, Violetta, they seek for other Elites who will follow them to gain success of their cause: to extract revenge and inflict pain to those who have wronged her. They meet unlikely allies, yet she never trusts them. Well, I think betrayals after betrayals will would cause anyone horrible trust issues, but Adelina works her way around it, she has no other choice after all.

For someone whose powers fear and hate, it kind of bothers me that those feelings she harbors are not her own and she lets those consume her. Not to mention that the hate she feels for the Daggers and the others might not even be her own and something she isn’t suppose to feel.

The Daggers, on the other hand, made alliances with the Beldish Queen to bring back Enzo, but the consequences have greater cost. Rafaelle uncovered a horrible and astounding fact based on his studies of Elites since he’s able to read others’ thread of energy. Right after that, the title “The Young Elites” somehow made sense to me. And not a good thing.

Honestly, I don’t like Maeve on how she handles things, it’s different from the way Adelina does, but it’s like Maeve doesn’t have a lot of regard for the dead and turns a blind eye on whatever it is that’s becoming of Tristan. Also, Maeve never asked for the Daggers’ permission . I wonder if she ever cared for other people’s well-beings except her own, just so she can use what she wants from Enzo and have some personal gains. But I suppose it has something to do with her being a queen.

I love Maginano. He is a total HOTTTIE for the record. He is like an ice breaker at times. He is so mysterious, romantic, and sweet. I like his concern for Adelina the most of all. I vouch for him more than I did for Enzo. Violetta developed a more vital role in the book, and I like how she balances out Adelina’s powers sometimes. She’s like the light to her sister’s darkness. Her love and support for her sister is something I’m very happy about. It’s just unfortunate that Adelina couldn’t see that in the end.

I have a major crush on Teren. But I found myself nodding along when it was later said that what he feels for Giuletta is obsession and not love. My heart still bleeds for Teren. I can’t wait what would happen to him in the next book.

Raffaele, damn you. I have no words for you, you beautiful creature.

I know in myself that I like happy endings in books, no matter how many of my favorite characters died, after the first book I still had high hopes for Adelina doing the right thing to achieve the right results. But then, I suppose her definition of “right” is ruthless and cruel. It gets the job done, I’ll give her that. As her power grows, her inclination to ambition multiplies as well. Making her take a step toward the path of overthrowing Giuletta and seizing the throne. It just scares me how fast her power is taking its toll on her along with other side effects. Everything has a price. One other terrible thing is it seems her conscience no longer plays a part in her.

I have so much positive expectations for Adelina in this book, but now I know I shouldn’t. The “whispers” she hears in her head made me ask myself if she is going crazy. I keep thinking if it’s another side effect due to abuse of her power. But when she let those whispers control her, it made me feel so sad and my heart shattered. Things could have turned out better for her, but it’s just so tragic.

My undoing is what became of Adelina. I just can’t. I hate how she was treated, and still being treated one way or another, by the people she thought of as friends. How she started thinking that the greatest thing of all is fear and hatred. She doesn’t know how to love. She doesn’t want to trust anyone anymore. She couldn’t forgive people. Still, I don’t think she deserves all those. It’s something I would mull over  for quite a while. Pieces of the old her started unraveling to reveal a new being but not something I would think as a better person. I wish she would realize later on what Raffaele told her. And also what Violetta said to her before another major hell-raising hallucination broke loose.

The story gets cunning and darker page after page. Leaving me breathless at every turn. Plot twists are as twisted as possible. I could feel the sharp shards of my heart breaking starting from the climax, where Adelina had a bad episode of hallucinations, right to the end of the book. I think the characters, old and new, along with the storyline and turn of events, balanced the outcome of this new installment.

Altogether, it’s terribly wonderful, heart-wrenching, tragic, greatly-woven, and intricately beautiful book that I would recommend to every bibliophile I know.

As always, I look forward to the next book, wishfully thinking it’s not the last. LOL

Overall rating: 5.00/5.00

Hardcover, 395 pages

I hope you enjoyed my very long review! Thank you SO SO SO much for reading!

P. S. Please feel free to comment, like, and share!


Image Source: Amazon

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