Friday, January 29, 2016

Review: The Rose Society

The Rose Society (Young Elites, book two)
By Marie Lu
Published 2015 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Spoilers for book one ahead.

Adelina has been betrayed and now she'll seek her revenge. With the help of her own society of gifted young adults, she'll go after those who made her care and then turned their backs. But the Young Elites have their own tricks up their sleeve.

I was pretty pumped for this book - though I'd found bits of book one predictable, I was definitely interested in seeing where Lu would take this series and these characters. However, I got less excited for it once I checked it out - I pretty much put off reading it until right before it was due back at the library. Part of my reluctance to read it was that I'd had a string of mostly disappointing books and didn't want to find out if this would be another. Another part was because my husband had read it before me and was mostly unimpressed. Did I agree with his assessment?

Here's what I liked about this one: Lu went DARK. Like, seriously dark. It's not the darkest I read - mostly because it takes place in a world dramatically different from our own, thus making it impossible to come true (stuff that actually freaks me out is stuff like Unwind - where I can actually imagine a future like it for our country). But this book is a dark place and readers should be well aware of that. However, I liked the darkness. I liked that it's clear that Lu set out to write a dark character and so far hasn't backed away from that. I like that Adelina is tortured and is likely going to pay an extremely hefty price for her choices, but she's embracing the darkness anyway. I liked that Adelina can see where she is making wrong decisions, but she's making them anyway. I liked the alternating viewpoints, though I would have liked a bit more consistency in their usage.

I did not like the introduction of a new potential love interest - can we just leave the romance out for once? Some of the plot did not make a whole lot of sense to me - in fact, most of the Young Elites political decisions seemed a bit odd. But, then again, I hate politics, so maybe they actually were smart decisions.

I liked the revelation about what it really means to be a Young Elite and I'm very anxious to see that play out in the rest of the series (not sure how many books there will be).

Overall, a very intriguing follow-up and a series to watch.

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