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

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

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 and her sister flee Kenettra 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?



I completely love how the first chapter ends, which is also in the 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.” I felt like it was really going to set the tone for this dark story, but unfortunately the rest of the book does not live up to that one line.

I don’t really feel like a structured review on this, so behold my Spoilery Thoughts:

-While there were several action-packed sequences in the beginning of the book, I was kind of bored. I’m not really sure why, but I just didn’t really care what was happening. I just wanted to get to the meat of the story and I felt it took too long to get there. It took about 200 pages for me to really get into the story.

-I thought we were supposed to get lots of new Elites that were going to join Adelina, but we only got two. I was ok with that, though. I liked Sergio, but he’s not very well developed. He’s just always there to save Adelina when he needs to be. Then there is Magiano who I LOVED. Again, I felt like he could have been a little more developed, but I LOVED him. He’s strong and sarcastic and smart, and a little vulnerable. I ship him and Adelina way more than I did Adelina and Enzo in the first book.

-Since I loved Magiano so much and he brought out the light in Adelina, I became absolutely convinced that he was going to die. However, HE LIVES!!! And I am so, so glad. I don’t think there’s any hope for them as endgame since Adelina is supposed to become a super villain and she has no time for love, but for now, I will just be happy that he’ll still be around.

-I was really looking forward to Enzo coming back from the dead, but the whole storyline just left me disappointed. We find out that it’s not truly Enzo, but some Underworld demon type thing that looks like Enzo and I guess has his memories and stuff? I felt like large portions of it acted like it was the real Enzo, but we are also supposed to believe that it’s Not-Enzo. It was a little confusing. And I just didn’t like the way it played it out. He’s supposed to be linked to Adelina, but he very easily goes against her and goes off with the Daggers. I don’t think we’ll ever see him reach the full potential this character had.

-Speaking of the Daggers, I just didn’t care about them in this book. We get a few chapters from Raffaele’s POV which kept them still in the story, but I don’t know…I just looked forward to getting back to Adelina’s POV when we were with him. None of the Daggers are really developed any further and I didn’t even care when Gemma, who I liked in the first book, died.

-The addition of Maeve wasn’t as interesting as I thought she’d be. She wasn’t as smart or cunning as I thought she was supposed to be. I also thought the Maeve & Lucent relationship just ticked a box on the “Diversity” checklist. We don’t get much more than a chapter to explore their past and their relationship and their possible future. I think it should’ve been much more developed or just left out. As it is, it does not add really anything to the story other than a limited effort to make the characters more diverse.

-Everything I’ve read said this book was going to be DARK and I was looking forward to that. While there were a few moments that I felt fit the bill, for the most part I just still don’t see Adelina as a villain. She comes across more Schizophrenic than Evil. Whenever I feel we were supposed to be getting Dark Alina, I just felt like she was Crazy Alina – and in a really sad way, not the Crazy-and-I-Love-It kind of way. This book is not sunshine and rainbows by any means, but neither did I feel it was the dark book I was promised.

-As I said earlier, it took about 200 pages for me to get into it, but once it got there, I had trouble putting it down. There was lots of plot development and action and I was enjoying it. However, I felt the final chapter was just pretty “meh”. While I know the overall story is not yet finished, I think the storylines of this book wrapped up well and the ending of the book just didn’t make me excited to read the next book. I’ll have no problem waiting for the conclusion of the series to come out.

Overall, I think the idea and intent of The Rose Society and the series in general is interesting and unique. However, I just don’t feel like the actual books deliver. While I did enjoy parts of this book – and absolutely loved the addition of Magiano – it was overall just an ok read for me. I do think people who loved the first book, will also enjoy this one, though.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2.5 Stars

6 thoughts on “Review: The Rose Society (The Young Elites #2) by Marie Lu

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