The Rose Society

Fear motivates, more than love or ambition or joy. Fear is more powerful than anything else in the world

The Rose Society (Young Elites #2)

Marie Lu

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: October 13, 2015

Bang Bang Rating: bombbombbombbomb 1/2


Adelina has been cast out by the Daggers and her and her sister Violetta are now on the run to form their own gang to exact revenge on The Daggers and Teren.

The Good

  • World Building. Lu’s world is rich and colorful and diverse and Italian-like. There are waterways and castles and arenas and beautiful buildings.  There’s wealth and Underworlds and politics and oppression and sex.   There are gods and beautiful people and marked people and royalty. I encourage you to check out Lu’s Pinterest page to get an idea of the world she has created.
  • The Story.  This series and this book have a very simple plot-save the Malfettos. I appreciate a plot that isn’t convoluted with a big backstory and a whole bunch of characters and weird magic.  In The Rose Society, Adelina is set on revenge and saving her people.  She has a clear plan and she executes it exactly the way it’s explained.
  • Character Driven.  The majority of the story is told between Adelina and Raffaele.  Adelina has same serious demons and at first I was enjoying everything about the book except her.  If I don’t like the main character, I usually don’t rate a book more than a 3.5.  I didn’t like Adelina in The Young Elites and the rating reflected that.  But by the end of this book, I was getting the feeling that we aren’t really supposed to like Adelina, at least not at this moment in the series.
    • Adelina.  She still struggles with her daddy issues and this feeling of abandonment.  The Daggers have blamed her for Enzo and she’s once again abandoned. She is extremely flawed and Lu took a BIG chance on writing an unlikable protagonist.
      • One of the great things about Lu’s writing is that there is always an internal conflict.  There’s always a relevant life lesson and in The Rose Society it’s revenge, obsession, and oppression to name a few.  This makes her books great reads for teens.  It causes teens to enjoy a great fantasy world but at the same time, think about life and the world around them.
    • Supporting Characters.  At the end of Young Elites, we met Maeve (is Maeve the new cool name? LOL) and she plays a major role in The Rose Society.  Guiletta is a great complex character that one can pick apart and theorize.  We learn more about Rafaele’s backstory.  There are new elites such as Magiano and Sergio.  Mariano is a great character that I’m excited about for book 3.  And finally, Voiletta has a bigger role and we learn more about her powers.

The Bad

  • This isn’t bad but it bothered me that I can’t figure out why Adelina’s chapters are told in first person and Rafaele and Teren’s chapters are told in third.  I’m sure there’s a simple explanation.
  • There really isn’t anything bad about this book.


After reading The Young Elites, I said I wasn’t going to finish the series because of the main character. But after coming to the realization that Adelina isn’t supposed to be liked, I began to enjoy The Rose Society.

Lu is one of few YA authors who manages to weave social issues and fantasy effectively.  I enjoy this style of writing because it keeps the reader engaged and thinking why characters behave certain ways.

The Rose Society was an exciting read from start to finish and I’m very interested to see what happens to Adelina in book 3.


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