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The Rose Society

Review

The Rose Society

In the second book of Marie Lu’s The Young Elites trilogy, THE ROSE SOCIETY, Adelina has been cast out of The Daggers and her love, Enzo, is dead. This causes her to rebel against the group by forming her own society. Adelina and her sister, Violetta, pick up their own Young Elites and vow to destroy the Inquisition Axis.

As Adelina's power grows, she starts letting it get to her head. Suddenly ruling over The Rose Society isn't enough; she dreams of taking over the Kenettran throne. She wants to reach it using good, but how can she when all she hears is voices telling her not to trust her new group of Elites, that the Dagger Society is out to stop her and that her arch-enemy Teren wants her dead? It all becomes clear that Adelina is no longer a heroine. Her alignment to fear and hate is showing through and she's out for blood.

Upon completing THE ROSE SOCIETY, it easily became one of my favorite novels. Most of Marie Lu's books are filled with friendly protagonists and good morals, making this one of the darkest novels she's ever written, and I think she did a marvelous job! Most novels with dark storylines make their grittiness the main appeal, but THE ROSE SOCIETY doesn't go that way at all. It still manages to have some bright and cheerful characters while keeping up the dark tone of the novel. An excellent example of this is Magiano. Even after Adelina has a major breakdown because of a hallucination, he's still able to joke around. But, that's not all THE ROSE SOCIETY succeeds at --- it also does a great job at developing Adelina's character.

Upon completing THE ROSE SOCIETY, it easily became one of my favorite novels.

In THE YOUNG ELITES, it was clear that Adelina was still fearful of her power and being rejected, but in THE ROSE SOCIETY, she completely evolves. She becomes independent, and the thought of someone not approving anything she does no longer crosses her mind. It's incredibly refreshing to see a female protagonist that is not reliant on anyone. I've noticed that in many stories, even some of the most popular, a woman can go from someone who starts a revolution to a girl who's asking for her boyfriend's approval to buy a dress. I absolutely adored seeing Adelina transform into her own person. 

Although I found THE ROSE SOCIETY mostly enjoyable, there was one major flaw I couldn’t let go of; Marie Lu couldn’t help but be lured in by the main YA trope, the love triangle. In THE YOUNG ELITES it seemed as if Lu was only going to keep around one man for Adelina. But in THE ROSE SOCIETY, she brings in Magiano, who, while an interesting character, is an unnecessary love interest. He could have added just as much to the plot as a friend.  

In conclusion, I was quite fond of THE ROSE SOCIETY and where Marie Lu is taking the series. I think this novel is quite revolutionary to the YA world and I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys dark, fantasy stories with strong female characters.

Reviewed by Linnea P., Teen Board member on October 15, 2015

The Rose Society
by Marie Lu

  • Publication Date: October 4, 2016
  • Genres: Adventure, Fantasy, Young Adult 12+
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Speak
  • ISBN-10: 0147511690
  • ISBN-13: 9780147511690