The Rose Society – Review // An Equal Balance of Things I Liked and Disliked

The Rose Society by Marie Lu
Book 2 in The Young Elites trilogy
Genre: YA high fantasy
Pages: 395
Format: hardcover
Source: library
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

plot: 12 out of 20
characters: 15 out of 20
setting: 20 out of 20
relationships: 12 out of 20
twists: 12 out of 20
71 of 100

If you haven’t read the first book, beware of spoilers.

You can watch my pros and cons video here. 🙂

I went into this with little memory of the first book, remembering only that I had enjoyed it. While I wouldn’t go as far to say The Rose Society had second book slump, it wasn’t the best sequel either. 😐

the plot

This is mainly a dark fantasy about anti-heroes, and while it was a unique idea for sure, the first half dragged. It took time for me to really get involved in the story, and even then I wasn’t fully immersed. The story followed Adelina after she and her sister fled the country. Adelina was mourning Enzo’s death, blaming herself for it, and plotting revenge against the Daggers and the Inquisition, particularly Teren. The first half was her going around Merroutas, recruiting Elites and mercenaries to join her own society, and not much of anything really went down until the second half. That was when the story progressed, majorly, and made things interesting. The ending was the most intriguing to me, with the twist the story took, but still not enough to have much gushing. 😐

the characters

Maybe I’m just not used to anti-heroes, but I couldn’t bring myself to care for Adelina. Watching her deteriorate as her inner darkness got stronger was interesting, but at the same time, I didn’t like it. In other words, I thought her character arc was unique but didn’t care for the effects of it. She became intensely malicious and power-hungry, feeding off of the terror in those around her and not caring about others. I know that’s the whole point of anti-heroes, but I haven’t really read about them before and Adelina was basically the polar opposite of all my favorite characters. 😐

I didn’t like Teren, either. He was like Adelina, but a flat-out antagonist rather than an anti-hero. He was arrogant and sure his way was best, and resorted to violent measures when things didn’t work in his favor. Some people might love to hate him, or think the way he thinks is fascinating, but he got on my nerves almost immediately. In one particular scene with Giulietta and Raffaele, I was thinking something along the lines of, “Accept that she’s done with you and leave.” XD I don’t mean that in a bad way, because I think it shows just how well he was written. I just mean to say that I wasn’t (and still am not) a fan of his. 😉

The saving grace for me, so to speak, was Magiano. He was a tease, a thief, and a very resourceful, very special kind of Elite. I can’t pinpoint why, exactly, but he was my favorite. Even though I had nothing in common with any of these characters, I empathized with him more than anyone else. I just really liked him, and how he always knew what to do, and popped up to help when he wasn’t expected. 😀

the setting

I also liked the world this book took place in. Merroutas, Kenettra, and even Beldain – in the short time readers spend there – were richly described and easy to imagine. I know I say that a lot, but that’s because it’s true in many cases. All three of the countries visited during this book were different and distinguished: Merroutas was unpredictable, Kenettra was strictly ruled, and Beldain was forceful. I can’t elaborate beyond that due to spoilers, but that’s what I personally gathered as I read. 🙂

the relationships

With an anti-hero like Adelina as our main character, relationships were declining and uncommon. I always prefer romance and/or friendships in books, but the unique lack of both was interesting. Adelina’s darkness and viciousness frayed the bond she had with her sister, and made for an unusual love triangle. She had leftover feelings for Enzo, but also felt something toward Magiano, and was torn between the two of them and not wanting anyone by her side. Hopefully that makes sense; I don’t want to give too much away. 😉

the twists

Plenty of things happened in this book that I wasn’t expecting, but none of them ever surprised me. Not even the one in the last few pages did. I think they would have if I’d been immediately hooked, but the effect was lessened because I wasn’t. 😐


All in all, The Rose Society had a mostly equal balance of things I liked and didn’t. However, because I was more neutral than anything else, I won’t be reading the final book when it’s released. >.<

my rating: 3 out of 5 stars

** If you’ve read the first book and want to read this one, definitely do so. Don’t let me stop you. 😉

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! 🙂

I’m off to play Yoshi’s Woolly World and start The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin. 😛 I hope you all have a fabulous day/night! ❤

Until next time…

HOG post end

Come visit me! 😀





2 thoughts on “The Rose Society – Review // An Equal Balance of Things I Liked and Disliked

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