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Hi, it’s Aashna! Today I am going to be reviewing Warcrossby Marie Lu. AHH! This was an AMAZING book! I don’t even know what I was expecting at first, but is was most certainly not this. Between this book and The Young Elites series, I can now confidently say that Lu is one of my favorite YA authors. The impact of this book hit me hard. I found it difficult to read anything new, so my solution was to re-read some of my favorite parts of this book. It has been a long time since a book rendered me incapable of moving on, like this.

I picked up this book as a casual read, completely unaware of the absolutely addictive pace. I could not put it down. I was sitting on the edge of my seat and was very excited about the whole experience.

Emika is a cool character. She is smart and brave, without falling into any cliches. I think I really got to know her well and can understand her character. She was relatable and all around easy to support. I do not believe that she falls into the typical YA trap of being naive, which is something I was worried about, considering what I knew about the plot line going into this. The idea of having heroines that hold much more importance than typical YA heroines is something I have come to associate with Lu.

The first thing I must applaud about the Phoenix Riders is that they are diverse without the focus being on the fact that they are diverse. Not making it super apparent is what makes it seem normal, and I appreciate that. That being said, I wish I got to see more of their individual characters. That is why I am not discussing all of them separately in this review. I think Lu gave them each something compelling, and I hope they are all fleshed out more in the sequel. I also wish I got to see their friendships explored in more detail. I found it hard to believe that Emika would trust them at the end when we have only heard about their personal bonds through second-hand information.

I am super conflicted about Hideo. I was 100% behind him in the beginning. He was almost TOO swoon-worthy. Between the dinners, the texts, and his intelligence, he was literally perfect. I mean, of course he just had to be secretly evil, right? I will go more in-depth about the plot twists later, but I will say that I believe all those facets of his personality he revealed to Emika were genuine. So I do not hate him, like I probably should. He believes he is doing the right thing, and I have to keep that in mind.

I should have known this romance was too good to be true. What relationship with electric chemistry and deep feelings could ever survive in YA? I was so behind the relationship and was really happy when it actually started. The potential is till there and I hope Emika and Hideo work something out. The problem is, I just don’t think that’s possible anymore.

I immensely enjoyed the plot. I liked the whole undercover agent thing with the added elements of the bounty and the competition. Additionally, the idea of this happening in a near-future version of our world is quite thought provoking. That’s what makes books stick, when they make you further consider your own life.

The descriptions in this book blew my mind. They were detailed and immersed me deep into the world. With the ambitious technology it would have been so easy to leave things unexplained. I could see everything so vividly. Lu did an astonishing job.

I also want to bring up the explanations of the technology in that I was really buying it. There was a nice balance of the technology being explained enough for me to understand it and concise enough to avoid in-depth analysis of it.

Regarding the big plot twists, I cannot believe Hideo is controlling people’s minds. It’s crazy. What if the technology falls into the wrong hands? And Hideo actually believes he is doing the right thing. I can see his perspective, although he is honestly being ridiculous. I am totally on Emika’s side. I don’t know how to move forward from this. It is such a complex issue and I have no idea how it will impact the next book. Its like we’re starting from square one again. I’m not going to to talk much about how Zero is Sasuke. I saw it coming, and was thrilled when I found out. It was a great move for Lu to make. It opens up doors to so many possible situations and questions.

Just as a sidetones, this book has a striking cover. The cover is simple, yet bold. Hats off to whoever designed it.

I am giving this book 4 stars. It was a tight, controlled story that has miles of potential for the next book. I am so anxious to get my hands on the next one. I cannot wait, and knowing Lu, I expect nothing except the best.

Thank you for reading my review and I hope you will join me again as we go off to amazing places.

Aashna Moorjani
Aashna Moorjani is a sophomore (18-19) at Millburn High School and the Website Administrator for Studio 462.