This is the first book I've read by Marie Lu, and it will not be my last. I loved this book! It's quite rare for me not to be able to put a book down, but this was one!
Right from the beginning I was completely immersed in the world. Given this is a 'near future' sci-fi, it would have been easy for the world to be unbelievable. It had to be based in reality and it was perfectly done, nothing seemed unrealistic. The detail given to the Warcross games themselves too was epic. I could imagine each virtual world and feel the nerves and excitement of the players. This was sci-fi world-building at its best and it made for a thrilling read.
The formatting of this book was really cool too, with things like text messages, news headlines and game notifications given their own fonts and styles through out. It was really creative, and, while not totally original, was super fun to see and added to the immersive experience.
Diversity/disability are also expertly written here. The handling of disability in particular stood out to me. Asher, one of the Warcross captains, is in a wheelchair, but it was never really pointed out like "this is Asher, he's in a wheelchair". Instead, he used his chair to crash into his team's doors to wake them up. The fact that he is in a wheelchair doesn't even matter, it just is, and he's still one of the best players and captains in the Warcross games. Well played Marie Lu, well played.
This book was a pretty enjoyable YA that didn't really delve too deeply into anything in particular, until it did. The twist at the end left me conflicted about right and wrong and I was not expecting it at all. I'm still torn! Perfection.
I would recommend this book to any YA/Scifi lover. It's beautifully written and is surprisingly deep. I will be reading the second book ASAP when it comes out.