Warcross by Marie Lu ARC Non-Spoiler Review

Title: Warcross (#1)
Series: Warcross
Author: Marie Lu
Genre: YA SciFi Thriller
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books
Format: ARC Paperback
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


From #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu—when a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths.

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

***Thanks to BookCon and Penguin for providing an ARC.


Here you have Virtual Reality, Bounty Hunters, Tokyo, plus tons of Diversity! Warcross, the biggest known virtual reality game across the whole world. Everyone links in to watch, this is one huge phenomena. 10 years ago, Hideo Tanaka who’s Japanese created this virtual reality called NeuroLink through a pair of glasses and since then, the world has changed. Emika Chen, a Chinese American bounty hunter and hacker, struggles in real life to make ends meet and pay her bills. She and her roommate, Keira, are about to get evicted within days. Due to the virtual reality world, gambling has become a serious issue where people buy things off through NueroLink and sell them in the real world, converting notes to money. After Emika loses a bounty and the money that came with it, she gets impatient about how she’s going to survive another day. During the Warcross championships, Emika comes up with an idea to hack the games and take a power-up in order to gamble and make it into money. What she doesn’t know is that when she hacks into the game, the game glitches and she is automatically thrown into the game to be seen by everyone. LITERALLY EVERYONE IN THE WORLD. In an instant, Emika Chen becomes an overnight sensation and her life changes in an instant. Emika Chen is worried about getting another arrest due to her hacking the Warcross Championships but what she doesn’t know is that Hideo has other plans for her, he flies her off to Tokyo and the rest is for you to read.


I am not new to Marie Lu, one of my favorite series happens to be Legend and if you’ve read Legend, then you’re in for a nice surprise with this one. Marie Lu has created such a detailed rich world in Warcross, she transported me from my own life to Warcross. She isn’t complicated with her words, Marie Lu knows how to explain everything smoothly and still have you imagining a vivid world. She draws you in with her plot, characters, and setting. I was addicted to this book and couldn’t stop reading it. Marie Lu is an amazing writing.


I loved every single character. We meet a wide range of characters filled with diversity and I am so happy that Marie Lu made this organic, as it should be. It never felt forced and I wanted to hug ALMOST (some I couldn’t stand) all of these characters lol. We first meet Emika Chen, our Chinese American MC with rainbow hair. Who is this amazing kickass chick from the boogie down ayyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!! (aka the bronx for those who don’t understand NYC lingo lol). Emika has been through a lot in life and Marie Lu definitely tells us how she got to where she is, her story was very heartwarming. We also meet Hideo Tanaka, the Japanese billionaire who created Warcross and everything that comes with the NueroLink. I feel like his character was a little trope-y lol (if that’s a word), if you like the “guy who has a shitload of money but has tons of secrets” trope, then you are going to love Hideo.

We also meet TONS of side characters that I really enjoyed and look forward to maybe reading more in the next books to come *fingers crossed*. We have from the Warcross Championships: Asher, Hamilton, Roshami, and Ren. I enjoyed all these characters and how flushed out they were. Marie Lu definitely gave us great insight to them.


I LOVED THIS BOOK AND I NEED THE OTHER BOOK RIGHT NOW BECAUSE HOW IS THAT MARIE LU IS GOING TO DO THIS TO ME WITH THAT ENDING?!?!?!?!? *THROWS A TANTRUM AND DOESN’T CARE WHO’S WATCHING*. This book was just utterly amazing. A lot of people compare this to Ready Player One, I tried reading that book and couldn’t get into it so if you are like me, then I would say to still give this one a shot because it’s amazing and vastly different. I loved the way she gave us enough information on the characters but it never felt like info-dump. Marie Lu always gave a smooth transition (in my opinion).

I really cannot wait to see what Marie Lu does with the rest of the series and how it ties into some of my theories. If you read Legend, then you’ll know what I’m talking about lol. I remember staying up for a few hours researching connections. You can still read Warcross without reading Legend though.

Marie Lu is definitely an auto-fave for me and now I need to marathon The Young Elites trilogy for sure. I definitely recommend Warcross!


have you read Warcross or anticipate it?? or any Marie Lu book at all? let’s chat in the comments! i would love to know your thoughts!

Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @chicnerdreads

guess who’s joining #ARCAugust?! a chat and ARC TBR!


You guessed it! I will be joining #ARCAugust! This is my very first time committing to something like this but I thought it would be perfect since I already had planned on reading all my September releases this month. On top of that, I get to chat up with other bloggers and we can motivate one another.

ARC August is being hosted by Read.Sleep.Repeat and if you click on their name, the link will take you to the sign up which I love because that way you get to meet other bloggers. On Read.Sleep.Repeat’s post you will find the rules (that are super easy to follow) and other things. They will be hosting two Twitter chats, the first one is on Monday August 7th at 8pm EST. The second chat will take place at the end of the month, Monday August 28, same time. You can use the hashtag #ARCAugust to check in ❤

Now a lot of you might not know this because I never did write a blog post about it but I attended BookCon this year with my twin Lilly @ LairOfBooks (she’s also joining ARC August, check out her linked post). Lilly and I snagged a lot of great books, therefore my ARC TBR for this month will feature some of the books that I obtained at BookCon. I actually don’t ever request ARCs for many reasons but that’s for another time. Let’s get into the ARCs!


*please note that I will not be reading these in chronological order, you can blame my mood reading for that. they are however in order of publishing date. titles lead you to goodreads.

ALL THESE THREE HAVE THE SAME RELEASE DATE!!!! *cries for days* They all release September 12th. Covers shown are:

Both of these are also released on the same day, September 19th. Covers shown are:

let me know if you plan on joining #ARCAugust! are any of these books on your TBR? let’s chat in the comments!

Instagram: @chicnerdreads
Twitter: @chicnerdreads

December Wrap-Up 2016

Hello there! The last month of 2016 was filled of so many ups and downs but I am grateful that we have started a new year with new expectations and goals. I am very satisfied with how I ended my year in reading. I read a total of 5 books and 1 I DNFed (did not finish). Let’s get onto the books and what I’ve been up to this month!

What I Read:




Midnight Hour by C.C. Hunter ★★★★★
Genre: YA Paranormal
Midnight Hour is the 4th book to the Shadow Falls: After Dark spin off series. I wrote a full non spoiler review for that book and you can check it out here! This is one of my favorite series and I still cannot believe that it is over.







Replica by Lauren Oliver ★★★★★
Genre: YA SciFi
This is the first book the Replica series. A book all about clones and two girls that are linked in all of this somehow. One of my favorite reads of 2016. I definitely would recommend this. If you want to read a in-depth non spoiler review, then click here!






RoseBlood by A.G. Howard
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Retelling
This is the book I DNFed. This is what I wrote on Goodreads: DNFing at 80 pages. I really thought I was going to love this book but I found the story too slow paced for me and a little all over the place with the elements involved. Nothing was really making sense and things got a little repetitive already.






The Bear and The Nightingale by Katherine Arden ★★★★.5
Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Adult
A Russian Folklore that will have you wanting to read every single word and will make you feel like you are there in the village with the family. I have a full spoiler free review here. Definitely a book worth reading.






we carry the sky by McKayla Robbin ★★★★★
Genre: Poetry
A poetry collection about femininity, identity, violence and healing. One of all time favorite poetry collections. I have a spoiler free review that includes some of the poems here.






Black Butterfly by Robert M. Drake ★★★★★
Genre: Poetry
A poetry collection about the transformation and rebirth of life and death. r.m. drake wrote this for all the people who have lost someone either living dead. I have a full non spoiler review that includes some of the poems here.




I know I didn’t post much poetry this month and that was because since the holidays were around I didn’t want to post dark things during happy times. I decided to back off a bit on it but nevertheless I did post and in case you missed it:
not what you say i am
a question and a question and a question
People I Once Knew – Part 14
untitled; a teaser from the book i’m writing
it’s not that easy.

I’ve also been working on my poetry book and I posted a couple of Waiting on Wednesdays, Top Ten Tuesday, Standalone Sunday, and Series Saturday. If you want to check out my memes then please click here. I hope you’re all having a lovely new year. Have you read any of these books or plan on too? Let’s chat in the comments!

Follow me on Twitter: @ChicNerdReads
Friend me on Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

Replica Spoiler Free Book Review

Title: Replica (Book #1)
Series: Replica
Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA, SciFi
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover (purchased)
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads:


From a distance, the Haven Institute, tucked away on a private island off the coast of Florida, looks serene and even beautiful. But up close the locked doors, military guards, and biohazard suits tell a different story. In truth, it is a clandestine research facility where thousands of replicas, or human models, are born, raised, and observed.

But when a surprise attack is launched on Haven, two of its young experimental subjects—Lyra, or 24, and the boy known only as 72—manage to escape. As they make their way through a new and menacing environment, they meet a stranger named Gemma, who has embarked on a perilous quest of her own. And as Lyra tries to understand Haven’s purpose, she uncovers earth-shattering secrets that will change the lives of both girls.


Gemma has been in and out of hospitals her whole life. A sickly child, she has grown into a lonely adolescent whose life is circumscribed by home, school, and her best friend, April.

But after she is nearly abducted by a stranger claiming to know her, Gemma starts to investigate her family’s past and discovers her father’s mysterious connection to the secretive Haven research facility. Hungry for answers, she travels to Florida, only to stumble upon two human models, or replicas, 24 and 72—and a completely new set of questions. As Gemma tries to unravel the mysteries of Haven, she learnes terrible truths about herself and her family that will threaten to destroy everything she loves.

Two girls, two stories, one novel.

While the stories of Gemma and Lyra mirror each other, each contains revelations critically important to the other story. Their narratives can be read separately or in alternating chapters.

*Trigger Warning: Suicide and Self Harm

I want to start by saying that there are 3 different ways too read this book, you can either
-read Lyra, then Gemma
-read Gemma, then Lyra
-read alternating chapters.
I read this as alternating chapters and I am so happy that I did!!


Replica is about the story of two girls Lyra and Gemma. When first starting the book, I wondered how the two would coincide together but it all weaves in beautifully. Haven institute is on an island off the coast of Florida and that’s where we meet Lyra and other replicas. Oliver takes us to the science of Haven and how these replicas are being created and treated. She also lets us see the culture that has been created within these replicas. They have never seen the outside world, besides seeing a nurse’s magazine or watching for 2 seconds TV in the nurses breakroom, all they know is white walls and one another. Gemma, all she’s known is hospitals her whole life due to her always being sick. The hovering of her parents and being over protective of every little move she makes. To the point where it’s unhealthy. She can only go out with her best friend April (Latinx, YAY!) but the parents of both girls are very strict. Something happens with Gemma in which makes her question one of the parents and it all connects with Haven. This is when Gemma does some digging and searching of her own and she finds out things that change her life forever.


In case you don’t know, Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite auto-buy authors. Lauren Oliver has this way of writing where she doesn’t tell you exactly what’s going on because she wants you to THINK! She wants you to take the smart brain that you have and connect pieces together. Which is why I love her so much because she will say something to you through her words but not directly. And I feel like this is where people misunderstand her writing.

Lauren Oliver does this exact same thing in Replica. She tells the story without giving you everything. Gemma and Lyra’s narration are both distinct and easy to tell apart. The author does give a notice before starting the book that some things were going to be told the same. HOWEVER, although sometimes Lyra and Gemma had same conversations, the thoughts of each one and their perspectives were really different. And I appreciated that so much. The pace for each girl was also different and I thought it added to the story.


I loved how each character presented in this book had a unique voice and played a part to the story as a whole.

Lyra, one of the main characters who has only known Haven her whole life. One of the experimental subjects. I loved her story and character. She’s so strong and I love how through her lens we see how she creates her own world and names objects by other things. Lyra reminded me a lot of Eleven from Stranger Things with the way she carried herself and expressions.

Gemma, another main character. She’s full of so many insecurities because she’s not a skinny girl like her classmates. All she knows is bullying and the constant hovering of her mother. She just wants to belong. I enjoyed seeing her journey from this insecure girl to this queen who does not stop for anyone to get what she wants. I was cheering her on like a mad woman! I thought Gemma’s character was very realistic.

72 is another experimental subject we get to meet. He does not have a name, he just goes by Number 72. He is rebellious all on his own. He does not trust anyone because he doesn’t know what to believe. There’s nothing really charming about this character, he definitely comes off as a hard-to-love person. However, I just feel like we get to sympathize with him when we learn everything he’s been through at Haven. We see him grow a little with Lyra.

We also meet Jake, Pervy Pete, and April. All minor characters that play important roles in the story. I feel like Pervy Pete was the one who definitely gave this book the laugh out loud moments (there’s a story behind his name but you should definitely read the book to see why he has that name). Jake the genius who helps Gemma throughout the discovery process. April the BFF! Honestly, when I found out that she was Latinx, I was very skeptical that she was going to fall into the stereotype. But behold, Lauren Oliver proved me wrong and I was like “oh finally!”


Overall, I loved this book! Lauren Oliver left me with so many questions which I’m pretty sure will be answered in the books to come. I thought the world and culture she created for both Gemma and Lyra were brilliant. Things that look normal to Lyra aren’t normal to someone in the outside world. Vice versa with Gemma. The science behind the making of the replicas was also spot on. It was simplified and easy to understand. Lauren Oliver created a fictional world with a realistic setting and real characters. I sympathized with these characters and what they were going through. I also loved how sometimes we got eerie undertones in this book. This book gave me Stranger Things (Netflix show) vibes. Lauren Oliver definitely had me guessing at every turn what was going on and I was surprised with the turn out. This was my first ever read about Clones and I’m happy with how Oliver developed this world. I would highly recommend this read.

IMG_7255.PNGCreated by me

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Let’s chat in the comments!

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Friend me on Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

Beauty and The Beast Book Tag

Hello I was tagged by Lilly @ Lair of Books and Ash @ Once Upon A Bookshelf for the Beauty and the Beast Tag! CHECK OUT THEIR AWESOME BLOGS!!!!

Also check out the Creator of this Book tag Kirsty @ Kirsty and The Cat Read


THE BAD BOY!!!!!!! Oh I will never get tired of the misunderstood bad boy who you hate in the first few chapters and then end up loving because he makes all the sense in the world. I always fall for that trap…I mean trope.


23395680-2I mean, I got it as a gift after I read the library edition..so it still counts right? Gosh this book is so beautiful without the jacket on and the inside IS SO AMAZING!!!! (read through documents, IMs, emails, not your regular book format) One of my favorite books. It’s a 5 star read for me.


18344534This book is a New Adult and I wasn’t really expecting it to be amazing as it turned out to be. One of my favorite New Adult books that I love oh so much. It’s not just the romance but the past of these two characters that bind them together is beautiful. I plan on doing a Mini Review on it soon so watch out for that!


17675462Gasp, kick, and cry all you want….I WILL NEVER GIVE THIS SERIES ANOTHER TRY. I just can’t do it. I have a more in depth reason as to why here.


11235712-2IKO!!!!! Please no spoilers!!! I haven’t read Cress and Winter yet, but I love me some Iko! Iko is an android, btw. Iko is so loyal and my heart panicked a few times when I thought bad things would happen.


270730I read Crank when I was teenager. My teenage years were really hard but getting lost within Hopkins writing made me feel better about myself. I almost got into drugs and this book definitely helped me see the light on that world. Crank is based off Hopkins daughter who’s an addict.


10929432The Archived by Victoria Schwab was really slow in the beginning and I almost DNFed it but then I reached past 100 pages and it got sooooooo good I couldn’t put it down.


tumblr_o79odoTp5o1rzvcdpo1_540.pngTessa Gray from The Infernal Devices (photo credit here) because we can talk about boys and books. Plus she’s classy ass f***

Tagging Time: (you don’t have to do it and if you have, I apologize)
Books, Vertigo and Tea
Inked Brownies
Hanging With Amanda
The Uncharted Word
Dream your own Dream
A Word About Books

Follow me on Twitter: @ChicNerdReads
Friend me on Goodreads: Gretchen (ChicNerdReads)

The Alphabet Book Tag

I saw @fridaysandbooks and I thought “hey what now?” since I am new here. I thought it would be a great idea for you to get to know me through my choices of books. So from what I understood, the rules are the book either has to be one you own or one you have read.

A: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

B: Burying Water by K.A. Tucker

C: Crank by Ellen Hopkins

D: Divergent by Veronica Roth

E: Eternal by C.C. Hunter

F: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

G: The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins

H: Harry Potter

I: Illuminae by Aime Kaufman and Kay Kristoff

J: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen:

K: Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

L: Legend by Marie Lu

M:The Martian by Andy Weir

N: Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

O: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout

P: P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

Q: Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

R: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

S: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

T: Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

U: Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

V: Vicious by V.E. Schwab

W: Winter by Marissa Meyer

X: ..this is where I draw a complete blank….

Y: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

Z: Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld

(some books are missing in the photo because I either read them in library form or ebook)