Just a Little More Time - Petitmas 07

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29386918Wildcard by Marie Lu
| ISBN: 978-0399547997 | Pages: 352 |
Publication Date: September 18, 2018 | Source: Library Ebook
| Rating: 4 out of 5 stars |

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo's new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she's always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.
Determined to put a stop to Hideo's grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone's put a bounty on Emika's head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn't all that he seems--and his protection comes at a price.
Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

It's been about a week and a half and I'm still not quite sure if I have recovered from the end of the Warcross journey. There is a mix of adrenaline rush with a hint of disappointment because of what could have happened, but let's discuss to figure things out.

I jumped straight into Wildcard after finishing Warcross because I honestly couldn't keep away (and my library hold was expiring). After finishing the first book, there were just so many conflicting emotions and fears about how Marie Lu would take the story that the anticipation was almost unbearable. Luckily, stepping into Wildcard was like seamlessly falling back into the digitalized world I had become so attached to.

"Or maybe there isn't such a thing as an end goal at all. You accomplish something, and then you shift, ready to accomplish the next. You keep solving one problem after another until you change the world.”

Admittedly, I did go into Wildcard with my expectations quite high, and honestly, for the most part, I wasn't entirely disappointed. My biggest complaint about the first novel was the predictability aspect which I felt wasn't as prevalent in this story. However, with the new sense of unexpected, there were other elements that became less developed. One of them being Emika's character. I have probably fangirled so much about how much I just became drawn to Emika in Warcross, but I found myself skimming over her parts. She lacked the same fire that powered her through at the beginning and seemed to just be going along with whatever happened to be thrown at her.

“Tearing something down isn't the end; doing something great, or better, something right, is.” 

That's not to say she wasn't motivated - she certainly had end goals for what she was going, but her character lacked further development and tangibility that would have made her a more compelling MC. And on the note of Emika, we have to talk about everybody else. Just seeing the friendships that were established in Warcross strengthen and how Emika really did find herself a family, that was a serious heart happy tears moment.

“That's the difference between the real and the virtual. Reality is where you can lose the ones you love. Reality is the place where you can feel the cracks in your heart.” 

The character who did get the chance to really become fleshed out was Zero. Marie Lu did a fantastic job making him more than the black hooded figure of code who's out to get Hideo. He had depth in a way that scarily realistic which paralleled Hideo's own idealistic expectations for the NeuroLink. There's just so much that can be discussed regarding human nature's search for control and how scary the influence of technology can hold over all our lives.

“And that’s when I realize that, at the end, we’d all wish for the same thing. Just a little more time.” 

My final verdict is still a bit blurry. Was I fully satisfied? Honestly, not really. But, I did enjoy this ending a lot. There were moments where I honestly felt like I couldn't breathe because my feels were overflowing or something critical was happening and I was going insane. I will say one last thing regarding the ending, it was nice and hopeful, but I want more Hideo x Emika please and thank you.

If you've read the book, I do go on a spoiler rant on Goodreads (click here) if you would like to check out more of my thoughts.

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