ARC AUGUST Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee


The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Published by: Amulet Books

Date of Publication: August 8th 2017

Genres: YA Fantasy/Mythology/Re-telling

Pages: 336

Format: eGalley

*HUGE Thanks to Amulet Books, Netgalley, and F.C. Yee for the eGalley of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo in exchange for an honest review

   

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie Lo’s every waking thought. But when her sleepy Bay Area town comes under siege from hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged.

Her only guide to the demonic chaos breaking out around her is Quentin Sun, a beguiling, maddening new transfer student from overseas. Quentin assures Genie she is strong enough to fight these monsters, for she unknowingly harbors an inner power that can level the very gates of Heaven.

Genie will have to dig deep within herself to summon the otherworldly strength that Quentin keeps talking about. But as she does, she finds the secret of her true nature is entwined with his, in a way she could never have imagined…

This has to be one of the most fun and adventurous plots I’ve read all year long & I was so thankful for so many reasons! many have compared this to Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series which I have much love for. I can say that there are some similar feels but that goes for much of mythology, we can always find similarities. For me, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo stands apart for the following reasons:

1. A relatable Chinese-American heroine who is first and foremost just a student in High School trying to get into an Ivy League College before she starts juggling school & slaying demons

2. The story originates from the Chinese tale Journey to the West telling the story of Sun Wukong aka The Monkey King…I love all re-tellings however, I have never come across Chinese Folklore in Young Adult so this was a MUST READ!

3. The inclusion of Chinese culture specifically as it pertains to education and expectations. The pressures at home to over achieve bore so many similarities to those in Latinx culture. The fact that Genie wasn’t a child prodigy, she simply didn’t have a skill to set her apart in college applications & that alone made her very relatable…

The opening has us meet Genie Lo as she is meeting Quentin aka The Monkey King for the very first time. She witnesses him getting beat up by a group of guys in an alley & intercedes. She doesn’t know what to think of him when he shows up as the new kid in her class who just won’t let up on following her around. He speaks oddly enough but more than that, it’s what he is saying…he speaks of a greater power lying within her. Genie is someone who believes in Science and the things he is saying & more so doing are supposed to be impossible. Quentin doesn’t give up until he has made her question all that is real. Encounters with demons that leave her fighting for her life make her realize he isn’t lying and that the world may very well be in danger. Embracing her new found powers, Genie sets about to restore normalcy in California one demon at a time…

Genie Lo stole my heart with her sass but it’s the temper when she thinks you’re trying to take a jab at her that really made me care for her. She’s very self aware and makes no apologies for what sets her apart. Described as being very tall with a body that isn’t considered very feminine, Genie plays to her strengths. She’s part of a volley ball team not because she’s very good at it but because it’s a sport where her body is an asset & it looks good on college applications. Her moments of honesty really resonated with me & my own memories of High School. In Genie I saw a lot of my own self & it was refreshing seeing her not trying to change who she is for anyone.

Quentin aka The Monkey King got a ton of laughter out of me! he dished out as much sarcasm as he got from Genie. I enjoyed the moments where he pointed out all the hoops students had to jump through just to get a higher education. He of course is a supernatural force & school is not really an obligation lol. Quentin teaches Genie to fight all the while knowing he hasn’t told her the full story of who she really is…

Yunie-Genie’s BFF has to be one of the best BFF’s I’ve come across in YA! she is HILARIOUS!!! & also has no hairs on her tongue. She had me from the moment she referenced her Ovaries upon seeing Quentin’s handsome self walk into their classroom smh HAHA!

Genie’s Mom is by no means what you’re probably used to seeing from parents in Young Adults. As a matter of fact, she reminded me of my own in many ways. Genie’s mom is a single working mother trying her best to keep her daughter goal driven. She also doesn’t have any chill when speaking her mind & seeing her conversations play out with Genie felt familiar. Her heart is in the right place, she just has high expectations for her daughter. There are some moments when she speaks about Genie’s appearance that may make some uncomfortable, for me this was very relatable coming from an old school home that encouraged education but also an ideal marriage. Genie fortunately has tough skin & knows that her mothers ideals aren’t her own & loves her nonetheless.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is fun, adventurous, packs a punch, and will leave you rooting for this heroines victory! The time I spent in its pages sparked so much interest in the Chinese tale from which it was inspired that I found myself researching on the side for my own growth. This is when I know I’ve come across a good book, when it leaves me wanting to dig deeper. This book was highly enjoyable while still imparting the reader with an inside look to a small aspect of Chinese culture. I was also a big fan of the humor throughout, so many LOL moments that I truly lost count (like I said, a very fun book haha). I also enjoyed the progression or development of Genie & Quentins relationship all throughout. It felt more realistic to go from truly not trusting Quentin to friends to something more than just friends. I only docked it 1 star because the writing in the beginning felt like it was trying to find its footing. It started off with a very middle grade feel and towards the middle/end, it makes its mark as Young Adult. I’m very much looking forward to more from this author who lends an authentic diverse voice to this genre.

*Please check out these Own Voices reviews: Read Think Ponder & One Way or an Author

Hello Readers! yesterday was Genie’s Book Birthday, did any of you get to grab a copy? & if you’ve already read it please share some non-spoilery thoughts down below 😉


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36 thoughts on “ARC AUGUST Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee”

  1. Great review! This book has been high on my TBR list ever since all the buzz around the book community started growing. Chinese mythology? SIGN ME UP!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes definitely! I am part of the First To Read program and got “The Future She Left Behind” by Marin Thomas in women’s fiction and its was a cute, funny read like Steel Magnolias without the sad ending. “Jackaby” by William Ritter was HILARIOUS!! “Heart of Ice: Snow Queen” by KM Shea is a great faerie tale retelling with lots of cute humor in it, and of course even though we are not far in to it “My Lady Jane” by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows is already hilarious and fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh nice! Me too, it’s a great program 🙌🏼 LOVED Steel Magnolias so I will def be taking you up on this one 😌 Heart of Ice sounds right up my alley and I will def look into Jackaby 😃 My Lady Jane was so funny! I hope you enjoy that one til the end, I have a feeling you will though 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review for this book Lilly, and you’ve pretty much convinced me to add this to my to-read list and pick it up ASAP (unfortunately ASAP won’t be anytime soon because of the mountain of books I am trying to work my way through before the year is up.)
    I love the sound of the story and the characters. The fact that this book has been compared to Rick Riordan’s, and takes inspiration from Chinese mythology, has me hooked. Everything you said about the characters and the humour and sarcasm has only reinforced that and I need a copy in my hands like yesterday. 🙂
    Again great review. I hope I end up enjoying this one as much as you did! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Beth! I completely understand how that goes, i’m currently trying to stay afloat with books & their release dates lol. This was a fun read & If you’re a fan of Riordan then you’d really enjoy Genie Lo’s adventure with The Monkey King. Glad to hear you’re adding it to your TBR & I hope you enjoy it as much as I did 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great review, Lilly! I requested this book but was denied sadly (or perhaps not? It would just be one more thing on my TBR…). I cannot WAIT to read this!! Your review has certainly sold me. Were you familiar with the myth of the Monkey King prior to reading this book?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jackie! gah! I hate when that happens but just like you I also think it’s for the best HAHA! I was not familiar with the myth of The Monkey King prior to reading the synopsis to this book. This was part of the reason for which I requested this title & I’m glad since now I want to know more. I hope to see more Asian mythology in YA & books like this one are paving the way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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