Title: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
Author: F.C. Yee
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Page Count: 336
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.
But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches.
Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.
I was so excited to finally get my hands on a copy of this book after hearing such wonderful things about it across the book community. People were comparing it to Percy Jackson – and I love Percy Jackson.
Although The Epic Crush of Genie Lo didn’t quite live up to my expectations – note that my expectations were sky-high – I still vastly enjoyed the adventure of Genie Lo and Quentin Sun.
I’m going to go ahead and list a pro and con list because I think it’s the best way for me to organize my overall thoughts and then I will properly review.
- strong female heroine
- Chinese mythology (we need more books with Asian mythology it’s so interesting!!)
- School-focused protagonist
- slow-burn romance
- fight scenes
- mentioned bubble tea three times (no, i wasn’t counting…)
- the romance?? I don’t know, I felt like it was obvious who was going to get together but in YA it’s always like that so I probably shouldn’t be listing that as a con.
- the writing. There was something about the writing that I didn’t really like. I think it was the constant usage of similes and metaphors. They were like – everywhere.
- Quentin. Something about him didn’t sit well with me.
I really loved Genie. She is a wonderful protagonist. She’s very hard-headed and stubborn though which can get annoying at times, but she always came through in the end. I think that the author did a great job writing her. She thought Quentin was cute throughout the book but it was never overboard. The author is a guy so I was a bit nervous, but he ended up doing a great job writing her.
“People can always say I don’t look impressive enough, but they can’t argue over how strong I am once I punch them in the face.”
Quentin was great as well, but he seemed a bit… I don’t know, inconsistent? He was an interesting character – being a monkey prince and all – but I think I was just expecting something different from him? And I know it was a misunderstanding but ever since he told Genie that she “belonged” to him I had a weird feeling towards him (even though it made sense why he said it).
The Gods and demons in the story were so interesting though!!! I loved the goddess Guanyin. She was strong and powerful and I really hope Genie and her become friends in future books because there’s so much potential there.
Something that made me so happy to see is Genie’s dedication to her education. She might be the reincarnation of the Monkey King’s magic stick but she’s definitely not going to skip school with a light heart to fight off demons. I loved seeing a main YA character like this.
I also loved seeing her relationship with her parents. YES!! Parents play a significant part in this book and I am LIVING for it!! Also, her parents are separated so it was interesting to see how Genie deals with that separation.
Let’s move onto the romance. The romance was there, and it was evident from the beginning that Quentin was the love interest (I mean, cute new guy that claims that you’re his… kinda obvious) so I was kind of just waiting the entire book for something to happen and I am so happy that it wasn’t insta-love. Slow-burn for the win!
Also, Quentin and Genie were adorable. The cutest thing would have to be their height differences. Usually the guy’s taller but this time time Genie towers over Quentin and I loved that.
i also matched GOT7’s Never Ever with Quentin’s character since he told Genie that she belonged to him *wink wink*
I usually don’t link to own voices reviews but I think this is something I should start doing. And since this is a pretty popular book there are some I’d like to share.
**there are also two other ownvoices reviews that i could show you but they’re 1-2 star ratings (you know who you are), and they say the asian rep is good**
My Rating: 4 Stars
I really loved this book because of the humor, strong female heroine, and Chinese mythology. I can’t wait for the next installment of the series to come out. For some reason I can’t quite rate it 5 stars, but I’d still highly recommend it.
Purchase This Book:
Are you a fan of Percy Jackson? If so, do you think you’d like The Epic Crush of Genie Lo? What other mythologies would you like to see in books?