Publisher : Amulet Books
Genre : Young Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 336
Synopsis : 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…
I received an eARC of this book from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange of an honest review
Before diving into the review, I wanna preface by saying that the quote refers to a demon, Genie does NOT go around punching random people, in fact, she doesn’t punch humans. The only creatures that are deserving of her punches are demons and in certain instances, Quentin, who is a demi-god. Now, that that’s out of the way, I want to say that this story is a breath of fresh air, a hilarious one that’s full of wits and action-packed. I couldn’t put it down and found myself cracking up at 2am, I have no regrets.
The writing is straightforward and witty which keeps the book interesting from start to finish even when not much is happening (and let’s be honest that scenario almost never happens here). I loved how strongly Genie’s voice showed through it, there were no artifices so I really felt like I was inside her head and witnessed every freakout, moment of strength and moment of weakness she went through and that made it so easy for me to connect with her and everything she was going through.
When I first read the premise I thought it held a lot of potential and I can tell you that the execution did not disappoint, it was absolutely amazing, very complex and detailed while still managing to be fairly simple and not confusing at all even for the ones of us who are not familiar with chinese folktale and more precisely Sun Wukong’s stories. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is incredibly fast paced, it starts on a high note and keeps going up from there on, the fight scenes are really well written and thrilling while being extremely funny. F. C. Yee writes comical fight scenes, comical banter and comical everything, which is a huge plus in my book.
The fact that this story is a very fun and light fantasy allowed it to dupe me, as a reader I thought the author layed everything in front of me, I thought that I knew exactly what was happening and I just needed to watch it unfold, which I didn’t mind. But boy was I wrong. The story went down a path I did not expect and left me delightfully surprised.
Genie is the most refreshing character I’ve read in a while, she’s a tall (relatable) chinese-american girl who’s angry and impulsive and refuses to be tamed down, annd she honestly doesn’t even know how to. She’s honest and confrontational and doesn’t mind speaking up her mind which in my opinion is directly link to her impulsiveness (relatable as well). She’s also not gullable, it took Quentin a few tries and lots of proof to convince her of her true identity.
There are three things that I absolutely adored. 1/ How her strength seemed to be directly linked to her anger, the less she tried to contain that anger, the stronger her strikes were. 2/ She was more scared of her mom, missing curfew, seeing that some things don’t add up etc… than she was of demons. And last but not least, and this is my favorite thing, 3/ Her double life was affecting her school work which is the most normal thing but seems to be missing from most fantasies, she needs to stay up later than usual, she misses classes etc.
Quentin is such a funny character. He’s short and strickingly handsome, he’s witty and sarcastic and most of the time infuriating either because of his cockiness or his sheer lack of boundaries (in the beginning, which he gets punched for and learns his lesson) but the fact is you can’t help loving him because he’s very endearing for a gazillion year old warrior. I loved the team that they made, they completed each other and were in perfect sink during fights which if you read the book makes sense and if you haven’t I’m not telling you, because spoilers. Their banter is fun and snarky.
The only criticism I have is that the way the romance was hinted to was a bit awkward. Don’t get me wrong I ship it, the chemistry is obvious and I’m all for it, but some little bits and pisses that came before felt a bit off to me.
All in all, everyone needs to pick this book up ASAP. You clearly need Genie and Quentin to grace your life with their witiness and hilarious interactions.
Alice @ Arctic Books
cw @ Read Think Ponder
That’s it until next time.
Did you read The Epic Crush of Genie Lo? If so, what did you think?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.