Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by FC Yee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by FC Yee
Publisher: Amulet Books
Released: 8th August 2017
My Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Find it on Goodreads
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…
(from Goodreads)

I absolutely loved this book and I’m so happy there are going to be sequels because I seriously need more of these characters.

First of all, let’s start with Genie herself, because she was such an awesome heroine. As well as fighting demons and juggling forces from both Heaven and Hell, Genie was also dealing with daily high school life – trying to get into college while maintaining her place on the volleyball team. I admired her a lot for how she handled everything! Her reaction to finding out Quentin’s true identity (as well as her own!) cracked me up. It was so funny that she refused to believe it at first and her comments…I was dying, honestly. One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the Chinese mythology and folklore – it was so interesting learning about these stories and I loved how seamlessly they were woven into the narrative. The way the characters adapted to modern life and how Genie interacted with them while trying to get her head around the laws of physics going down the drain was brilliant. I loved seeing Genie come to terms with her newfound powers and the responsibilities that came with them; her voice throughout the book was so realistic and I loved the way she dealt with all the new things she was faced with. I’m so excited for the sequels, a) because of the ending, but b) because I can’t wait to learn more about the Monkey King and the folklore surrounding him.

Quentin, [mini spoiler, highlight to read]aka the Monkey King[end of spoiler], was a character I grew to love. He was very odd to begin with (and Genie would agree with me) but as we got to spend more time with him, I couldn’t help but be charmed by him. The whole Chinese Batman talk had me cracking up, as did his various out of place comments and lack of understanding as to what constituted normal conversation/behaviour. I also loved his relationship with Genie – he respected her a lot due to their past connection and it was nice to see the dynamic between them begin to change. The romance was definitely unconventional, but you know what, I’ll take it, and I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

I loved Genie’s relationship with her parents, but especially her mother. We didn’t get to see too much of her, but what we did see was lovely. I especially loved the scene where Genie’s mum was upset with her and was ranting on about her “double life” – there were just so many laugh out loud moments in this book! Genie’s best friend Yunie was another great character and I’m hoping we get to see more of her in the sequel.

Plot-wise, I really enjoyed learning about Quentin’s past and how he had previously fought all the demons who has now escaped from Hell. There were a lot of parts I didn’t see coming and the ending was somehow funny, surprising and frustrating because it now just means I’m going to have to wait ages to find out what happens next.

Overall, this was an amazing debut by FC Yee and I am on board the hype train, because it’s really that good.