The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, F.C. Yee

Because, as we all know, if you didn’t fight demons as a teenager…were you really ever a teenager?

Goodreads Summary:

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…

So often YA books with this kind of premise (Chinese Demon hunting) would be exclusively set towards boys. We would have a male main character and it would be oh so very manly and maybe there would be a woman but she would exclusively be a ‘hot chick’ who requires all of the rescuing.

I’m so happy to say this isn’t the case in this instance. What is also most joyous is that the female protagonist is ridiculously cool and not a cliché or a waste of space in any way shape or form! Hurrah!

This is kind of like if Percy Jackson met  Buffy met Chinese folklore. Now if that hasn’t tempted you I don’t know what will.

I loved the plot of this book, the drawing together of typical teenage issues while also attempting to save the world was that classic combination that made shows like Buffy really work. I’ll confess I know next to nothing about Chinese folklore so it could have all been completely made up but now I’m inspired to do some research.

This is a great example of bringing the ancient world or folklore into a modern setting and making it work. The two are at odds only when the author wants them to be and at all other times they meld quite seamlessly together.

I’m really hoping this book will be a series of adventures because I am by no means done with Genie Lo as a character. Perhaps not as many books as Percy Jackson because they are starting to get a bit old (am I right?) but I could do with maybe a trilogy or maybe five books in a series?

Suffice to say this book was a sheer delight from start to finish. I’ve knocked off one star just because I felt like some of the dialogue was a little bit stilted or gratuitous, I’m a ‘show don’t tell’ kind of reader so having a character spell something out to me in dialogue just feels a little bit pointless. Other than that, I can’t personally fault this book. I’m excited to see where this story and this author goes in the future.

My rating: 4/5 stars

By the way, I received a digital advanced review copy of this title from the publisher (ABRAMS Kids) via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo publishes  on the 8th of August so get your preorders in now if you don’t want to have to wait!

Have you read anything like this? Let me know if you’ve added this to your (ever growing I’m sure) TBR pile!

Can’t wait to hear from you

J

You might also like:

Voiceless, E.G. Wilson

Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

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