Title: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo
Author: F. C. Yee
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Mythology Retelling
Publication Date: August 8th 2017
My Rating: 5/5 stars
“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.”
The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s a celestial spirit who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered.
Enter Quentin, a transfer student from China whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. Quentin nurtures Genie’s bodacious transformation—sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively—as her sleepy suburb in the Bay Area comes under siege from hell-spawn.
This epic YA debut draws from Chinese folklore, features a larger-than-life heroine, and perfectly balances the realities of Genie’s grounded high school life with the absurd supernatural world she finds herself commanding.
I received an e-arc of this by the publisher through Netgalley. This review is long overdue (my thoughts are on Netgalley but I haven’t written a proper review for my blog).
If it wasn’t for CW and a few others mentioning this book on Twitter, I may have not picked it up. BUT I am so glad I did see this floating around because The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is AMAZING AND I LOVE IT SO MUCH. I fell in love with this novel within the first couple pages and that doesn’t happen often. I was easily hooked from the beginning because the first few lines had jumped straight into action which successfully drew me in.
I was pleasantly surprised with The Epic Crush of Genie Lo because it is F. C. Yee’s debut novel and yet his writing is beautiful, descriptive and easy to read. Majority of this novel revolves around the Chinese folklore the Monkey King. You needn’t know much about the folklore when going into it because F. C. Yee cleverly retells the folklore for us readers through a character’s story-telling. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is also filled with diversity, humour and action, elements which I absolutely love in a novel.
I love Genie a lot because she is a genuine and very human in character a she has many flaws. But these flaws are ones that we all have and I’m glad that they were explored in this novel. Her temper is one of her major flaws that gives her character because it makes her stronger and fierce. However, it also causes her to be irrational and stubborn at times. I watched Genie grow stronger and more independent, as she had to learn to balance both school life, her friends and demon-hunting, which proved to be a rather difficult task. I also loved the friendship between Yunie and Genie, it’s so refreshing to see female friendships in YA that aren’t destroyed because of boys or other drama. These girls are supportive of each other and Genie’s fierce protectiveness of her is a wonderful thing to read.
I’m glad the author explored the way Genie had to balance her teenage school life and training plus demon-hunting, because it’s more genuine seeing as she didn’t drop everything just to save the world. Like, what would her parents say? Genie’s heritage is Chinese, and despite not being Chinese myself, I found I could relate to Genie and her relationship with her parents. Mine is somewhat similar to hers, and that isn’t what you’d normally see in novels. Also, Genie makes demon fighting seem easy ahaha.
I was amused by Quinten from the moment I met him. He’s adorable and funny, but at times he could be a jerk too. I had hoped that these two characters would eventually become friends, and I’m glad they did because the conversations these two have never fail to make me laugh. I felt that the bond between Quinten and Genie was real, a friendship that slowly formed over time.
We also get to meet some of the gods and goddesses and learn about some of the demons. The types of demons that existed was interesting, and I was very intrigued with the Red Demon character. Let’s also just say that I am now convinced that the Jade Emperor in this novel is a real jerk, even though we only get to see him once.
The ending was epic and so many twists and turns happened, a lot of which I didn’t see coming. I am semi-satisfied with the ending, it ends on a good note but I also want to know more! I saw on F. C. Yee’s Goodreads that he’s currently working on the sequel for The Epic Crush Of Genie Lo and I am so excited for that!
Though I adore this book, I also found that the world-building was quite lacking. Perhaps it was because I was reading on an e-book so my brain didn’t retain much of the intricate details, but I do hope that F. C. Yee does build up his world more.
All in all, F. C. Yee definitely wrote a beautiful debut novel, and it has definitely become one of my favourites. I definitely recommend the wonderful book to you all, especially if you’re looking for some action-packed, fast-paced novel.
My aesthetic for The Epic Crush Of Genie Lo: