Book review · novel

Book review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, by F.C. Yee

30116958Description: (from 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…

Publication date: August 8th 2017.
A review copy (eARC) of this book was provided by the publisher through Netgalley. Some things might change in the final copy.

That is clearly a book that I will remember as one of my favourites of 2017. I cannot believe this is a debut novel! There are so much great things to say about it.

I LOVED how Genie has the best reactions to Quentin doing weird things, things that we have seen happened before in novels, weird things that have sometimes been romanticised when they shouldn’t be. For example, Genie does not let strange boys into her bedroom because that is NOT romantic, that is creepy and our Genie knows it. I clapped when she screamed for her mom when a boy appeared at her window because THAT is the reaction one would have!
She is violent at times, she screams and is a bit crude , she is an angry teen and I love that. There is a lot she has a right to be angry about, and I found it a relief to find a YA heroine not afraid to state her feelings and speak about what bothers her in such a way.

“You are not entitled to my thoughts, emotions, or any other part of my life unless I say so. What you get from me is jack and squat, regardless of whether or not you understand. Ming bai ma, dickhead?”

An aspect I really liked was the complex relationships between Genie and her mom, her father, her best-friend and Quentin. The relationships felt real. While I was disappointed that her relationship with her best-friend suffers from the secrets she kept from her, this is a matter that is addressed and I think could get better in an eventual sequel.

Genie is also SO STRONG. Like, her strength is magnificent and I was in awe at how it was handled and her reaction to all the things revealed to her. She is one of my new favourite characters. She also is super tall, and while I can’t relate I’m glad because there aren’t enough tall heroines!

I couldn’t talk to anyone without proof. But at the same time, I needed to protect myself. I would have to take matters into my own hands.

A “fun” detail is that Genie is allergic to pollen and I was strangely ecstatic for this because it is so rare to have a character sharing this allergy (which is actually quite common.) She also is really focused on her homework, her future and volleyball. She is a very well fleshed out character that has a lot of things going on in her life. That is something that is often missing from characters in fantasy or sf YA novels and I really appreciated this here.

I was afraid the plot and action would get repetitive at one point but it really didn’t. New characters appeared, fun action scenes worthy of our favourites anime happened, I kept laughing and laughing… It must be said that this is a very comedic book, meaning it really has vocation to be funny and action-packed in a wacky way.

For Western reference, I’d say if you love things like Buffy (no vampires here, rather demons), this could totally be right up your alley. I wasn’t familiar with the Chinese folklore/mythology explored in this book, but it is made sure that all readers could enjoy this book. I’m glad to see so many Chinese teens and friends on twitter and Goodreads being overjoyed to see a story they grew up with being used so well in a YA novel.

This is an amazing addition to YA novels and I hope it will get the success it deserves!

I haven’t seen it listed as part of a series on goodreads or the publisher website, but I’ve seen around that there should be a sequel in 2018 so YAY! I’ll be there for this one!!

Some great review of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo:

9 thoughts on “Book review: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

  1. Thanks for sharing my review, Lucille! ❤

    I'm so happy you loved this book, laughed with Genie, and understood her as a character. I feel like this story is a game changer. Greek and Roman mythology are all over in ya fiction, but Chinese? Nada. This story is resonating with so many readers, and I'm here for it. Lovely review!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so good, I had to 😀 ❤

      YES! I really need to watch Journey to the West now I guess 😉
      Genie is definitely one of my new favourite character! I have a lot of them, but she is in the top10, no hesitation!
      Thank you ❤


  2. I’ve been seeing this book everywhere lately, I think this is a sign I should read it. I don’t think I’ve read ya where a protagonist has allergies, that’s interesting. It seems from your review that the parents play an active role, which I like because there are too many missing parents in Ya.
    Deanna Reada Books


    1. Yes yes and yes 😀 This book is really great, the relationship with the parents is complicated but very well written in my opinion! They are not *that* active, but they are there, more than in some other books!

      Liked by 1 person

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