She annihilates standardized tests and the bad guys.
Genie Lo is one among droves of Ivy-hopeful overachievers in her sleepy Bay Area suburb. You know, the type who wins. When she’s not crushing it at volleyball or hitting the books, Genie is typically working on how to crack the elusive Harvard entry code.
But when her hometown comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches.
Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries. The fates of her friends, family, and the entire Bay Area all depend on her summoning an inner power that Quentin assures her is strong enough to level the very gates of Heaven. But every second Genie spends tapping into the secret of her true nature is a second in which the lives of her loved ones hang in the balance.
Just plain good fun!! I always love urban fantasy and this ya version is no different.
This is the perfect cross between contemporary and fantasy – focusing on things like Genie’s desire to escape and go to an Ivy League colleague, her relationship with her parents, her friendship with Yunie, but also on Genie meeting Quentin, realising who she really is, and you know – fighting demons, meeting gods. The usual. 😂
I think Genie’s frustration about how her two lives intersect was really well done, though I’d have like to see more with her and Yunie, and more fallout after the concert. I’d also have liked someone to tell Andrei to stop being so off and on, and so randomly over protective. Ugh. But that’s really it.
I really loved how well the Chinese folklore was woven through – I knew a tiny amount so it was great to learn more.
Genie’s character was brilliant too – ambitious, hard working, and often angry. It was nice to have someone who was both trying to do good but also angry at a bunch of different life things – from demons to her mothers disappointment. It seems rare a MC is allowed to be angry, rather than explaining it all away.
I also liked that Genie was smart enough to figure out more than what she was told, or snarky enough to fight with people (gods) she perhaps shouldn’t.
Buy The Epic Crush of Genie Lo on Amazon UK (affiliate link)