Review: Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

Review: Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

By F.C. Yee

YA, Fantasy

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 Hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged. Enter Quintin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. While Genie knows Quintin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukon, the mythological Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tail and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the last 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.

oOo

I feel that anyone out there flogging themselves about less than perfect scores on tests and worried about future career paths will relate to Genie. Genie is a hyper-rational sixteen year old girl and it takes quite a bit for Quentin to get her to finally believe the fantastic and otherworldly things that are happening. It’s nice to have a character who translates their fear of the unknown into concrete mathematical equations and proven scientific theories. Even if all that rationale doesn’t work on magic and gods.

Quentin is…well, he’s a god in mortal form. So if you’ve seen Thor, I’d say Quentin follows that character arc really well. He’s kind of a jackass when Genie first meets him and she does everything she can to tell him to piss off. It’s great to have a protagonist that doesn’t immediately swoon over the cute new weird kid in class. It’s not until halfway through the book or more that attraction is even brought up. Again, it’s really nice to have that. So often in YA books we’re introduced to our protagonist and then two possible love interests within the first two chapters and it’s. so. Boring.

Not here! And the relationship between Genie and Quentin is so wonderfully organic. It’s not like all at once they’re BFFs and then dating. Genie still routinely butts heads with Quentin and resists all the weird things happening in her ordered life. Their personality clashes are consistent but not extreme enough to make their attraction to each other feel forced. It’s so much fun to read their interactions even while they’re not battling demon hordes.

I hope to see more adventures from Genie and Quentin. The way the book ends it could either work as a standalone or as a series. I really like all the characters introduced in this book, not just Quentin and Genie, but our secondary characters as well. So get out there a buy this book, so we can see more from F.C. Yee!

 

You can find The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee at:

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

And learn more about the author here.

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Review: Catch Me When I Fall + Bonus, Cover Reveal!

Catch Me When I Fall

By Vicki Leigh

20826785

 “Recruited at his death to be a Protector of the Night, seventeen year old Daniel Graham has spent two hundred years fighting Nightmares and guarding humans from the creatures that feed off people’s fears. Each night, he risks his eternal life, but that doesn’t stop a burnt-out Daniel from risking daring maneuvers during each battle. He’s become one of the best and wants nothing more than to stop
“Then he’s given an assignment to watch over sixteen year old Kayla Bartlett, a clinically depressed patient in a psychiatric ward. Nightmares love a human with a tortured past. Yet, when they take an unprecedented interest in her, the job becomes more dangerous than any Daniel’s ever experienced. Soon, Daniel finds himself watching over Kayla during the day, drawn to why she’s different, and what it is about her that attracts the Nightmares. And him.
“A vicious attack on Kayla forces Daniel to break the first Law, revealing his identity, and whisk her away to Rome where others like him can keep her safe. Under their roof, the Protectors discover what Kayla is and why someone who can manipulate Nightmares has her in his sights. But before they can make a move, the Protectors are betrayed and Kayla is kidnapped. Daniel will stop at nothing to save her. Even if it means giving up his immortality.”

Who doesn’t love a jaded, brooding hero? Daniel is on par with Batman for broodiness. But he’s keeping it together. Like most of us who are sick of our jobs, he’s looking for a good time and reason to turn in his two week notice. He has a very distinctive voice, he’s two hundred+ years dead and while his speech is modern there are places where he’ll slip into an older cadence. He’s also British, so you can read the whole book with Cumberbatch’s voice in your head if you’d like.

Then there’s Kayla. I would love to see a book from her perspective. We get a lot from her just from Daniel’s point of view, but it’s easy to see how much more there is beneath the surface. She’s funny, and maybe because she already thinks she’s lost her mind, we don’t have pages and pages of disbelief, denial, and anger to get through. She passes Go, collects her $200 and jumps pretty much right on board the crazy train that becomes her life. It’s awesome. Again, another reason I would love to see a book from her perspective. Even if you think you’ve already gone off the rails, having Daniel and his cohorts appear like they do would take some mental acrobatics.

Now, if you like Silent Hill you’re going to thoroughly enj1oy the Nightmares. While reading I was reminded somewhat of the faceless, homicidal nurses, except they’re darkness incarnate, featureless with claws and teeth. So, you know, nightmarish.

And the travel in this book! The Protectors are stationed out of Rome and I don’t know if the author has traveled to this place or the others, but there’s wonderful detail about the buildings that really gives the setting life without burdening the story with twelve paragraphs describing the pillars and flagstones. There’s a scene in Paris that I absolutely loved. She captures how breathtaking the Eiffel Tower is at night when it’s lit up. And the meal Kayla and Daniel share does Lady and the Tramp so proud. Shy flirting and getting-to-know-you cuteness.

But if cuteness isn’t your thing, fear not, there’s still a homicidal maniac after Kayla and there’s plenty of edge of your seat fights and close calls to keep you flipping pages. There’s also the mystery of what exactly Kayla is.
It’s a lot packed into a svelte 197 pages. I finished in only a couple hours so if you jump into it before bed, don’t worry, you’ll finish with enough time for your Dreamcatcher to get comfortable and fodder for your Dreamweaver.

 

And, coming soon to a bookshelf near you, this lil’ gem:

FMIYD_wrap

http://www.vleighwrites.com/#!novels/cjg9

Oh look, a link where you can order both books. How did that get there?