We have GUEST DRUNK POST by our good friend Dana
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee
What I drank before…
I blame the owner of this site, Sam. Lots of red wine was had as she graciously invited me over.
Imagine being an awkwardly tall teenage Asian girl being pressured to get into an Ivy League school, namely HARVARD, and having your world up-ended by Chinese folklore when the mythology actually turns out to be real…and a cute boy (Quentin) that you’re interested in is actually part of that and becomes your guide. Yup, that’s a giant run-on sentence. Also, you’re battling demons with your newfound power in between trying to balance schoolwork and friendships.
I liked the dynamic between Quentin and Genie since it wasn’t the traditional boy meets girl and they fall in love immediately. There was a good explanation of the Chinese folklore as well, but since that’s not an area of interest for me, it seemed a bit in depth. There was a nice story of friendship between the main character, Genie, and her best friend, Yunie. It was an honest representation of teenage friendship and offered realistic insight.
Genie is the staff of the mythological monkey king incarnate, Sun Wukong. She was his powerful weapon to be wielded at his discretion for many years until she wanted to be reincarnated as a human. However, Genie didn’t know about her past life though until Quentin (Sun Wukong) re-entered her life while she was a teenage girl. Her powers came alive when this happened and she was thrust into a world in which she had super powers that had previously belonged to Sun Wukong (impressive vision aka True Sight) and some of her own (think stretch armstrong or go-go gadget and super-human strength).
Genie discovering these new powers and the two of them being together attracts various demons into the world that had been released. They’re tasked with fighting these demons, working with the Goddess of Mercy and the nephew of the ruler of Heaven, Erlang Shen. They face various foes – from faceless shapes to women kidnapping innocent children. In the midst of this, Genie’s skills are continuing to grow and she’s growing distant from Quentin and her own friends/planned future. There’s a nice weaving of the balance between being a kick-ass demon killer vs. a normal high school girl who is worried about college and her relationships with her best friend, Yunie.
The book ends pretty abruptly though once Genie realizes that Erlang Shen is behind all of the trouble that’s being caused and facilitated Red Boy’s (a major demon foe) and others releases. At that point it seemed like things went into fast forward and it all came to a hilt where she and Quentin take action with help from the Goddess of Mercy and end the madness by killing Erlang and Red Boy. At the end, they’re victorious and the Jade Emperor announces that Genie will be responsible for CA, which is now somehow a separate entity needing protection, making you wonder if a sequel is in the works.
Favorite Part… (spoilers)
When Genie’s mom invites Quentin over for dinner with his parents and he conjures his parents up since he’s the Monkey King. They’re the perfect parents and even get on his case about certain things. Very entertaining sequence of events.
3.5 stars on Goodreads. This would have been higher if the end hadn’t come so abruptly. It felt like they were rushing to end the story and were set to a certain page limit, so it was forced to be quick.What Drink to Pair It With…
In honor of Hurricane Irma and the punch with which it a hurricane hits you (much like the end of this book), I would recommend a hurricane as your drink of choice with this book. It has a lot of sugary sweet moments between Genie and Yunie and Quentin as well, so it’s perfect. In other news, such a cute story about Irma and Harvey: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/07/us/harvey-irma-couple.html