I’m sure the title of this one was meant to be a double meaning sort of thing.
“Haha, look, she has a crush on someone who is epic and also she can crush things in an epic fashion!”
But I 100% think that missed it’s mark. I remember hearing about this originally and thinking – Yeah, that doesn’t sound like something for me – but it’s a lot more than that title leads you to believe. I promise.
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee
Source: Purchased (Still on sale on Kindle as of posting for 1.99!)
TL;DR: Very much recommended. Super fun, pacey, with a unique premise and a misleading title.
- I cannot stress to you how much I dislike the title on this book. I just don’t think it works. But moving on because so much does work.
- YA novels – for better or for worse – like to focus on relationships. Romantic relationships if we want to be really specific. Sometimes this works, we get stuck in the inner monologue and the relationships drive the story in interesting ways that work. Most of the time for me though, it kills what would otherwise be a neat premise.
There was none of that here.
While there are moments where a relationship peeks at you from behind the plot the story is not about that. It’s about a girl finding out she’s a reincarnated being from a Chinese fable. I won’t spoil who because boy, I laughed out loud when I read it. She then has to figure out how to work with other mythological figures and defeat hordes of demons let loose from hell. All while preparing and trying to get into a good school. See why maybe I don’t like the title?
- The pacing on this book worked for me. Not only the pacing but the writing. I was trapped in the hospital for an extra 12 hours before I was ever actually induced. Do you know how nerve wracking that was? I picked up and put down three books in an attempt to distract myself because sleep was not and did not happen – and this book grabbed me. I read half of it between 1 am and 5 am on a Sunday night. I only put it down because the nurses came in with medicine, followed by family members. It’s got a simple, blunt, and straight forward style. Occasionally Genie’s thoughts veer into the pretty and well described but for the most part her voice is simple, strong, and hilarious. With that voice we get a ton of the world and events packed together to make for what felt like a rich novel. It felt real.
“I could only stare. At everything and everyone. This was a car accident, and now burning clowns were spilling out of the wreckage.”
- The premise, again I promise no spoilers, here is hilarious and super interesting. It also lightly touches on person-hood, and who or what deserves that. It raises some interesting thoughts and challenges. It also looks closely at failure, not wanting to fail and having a huge drive not to do so. But it happens and how you handle that, and what it means when you do or don’t.
“…Focus on becoming stronger, which you can control, over possible failures, which you can’t always.”
- Tall female protagonist and short male love interest. That’s all.
I really loved this. I can’t wait to read the second book and I’m incredibly sad it somehow flew under the radar, at least my radar. Pick this one up for an epic YA novel, I’ll be impressed if you don’t enjoy it at least a little.
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