Author: F.C. Yee
Source: Received for an honest review
Blurb: 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…
This was such a fun read! I was thoroughly gripped the entire way through and it was all just very, very enjoyable. I've seen this compared to Buffy and I definitely get that - although Quentin was far more appealing than Angel ever was. (Sorry).
Genie was the best part of this book. She was tough and funny and determined. I felt everything she did - there was one part of the story where my heart cracked a little bit and I realised just how invested in her life I was! Quentin was also great - he made me laugh a lot (and I rarely laugh out loud in books) and by about halfway through I was full-on in love with him! Side characters play an important part here and I definitely enjoyed reading about them all. Yunie especially I would love to read more of.
There is quite a lot going on in this book and a fair amount of lore to catch up on but you learn alongside Genie and I never felt like there was info-dumping or that the historical/mythology parts were slowing the story down at all. In fact they just made the whole story feel deeper. I really enjoyed learning about Quentin's past, and it definitely coloured my view of what was happening in the present. I would have liked more background on Guanyin because she seemed like a very intriguing character.
The ending wasn't a huge surprise to me, I kind of saw the plot twist coming from very early on in the book but here I definitely didn't mind all that much. I would have loved to have a proper gasp-worthy reveal but the tension and the resolution in this felt natural anyway. There was a point where I worried there weren't enough pages left to properly resolve the story but somehow Yee pulled it back and delivered an action packed and exciting ending to the story - although there is definite room for this to become a series. And I really hope it does.
I highly recommend The Epic Crush of Genie Lo - it was a fun and action packed read with humour (and a little heartache) and I can't wait to read more from F.C. Yee!