Book Review: “The Epic Crush of Genie Lo” by F.C. Yee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is an excellent adventure tale by F.C. Yee. Genie Lo is just your average sophomore – worrying about college, trying to please her mom, and wasting a little time with her best friend, Yunie. Until a new kid comes to town.

Quentin is loud, rude, and demanding, and Genie doesn’t like him at all. But what Genie doesn’t know is that she and Quentin have a bond from a long time ago. A bond and a sacred duty. And once she does know, she’s less than pleased.

The Epic of Crush of Genie Lo is easy to describe in one word: fun. This book is really just a lot of fun. Genie is a hilarious main character, and you will immediately fall in love with her personality and sense of humor – I definitely laughed out loud a few times while reading this book. Her relationships with other people (mostly her relationship with Quentin) are extremely realistic and identifiable, and Genie always feels like a fully-realized character. Her relationship with her mother is also fantastic, and you immediately understand the depths to which they know and love each other, even if it doesn’t always seem like love.

This book expertly weaves together a realistic young adult novel with a mythological fantasy novel. The elements of Chinese mythology are extremely interesting, and fans of Percy Jackson will completely sympathize with the problems Genie encounters. The benefit Genie Lo has over Percy Jackson is that the stories of Chinese mythology are not as widely known to Western readers, so Yee can play with characters and retell stories that will feel brand new to many readers. Trust me – you want to learn about this mythology from Yee.

I don’t want to spoil any of the fun revelations of the book, so I’ll simply say that you don’t want to miss this one. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is a fun and smart start to what is sure to be an excellent series. If you like Percy Jackson, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, or American Born Chinese, you will fall in love with The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. 

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Amulet Books, for review.