Mundie Moms

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee / Book Review & Excerpt #TheEpicCrushOfGenieLo

Debut author F.C. Yee's THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO was released TODAY! To celebrate, we've teamed up with the publisher, Amulet, to share an excerpt from the book, along with a little bit about this book. Rich in Chinese folk-lore, this book is being hailed as an, "American born Chinese meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer".


By: F.C. Yee
Published by: Amulet Books
Released on: August 8th, 2017 - TODAY!
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Rating: 3 Stars
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for my honest review

Sixteen-year-old Eugenia “Genie” Lo is one among the 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 is under siege from Hell-spawn straight out of Chinese folklore and she discovers she’s a celestial spirit who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fists, her priorities are suddenly and forcefully rearranged. 

Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. While Genie knows Quentin only as an attractive transfer student with an oddly formal command of the English language, in another reality he is Sun Wukong, the mythological Money King incarnate – right down to the furry tail and penchant for peaches. Quentin becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons and nurtures her outrageous transformation.

Suddenly, acing the SATs in the least 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.

THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO draws from Chinese folklore, features a larger-than-life heroine, and perfectly balances the realities of Genie’s grounded high school life with the absurd supernatural world she finds herself commanding. 


Rich in Chinese folk-lore, this is an action packed debut. Lee wastes no time thrusting readers right into the heart of Genie's complicated world. Complete with demon fights, drama, plenty of humor, romantic bantering, and family dynamics. I really enjoyed the rich Chinese lore in this book. Lee gives fans a detailed history of it through Genie's learning of her heritage. It's one I've not heard of before, but one I enjoyed getting to know more about through Genie and Quentin's story. 

I liked Genie and Quentin. Together they are an unstoppable force when they fight the demons. I liked that through the course of their story, Genie learns to trust him, as he helps me remember who she really is. These two definitely know how to push each other's buttons, which provided a lot of the humor in the book. I couldn't help but laugh at the bantering between these two. Especially in the beginning when Genie has no idea who he is. Her reactions to him are down right funny, as well as realistic, when he tries to explain who they both really are, and tells her about the Chinese lore behind their origins. I give Quentin props for being undeterred by Genie doing everything she can to get away from him. 

While I liked Genie and Quentin together, I had a harder time liking Genie. Aside from her hilarious commentating through the book, she is very rough around the ages, and angry a lot of the time. However, I did like seeing the changes in her as the story progressed. She is definitely a force to be reckoned with, in her own right. I like that Quentin respected that and her abilities. 

I liked Quentin. He's the kind of character that does not make any excuses for who he is. He is what he is. He owns it. He definitely knows how to push Genie. At times it's hilarious at how he gets under her skin, and other times I admired him for being relentless in training her, and teaching her of who she is, even when she has no idea what he's doing. Which makes sense, given he really knows her, and what she's capable of. 

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is full of epic fight scenes, plenty of humor, rich Chinese lore, and the right amount of romantic tension that keeps you turning the pages. This is definitely a fast paced, fun read. I'm looking forward to reading more of Genie and Quentin's story.  

*There is some language in this book that may not be suitable for younger readers. 

Chapter 1

I would have known what do to if I’d been the victim. Hand over everything quietly. Run away as fast as possible. Go for the eyes if I was cornered. I’d passed the optional SafeStrong girl’s defense seminar at school with ying colors.
But we’d never covered what to do when you see six grown men stomping the utter hell out of a boy your age in broad daylight. It was a Tuesday morning, for god’s sake. I was on my way to school, the kid was down on the ground, and the muggers were kicking him like their lives depended on it. They weren’t even trying to take his money.
“Get away from him!” I screamed. I swung my backpack around by the strap like an Olympic hammer thrower and ung it at the group.
The result wasn’t exactly gold medal–worthy. The pack, heavy with my schoolbooks, fell short and came to rest at one of the assailants’ heels. They all turned to look at me.
I should have made a break for it, but something froze me in place.
It was the boy’s eyes. Even though he’d taken a beating that should have knocked him senseless, his eyes were perfectly clear as they locked on to mine. He stared at me like I was the only important thing in the world.
One of the men threw his cigarette on the ground and took a step in my direction, adjusting his trucker cap in a particularly menacing fashion. Crap, crap, crap.
That was as far as he got. The boy said something, his words lost in the distance. The man inched like he couldn’t believe what he was hearing, and then turned back to resume the brutal pounding.
Finally my legs remembered what they were good for. I ran away.
I should have been worried that the assault and battery would turn into outright homicide, but I kept going without looking back. I was too freaked out.
The last sight I had of that kid was his gleaming white teeth.

“You shouldn’t have bothered in the first place,” Yunie told me in homeroom. “He was with them.”
I lifted my head up from the desk. “Huh?”
“It was a gang initiation. The older members induct the new ones by beating the snot out of them. If he was smiling at you the whole time, it was because he was happy about getting ‘jumped in.’ ”
“I don’t think there are gangs that hang out in the Johnson Square dog run, Yunie.”
“You’d be surprised,” she said as she thumbed through her mes- sages. “Some areas past the Walgreens are pretty sketch.”
Maybe she was right. It was easy to forget in the bubble of Santa Firenza Prep that our town wasn’t a uent. A competitive school was really the only thing it had going for it. We were hardly Anderton or Edison Park or any of the other pockets of Bay Area wealth where the venture capital and tech exec families lived.
On the other hand, that kid couldn’t have been a gang member. It wasn’t the kind of detail you focus on in the heat of the moment, but looking back on it, he was wearing rags. Like a beggar.
Ugh. I’d run across a group of assholes beating a homeless per- son for kicks and wasn’t able to do anything to stop them. I groaned and dropped my forehead to the desk again.
“Flog yourself some more,” Yunie said. “You told a teacher as soon as you got to school and spent all morning giving the police report, didn’t you?”
“Yeah,” I muttered into the veneer. “But if I wasn’t such an idiot, I could have called the cops right there.” The skirts on our uni- forms didn’t have pockets. So of course I was carrying my phone in my backpack. That is to say, I’d been carrying it.
It was going to be a long haul, re-creating the notes from my AP classes. My secret weapons—all of the practice exams that I’d hounded my teachers into giving me—were gone. Studying by any method other than active recall was for chumps.
And my textbooks. I wasn’t sure what the school policy on replacements was. If the cost fell on me, I’d probably have to sell my blood plasma.
But while I’d never admit it, not even to Yunie, what hurt most wasn’t losing my phone or my notes. It was the fake-gold earrings I’d pinned to the canvas straps. The ones my dad had bought me at Disneyland, even though I’d been too young for piercings back then—too young to remember much of the trip at all.

I’d never see them again.
The bell rang. Something heavy fell past my head to the oor, and I bolted upright.
“Hey, jerk!” I yelped. “That could have hit me in the—whuh?
It was my backpack. With all my stu still in it. Minnie Mouses unharmed.
Mrs. Nanda, our homeroom teacher, stood by her desk and rapped her Educator of the Year paperweight to get our atten- tion, punctuating the air like a judge’s gavel. Her round, pleasant face was even more chipper and sprightly than usual.
“Class, I’d like to introduce a new student,” she said. “Please wel- come Quentin Sun.”
Holy crap. It was him.


“In a dry, wickedly funny, first-person voice, overachiever Genie Lo easily brings readers into her corner…[Written with] clever and fascinating detail [and] filled with witty banter. An exciting, engaging, and humorous debut that will appeal widely, this wraps up neatly enough but leaves an opening for further installments—here's hoping.” – Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“In this dazzlingly fun debut, Yee mixes humor, Chinese folklore, and action to deliver a rousing, irreverent adventure packed with sharp-edged banter.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review


F. C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and studied economics at Brown University. For his debut novel, he drew inspiration from the best and wisest people in his life. Outside of writing, he practices capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts. He currently calls the San Francisco Bay Area home. Find out more at or @YeeBookAuthor.

Out Today! 8/8/17 New YA Releases

Happy Book Birthday to today's newest YA releases! Check out the list of new YA books out on bookstore shelves now:

Which new releases are you excited about picking up today?