February 21, 2018

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The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee | SLJ Review

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redstarYEE, F.C. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. 320p. Abrams/Amulet. Aug. 2017. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419725487.

Gr 7 Up –Genie Lo lives in Silicon Valley, but not the nice part. All she wants is to get into the Ivy League so she can escape. But then Quentin, the weird new kid at school, tells her that he’s really the Monkey King and she is the human reincarnation of his weapon, the Ruyi Jingu Bang. In response, she punches him the face. Unfortunately for both of them, 108 demons have escaped from hell, and they need to track them down to save the world. Genie needs a crash course not only in demon fighting, but also in Chinese mythology—she has never read Journey to the West or seen one of the myriad movies. With the occasional helping hand from Guanyin and Erlang Shen, this rollicking page-turning adventure delivers action coupled with laughter. Genie’s not the first girl who has to balance school, family, and friends with averting the apocalypse, but her biting humor make her first-person narration a stand-out. A Chinese American girl who was angry and strong before being saddled with the fate of the world, Genie’s perspective on the strange turn her life has taken will have readers laughing out loud. Luckily, while the ending brings the story to a satisfying close, it does leave room for a sequel—readers will be demanding more Genie long before they turn the last page. VERDICT Hilarious and action-packed, this fantastically executed tale of the Monkey King in modern-day California introduces a great new character in Genie Lo.–Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington County Public Libraries, VA

This review was published in the School Library Journal August 2017 issue.

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