*ARC Review* The Iron Will of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

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Title: The Iron Will of Genie Lo

Author: F.C. Yee

Publisher: Amulet Books

Release Date: January 14, 2020

Page Count: 304 pages

Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology

Summary:

The fate of the heavens is at stake in this hilarious and highly-anticipated sequel to the The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi

Genie Lo thought she was busy last year, juggling her academic career with protecting the Bay Area from demons. But now, as the Heaven-appointed Guardian of California, she’s responsible for the well-being of all yaoguai and spirits on Earth. Even the ones who interrupt her long-weekend visit to a prestigious college, bearing terrible news about a cosmos-threatening force of destruction in a nearby alternate dimension.

The goddess Guanyin and Genie’s boyfriend, Quentin Sun Wukong, do their best to help, but it’s really the Jade Emperor who’s supposed to handle crises of this magnitude. Unfortunately for Genie and the rest of existence, he’s gone AWOL. Fed up with the Jade Emperor’s negligence, Genie spots an opportunity to change the system for the better by undertaking a quest that spans multiple planes of reality along with an adventuring party of quarrelsome Chinese gods. But when faced with true danger, Genie and her friends realize that what will save the universe this time isn’t strength, but sacrifice.

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Purchase Links

AMAZON  |  BARNES & NOBLE

INDIE BOUND

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My Review

Hold it! This is a review of the sequel to the very amazing and kick-butt book, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo. This review may contain spoilers from the first book, so you have been warned if you choose to read on. You can check out my review of the first book here.

Thank you to Amulet Books and NetGalley for the e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

In 2017, The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was one of my favorite reads. I remember being so excited when I found out there would be a sequel. And let me tell you, the sequel did not disappoint. It was honestly one of the best sequels I have read. There’s action, back-and-forth character banter, and so much character growth; the characters (and the story) stay true to what the first book brought to the table.

In the sequel, Genie is not just dealing with the demons – protecting them and finding them a home. She’s also struggling with the idea of her senior year and what comes after: college. Genie knows her parents can’t afford the college she wants to go to, and that insight causes another strain with her parents, especially after the health scare with her mom. And then there’s the part where Genie and Quentin are at a stale part of their relationship and neither really knows how to move forward. All in all, Genie doesn’t really have it easy this year.

One of the reasons I loved this book and its predecessor is the witty and sarcastic banter between the characters, especially Genie and Quentin. It makes the story humorous and makes the characters feel real. Genie and Quentin have such a genuine and loving relationship and, ultimately, have each other’s backs through everything. In this book, they’re now dating, which easily becomes another struggle for Genie. She’s figuring out how to navigate their relationship and how exactly it will fit in her life; she wants Quentin in her life, but with almost every conversation between them ending in an argument, she doesn’t know how to get through the rough patches.

So, needless to say, Genie has a lot on her plate. And her plate starts to overflow when she tries to change the system the gods and goddesses have been following for centuries. Which pegs the ultimate question: will Genie be able to handle everything she’s gotten herself into? What I loved about this is that it really did make Genie feel like a real character. This book showcases her strengths and weaknesses and doesn’t hesitate to illustrate when Genie reaches her breaking point. She dealt with stress and defeat and her anxiety of the future, and I could relate to that on a high level because that’s exactly what it felt like for me when I was finishing high school. It was great to see that portrayal and it was executed in such a phenomenal way.

The writing and flow of this story is wonderful and just as captivating as the first book. There was never too much action, nor was there information overload, which I really appreciated. F.C. Yee has a way of bringing a story together with characters that fit so well and feel so real. He will continue to be an instant-buy author for me, and I cannot wait to see what his next work brings.

Overall, The Iron Will of Genie Lo is a wonderful sequel to the first book, one that is equally as good as its predecessor. Those who loved the first book will not be disappointed, and may, like me, end up liking the sequel more.

My rating: 4.5 stars out of 5 stars

nikole

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 5/26/19

Happy Memorial Day!

This week I’m going to read a book for a blog tour that is this Wednesday and then somethings I’ve had in my book closet.

What are you reading?

Dark Shores- Danielle L. Jensen

41555964High seas adventure, blackmail, and meddling gods meet in Dark Shores, a thrilling first novel in a fast-paced new YA fantasy series by USA Today bestselling author Danielle L. Jensen.

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.

A PIRATE WITH A WILL OF IRON

Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.

A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET

Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.

A DANGEROUS QUEST

When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.

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Rule- Ellen Goodlett

37946451Three girls with three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.

The king is dying, his heir has just been murdered, and rebellion brews in the east. But the kingdom of Kolonya and the outer Reaches has one last option before it descends into leaderless chaos.

Or rather, three unexpected options.

Zofi has spent her entire life trekking through the outer Reaches with her band of Travelers. She would do anything to protect the band, her family. But no one can ever find out how far she’s already gone.

Akeylah was raised in the Eastern Reach, surrounded by whispers of rebellion and abused by her father. Desperate to escape, she makes a decision that threatens the whole kingdom.

Ren grew up in Kolonya, serving as a lady’s maid and scheming her way out of the servants’ chambers. But one such plot could get her hung for treason if anyone ever discovers what she’s done.

When the king summons the girls, they arrive expecting arrest or even execution. Instead they learn the truth: they are his illegitimate daughters, and one must become his new heir. But someone in Kolonya knows their secrets, and that someone will stop at nothing to keep the sisters from their destiny… to rule.

Magic, mystery, and blackmail abound in this sensational and striking fantasy debut.

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Wild and Crooked- Leah Thomas

36120308Critically-acclaimed author Leah Thomas blends a small-town setting with the secrets of a long-ago crime, in a compelling novel about breaking free from the past.

In Samsboro, Kentucky, Kalyn Spence’s name is inseparable from the brutal murder her father committed when he was a teenager. Forced to return to town, Kalyn must attend school under a pseudonym . . . or face the lingering anger of Samsboro’s citizens, who refuse to forget the crime.

Gus Peake has never had the luxury of redefining himself. A Samsboro native, he’s either known as the “disabled kid” because of his cerebral palsy, or as the kid whose dad was murdered. Gus just wants to be known as himself.

When Gus meets Kalyn, her frankness is refreshing, and they form a deep friendship. Until their families’ pasts emerge. And when the accepted version of the truth is questioned, Kalyn and Gus are caught in the center of a national uproar. Can they break free from a legacy of inherited lies and chart their own paths forward?

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All We Could Have Been T.E. Carter

39073348Five years ago, Lexie walked home from school after her older brother failed to pick her up. When she entered her house, her brother sat calmly, waiting for the police to come arrest him for the heinous crime he had just committed.

Treated like a criminal herself, Lexie now moves from school to school hiding who she is—who she’s related to. She struggles with loving her brother, the PTSD she now suffers from, and wanting to just live a normal life. But how can she be normal when she can’t even figure out how to just live?

This is a powerful look at the assumptions we make about people. Lexie’s emotional journey to separate her brother’s horrific act from herself is stunning and heartbreaking. This is Lexie’s story and journey—not her brother’s—and it will stay with you long after you turn the last page.

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stacy

Did Someone Say MORE Fantasy for WWW?

That’s right. Its Wednesday, and I’m reading more and more fantasy. Though, I feel as if that should no longer be a surprise to you all, since most of my reviews encompass fantasy books.

But if you notice below, there’s one book in there that’s out of sorts. It’s not fantasy, but rather part of one of my other favorite genres: Science Fiction! Can you guess which book it is?

WWWEvery Wednesday, we participate in a blog post known as ‘WWW Wednesdays.’ This was originally hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm before moving to Taking on a World of Words. 

You may be wondering what the three Ws stand for. The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


What am I currently reading?

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

This book is everything I thought it would be and more. Zera is a fierce yet snarky girl with amazing comebacks who only wants her heart back and to do so, she must take the heart of the Prince. Sounds easy right? Not so much. I have about 100 pages left and it keeps getting better and better; though, I will admit, I’ll be sad when the book ends because that means I’ll have to wait for book two.

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Bruja Born by Zoraida Córdova

Bruja Born is the sequel to Labyrinth Lost and is written in Lula’s point of view. Labyrinth Lost was one of my favorite books last year, so I am beyond excited to read more about Lula and her family. It takes off to quite the start, a very intriguing beginning. I can’t wait to see what’s in story for Lula further into the book!

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What did I recently finish reading?

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Furyborn by Claire Legrand

This book has easily become one of the best fantasy YA books I have ever read. It’s got everything: action, intrigue, romance, magic, etc. If you do not have this book on your TBR radar, then you need to! If you’re looking for more thoughts on this book, check out mine and Stacy’s reviews below!

My review

Stacy’s review

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What do I plan on reading next?

Awakened by James S. Murray with Darren Wearmouth

Is there anyone that’s a fan of the TV show Impractical Jokers? That is one of my absolute favorite TV shows to binge watch, so I was ecstatic when I heard that James Murray was writing a novel. And I was even more ecstatic when I got to meet him at C2E2 AND get an early copy of Awakened. And yep, if you guessed this was the science-fiction book I was talking about, then you are correct! There’s also a mix of horror, so definitely check this out if you love reading either of those genres!

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A Thousand Beginnings and Endings, edited by Ellen Oh and Elsie Chapman

Okay, so this book also has some science-fiction but from what I’ve heard, it’s mainly fantasy. Either way, I am excited to dive into this collection of short stories on the mythology from East and South Asia. Fifteen authors came together to write this short story collection. I haven’t read a short story in a very long time, so I look forward to reading all the ones in this one book!

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What books are you currently reading and/or looking forward to read?

♥Nikole

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo – F.C. Yee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

Goodreads Synopsis:

Genie Lo is one among 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 comes under siege from hellspawn straight out of Chinese folklore, her priorities are dramatically rearranged. Enter Quentin Sun, a mysterious new kid in class who becomes Genie’s self-appointed guide to battling demons. 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 Monkey King incarnate—right down to the furry tale and penchant for peaches.

Suddenly, acing the SATs is 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.


This book was fantastic! I absolutely loved the aspect of the Monkey King and the Chinese history, as well as seeing it brought into the real world. F.C. Yee did a great job integrating both worlds together (the mythical and the real) and I adored the writing and battle scenes.

What I really enjoyed, though, about The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is how real the characters felt, especially when they talked. When the author added in the exclamation points or the capitalized dialogue, I could feel and understand how excited or upset the characters were, and that is something I truly look forward to in every book I read. Not all authors are able to accomplish that (for me, at least) in their first debut, but Yee knocked it out of the park.

I also enjoyed the aspect of Chinese history. I love learning about the different cultures, and with the Chinese culture, the history of the Monkey King is by far one of my favorites. So when I heard about this book, I had to get my hands on a copy. And on a side note, that cover is absolutely stunning!

I loved the molding of the Monkey King, demons, and real-life situations. Bringing ancient beings into Genie’s life is eye-opening to her, especially when she finds out the reason as to why she is being targeted. All Genie wants is to live a normal(ish) life, by doing homework and preparing for college entrance essays. She never expected her life to involve demons and Chinese Gods. It was a fun journey watching Genie’s transformation from normal volleyball girl to something even more.

This book was fantastic and I highly recommend for any action, fantasy and history lovers. I went into reading this book with high expectations and F.C. Yee surpassed those expectations. I am so thankful this book was written, and I cannot wait to see what Yee cooks up next (hopefully it’s more stories about Genie and Quentin!)

Overall rating: 4.5/5 stars

Purchase a copy of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee at your nearest bookstore!

♥ Nikole