I Laughed Until My Belly Hurt: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C Yee

I Laughed Until My Belly Hurt: The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C YeeThe Epic Crush of Genie Lo
by F.C. Yee
Release Date: August 8th 2017
Published by Amulet Books
Genres: Contemporary, Humor, Mythology, Paranormal, Romance, YA
Format: eARC
Pages: 336
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Source: ARC received for review purposes

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…

ARC received for review purposes in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Bravo, F.C Yee! You’ve managed to make me laugh with a book until my stomach hurts.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo wasn’t exactly on my radar until some of my close bookish friends (shoutout to Eri, Aila & Aentee), wouldn’t stop raving about it. These ladies hardly ever lead me astray, so I decided that I was going to give it a shot and surprise, surprise – I had so much fun with it, by the end, I was just dying to have the sequel in my hands.

Books like The Epic Crush of Genie Lo remind me why I love reading so much. They are temporarily able to whisk me away to a different world. Sure, I’d probably be the first to flop dead in Genie’s newfound world of demons, but it’s still fun to imagine myself in her shoes. It helps that Genie is a super relatable character. I think a lot of readers are going to love her. She’s just pure fun, but also smart, studious (Hallelujah! Finally a YA heroine who actually worries about things like college and school) and witty! She’s also super dramatic (honestly, I think she might be me), and her reactions to finding out about the demons, the monkey king, and her true self, were hilarious. She doesn’t immediately embrace her newfound powers, she’s actually wary and thinks Quentin is a stalkery nutjob, which only made me love her more. Her powers don’t also come to her easily, and she has to train hard to unlock her limits.

Speaking of Quentin, what a joy this Monkey King was! He was just as hilarious as Genie for me. Some of his reactions, and comments left me breathless, holding my stomach. He and Genie made for great partners. Sure, they didn’t start off on the right foot, which was totally understandable, because honestly, who in their right mind would be accepting of anyone who shouts out “You are mine!” on your first meeting? I know I’d be getting a restraining order! But they grow a friendship, which very subtly develops into a romance. I loved all the scenes of Genie and Quentin fighting demons together as a team. What I liked the best about their relationship was how Quentin continued to push Genie to be a stronger version of herself. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo also has terrific family dynamics. I adored Genie’s mom, and saw a lot of my mom in her – I honestly think Asian moms were made of the same mold! She cared about her daughter, but also had certain expectations of her. I think perhaps if there was one thing I wanted more of from this book, it would have to be the friendship between Genie and Yulie. Yulie seems like a great girl, and I wanted her to have a bit more screen time.

My knowledge of any sort of Chinese mythology is sadly paltry, but I loved how F.C Yee incorporated the ancient Chinese legend of the monkey king, Sun Wukong, into this modern setting. He does a terrific job with the background, and giving readers a good understanding of the legend, and the roles each character plays in the legend. I also love any sort of book where the characters are fighting demons in a modern setting. They make for really fun stories, in my opinion, and F.C Yee was able to take it all a step forward with his addictive writing. My favorite scenes were definitely the action scenes with Genie at the center. I could read about girls kicking demon butts forever.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo ended with a nice twist, and I was left desperately in need of the sequel. I’m going to need more of F.C Yee’s writing ASAP! Seriously folks, this entertaining debut YA Urban Fantasy needs to be at the top of your TBRs.

What are some funny YA books you’ve read?
Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Aha I am so excited to give this another go because I originally DNFed it but will be picking it up again soon! I think a really great and funny YA book is My Lady Jane which was downright hilarious! Thank you for sharing

    xx Anisha @ Sprinkled Pages

    • I hope you have better luck with it the second time around, Anisha!

  • This one is completely new to me but I love the sound of it! It sounds like so much fun and is so different from anything I’ve been reading lately. I am definitely adding this one to my TBR list after reading your shining review. So glad you enjoyed it. Great review!

    • Yay, Julie! Glad I could introduce you to a great book. It’s very different. It reads a lot like some of the old school YA paranormal books.

  • sarabara081 @ Forever 17 Books

    Okay, now you have me more excited for this one! I didn’t realize it would have so much humor and I do love an ending with a twist!

    • I didn’t either, but was pleasantly surprised. I hope you like it!

  • kindlemom1

    I would never in a million years look at the cover for this and think humor. So glad you reviewed this Nick. I definitely need more humor in my life. 😉

    • I know what you mean! You would so enjoy this one, Ali! It’s kind of that Jennifer Estep series!

  • Hooray, I’m so happy to hear that you loved this one too! I thought Genie was the absolute best — her rage problems were super relatable and I loved how suspicious she was of everyone, including Quentin. Genie’s relationship with her mom was also fantastic, and both the affection and the tension between them felt authentic. And I agree with you: three cheers for teenaged characters who actually worry about things like school and the future!

    • Genie is all of us! She was so awkward, and hilarious. Right? What’s up with teen characters not caring about school!

  • This sounds amazing! I haven’t really been into YA, but I am going to make sure I order it for my library system. Genie sounds amazing! And I love books that make me laugh!

    • Definitely order it, Quinn!

  • oh glad you had a time with this, and I do know many enjoy YA Urban fantasy themes, not sure its for me though, although I do love chinese themes. Especially since they aren’t that common.

    • Thank you! It was a great book.

  • This is a new book to me and I would not have expected it to be as funny as you say it is but I’m all for books that make me laugh. This book just sounds addictive. I love that there’s a good mother/daughter relationship in this book and that the romance is steady. Genie sounds like a character I could root for. I don’t know much about chinese folklore but I’m all for learning about it. 😀

    • I know, I didn’t expect it either, but it was a nice surprise. Genie was great. I don’t know much about Chinese folklore either, but this book did a great job at introducing me to some.

  • Well now you have me freakin curious Nick. I am off to add this to my wishlist!

    • Ooh Kim, you’d love this!

  • I need a laugh 😀

    • We all do! 🙂

  • I need this in my life, Nick. There are not enough funny books and if this made you laugh until your belly hurt, sign me up. Going to hunt up a copy now! Thanks for the recommendation.

    • It’s so great, Heidi! I can see you enjoying this one! 🙂

  • A Novel Glimpse

    You’ve made this book sound so fun! Not sure it’s up my alley, but I might have to give it a try!

    • It was super fun!

  • Oh this is new to me!! Love a book that can make me laugh. Great review!!

    • Thanks, Grace!

  • Okay, I heard about this book plenty and now I am dying to read. It sounds like a fun read that is also interesting! Why did I decide to employ a spending ban for this month?

    • This one is worth breaking the book-buying ban for! 😉