For What It's Worth

Monday, May 21, 2018

monday minis: the epic crush of genie lo & the final six



30116958The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

She annihilates standardized tests and the bad guys.

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. ~
Goodreads

Source: Library

My thoughts:  Chinese mythology, demons, action packed and filled with humor and a relatable protagonist – The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was a fun, fresh take on the *chosen one* trope. Don’t let the title fool you – “crush” in the title isn’t used in the traditional romantic sense. I won't spoil what it does refer to.

My one little nitpick – there were several interesting side characters that felt like they were going to be central tot eh story but kind of vanished midway through the story but I see there is a sequel coming so hopefully that will be fleshed out more.



36491465The Final Six (The Final Six #1) by Alexander Monir

When Leo, an Italian championship swimmer, and Naomi, a science genius from California, are two of the twenty-four teens drafted into the International Space Training Camp, their lives are forever altered. After erratic climate change has made Earth a dangerous place to live, the fate of the population rests on the shoulders of the final six who will be scouting a new planet. Intense training, global scrutiny, and cutthroat opponents are only a few of the hurdles the contestants must endure in this competition.

For Leo, the prospect of traveling to Europa—Jupiter’s moon—to help resettle humankind is just the sense of purpose he’s been yearning for since losing his entire family in the flooding of Rome. Naomi, after learning of a similar space mission that mysteriously failed, suspects the ISTC isn’t being up front with them about what’s at risk.


As the race to the final six advances, the tests get more challenging—even deadly. With pressure mounting, Naomi finds an unexpected friend in Leo, and the two grow closer with each mind-boggling experience they encounter. But it’s only when the finalists become fewer and their destinies grow nearer that the two can fathom the full weight of everything at stake: the world, the stars, and their lives. ~
Goodreads

Source: Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

My thoughts: The Final Six was….fine. There is a diverse cast of characters with a cool premise. Climate change is making earth uninhabitable and humans need to find a way to live on another planet before it’s too late. 24 teens from all over the world are sent to compete for 6 slots to make the voyage to settle and repopulate a new planet for humans.

If you have ever read a YA dystopian novel about government secrets, experimentation, teens competing against each other in cutthroat training montages - then this doesn’t cover any new territory. It felt very paint by numbers and predictable. Despite the outer space premise, this book takes place entirely on earth.

Having said that, the book ends on a cliffhanger that promises a much more excting sequel.

38 comments:

  1. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo sounds like a lot of fun. Too bad The Final Six was so predictable, but at least the ending gives promise. Do you think you'll read the next installment?

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    1. It was! Not necessarily breaking new ground but handling old tropes in a new way.

      The Final Six wasn't bad - just the usual but the next one promises to be more exciting and potentially twisty so I think I will give it one more shot.

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  2. I actually own a copy of Genie Lo so I should really, really, really get around to it soon! It sounds amazing, and I'm actually glad a sequel is in the works, for once, because I've seen many people complain about the side characters deserving more.

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    1. There's no date for the sequel, which bums me out (& worries me) but this one has a solid conclusion so still worth reading despite some loose character threads.

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  3. The Epic crush sounds kinda good! Chinese mythology...

    The Final Six doesn't really scream at me to read it, but nice cover!

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    1. I'm so used to Greek mythology so this was a lot of fun. It also had a few nice little twists on the genre that made it more than your typical YA.

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  4. I have heard such good things about Genie Lo. Not my typical read but might have to check it out. Great reviews!

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    1. It's good for a light -action packed read. Not too heavy but still a lot going on.

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  5. I have not read this author but the books do sound interesting!

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    1. They were Cyndy but not your usual thrillers :-)

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  6. Paint by numbers predictable seems to happen more and more often here. :/

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    1. The Final Six had a lot of potential and in comparing the two - Genie Lo took a generic set up but gave it a fun twist while TFS took the predictable path.

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  7. I have a copy of The Epic Crush of Genie Lo on my shelf, and you're making me feel REALLY bad for not reading it yet!!! I am in dire need of a fun read with an awesome heroine... Shame about those side characters, but thank you for the warning!

    - Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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    1. If you want lighthearted fun kick-assery then give it a go!

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  8. I really loved The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, so glad you enjoyed it too. The final six I was hoping would be great, but I've had my fill of predictable YA so I may skip it.
    Tori @ In Tori Lex

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    1. There are so many great books out there pushing the limit right now that I'd rather be reading them.

      having said that - I think the second installment of The Final Six is going to get interesting.

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  9. I love these mini reviews. "The Final Six was….fine" well, I guess it could've been dreadful but it doesn't sound too exciting to me ;) The Epic Crush does sound interesting though. Too bad about the characters that fell off the planet. It drives me a little nuts when a writer does that.

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    1. I'm eloquent like that - "it was...fine" lol

      It was bad at all and if I hadn't read so many similar books (& one better space set YA recently) I might have enjoyed it more.

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  10. The Final Six sounded interesting but I was wondering if it was going to be different from all the rest. Sucks to hear that it is just the same recycled story. :(

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    1. The premise is fresh, the cast diverse with fascinating backgrounds but the delivery wasn't anything new.

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  11. Was fine sure does not sound that exciting ;)

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  12. I am not a fan of cliffhangers. Loved your mini reviews.

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  13. Genie Lo would go on my list just for focusing on Asian myth, but sounds like there are some refreshing elements, too.

    I sometimes want the old and familiar so I might pick up the Final Six if I'm in the mood for a sci-fi Hunger Games. LOL

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    1. It had a few twists on old trips which was a lot of fun.

      Yes, TFS is perfect of that's what you're in the mood for.

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  14. I've read a few like The Final Six and they were predictable too :(

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    1. It wasn't bad at all. Just more of the same.

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  15. I have The Final Six - still curious about the story. I'm so into these type of Hunger Games type of last one to survive reads. Too bad about The Epic Crush. I thought it would be a good one.

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    1. Huh? I loved Eoic Crush lol

      Hope you like The Final Six!

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  16. I don't generally like the chosen one trope, but Genie Lo does sound fun! I'm curious about the crush thing now lol. I've seen a lot of similar reviews for The Final Six. That it wasn't necessarily bad, but not impressive either.

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    1. It was an interesting twist on it Kristen.

      I guess similar books can be comforting when you need them but in this case I was expecting something new with TFS.

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  17. I'm glad to hear you liked Epic Crush. I've heard good things, and I'm definitely curious. Sorry that The Final Six was pretty cliche/formulaic. That's never exciting to hear.

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. I hope you give Genie Lo a try. it was a lot of fun.

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  18. I really loved The Epic Crush of Genie Lo! It was such a fast and fun read, and the banter between the characters was pretty great. With that being said, I do agree with you about some of the supporting cast deserving more spotlight. I was especially bummed when Genie's best friend was basically forgotten for a while there.
    Great reviews. :)

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

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  19. You read Genie Lo! I'm excited. There were flaws to it, but as it's part of a series I'm like you hoping aspects will be explored and characters brought back in with the next book (fingers crossed, right?).

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    1. I did! I loved it despite the few flaws. I don't see dates for the next book so I hope that doesn't mean anything bad.

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