Tournament of Books, Round One: We Are Okay vs The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

weareokayI first read We Are Okay over the summer while narrowing down a list of Mock Printz titles.  It’s a very good book. It deals with depression, love, mental illness and suicide.  Marin has left for college and she has chose to completely close the door on that part of her life.  She doesn’t want to confront what happened to her grandpa and how she may have missed all the signs. She doesn’t want to dwell on her relationship with her best friend that turned in something much more at the end of the summer either.  Since leaving for school Marin has slowly carved out a new life for herself carefully protecting everything in her past so it doesn’t surface again.

Except now it’s winter break and Mabel, her best friend is coming for a visit.  Marin wants to keep everything hidden. She wants to continue the routine she’s developed to keep everything moving in her life.  But, when a snowstorm somewhat strands them, Marin may be forced to confront what she fears most.   We Are Okay is accessible with quick chapters,  it deftly handles the issues it raises.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F C Yee

genieloOn a completely different note- super powers, hilarity, demon spawn and Chinese mythology make  The Epic Crush of Genie Lo a kickass book.  Genie is busting her butt trying to get into a great college and get out the community she lives in outside on San Francisco.  Everything is going to plan until Quentin shows up and strange things start to happen, like demons arriving and the possibility the whole city will be destroyed.

Here’s the abridged version; turns out Quentin is actually the Monkey King and Genie is the Monkey King’s former all powerful weapon, the Ruyi Jingu Bang, reincarnated as a human.  Of course this takes Genie some time to wrap her head around.  Turns out being the Ruyi Jingu Bang also means she has awesome super powers. Since the Ruyi Jingu Bang, is incredibly powerful everyone is after Genie because they want to harness her power.  Genie has no interest in belonging to someone else.  Genie and Quentin begin to train together, because of those aforementioned demons.  There are over 100 demons that have escaped from hell and Genie and Quention need to take them all down to save the day. Note – that is not a simple task.  While all that is going on Genie is still trying to manage her day to day life including applying for colleges, friendships, crushes and her divorced parents.  She has her hands full to say the least.

And the winner is…


The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F C Yee

I loved The Epic Crush of Genie Lo because it’s unique, has a strong female lead, uses pieces from Chinese mythology, has a lot of humor and is always engaging.  We Are Okay is a good book too, but I feel I have read it before in other forms and variations.  The issues raised in We Are Okay are important for sure, but it’s not a book that really stuck with me like The Epic Crush of Genie Lo has.   I love the fact that Genie Lo has almost all non white cast. It was new, fresh, and fun.  (Yes some of you might be thinking there are other action pack mythology books out there, but I promise you this book by really stands out).  It makes me laugh to myself when I think about it and it’s a book I want to share with all the teens I work with.  The Epic Crush of Genie Lo was the pick me up book I needed this past year.

Besides overseeing teen services at Evanston Public Library, Renee Neumeier enjoys stuffing her face with macarons, wrangling her 3 year old, drinking copious amounts of tea, and tromping around Chicago looking for macarons (and sometimes cupcakes).

Back to Round One, Bracket Eight

Onto Round One, Bracket Ten


2 thoughts on “Tournament of Books, Round One: We Are Okay vs The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

  1. Pingback: Tournament of Books, Round One: Turtles All the Way Down vs They Both Die at the End | So like YA know...

  2. Pingback: Tournament of Books, Round One: Wintersong vs Long Way Down | So like YA know...

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