Summary from Goodreads:
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.
It took me awhile to really get into this book. I think a big part of it was that I was in a different country and just couldn’t focus. But there was a lot to follow in the beginning. My poor book has tons of flags all over the first half of the book. The second half flowed much better for me with plenty of action.
Genie Lo is your typical intelligent, motivated high school girl. She’s much taller than other girls, but she is doing well in school, volleyball, and with her best friend, Yunie. Her main goal is to get into an ivy league school and move far away from San Francisco. Everything changes when a new boy, Quentin, shows up at school.
“I am the greatest of my kind,” he said. “In this world I have no equal. I am known to thousands in faraway lands, and everyone I meet can’t help but declare me king.”
“Quentin gave me a grin that was utterly feral. He tilted his head as if to whisper, but spoke loud enough for everyone to hear. ‘You belong to me.’ ”
Quentin is The Monkey King. He and Genie were together in other lifetimes. But not in a romantic sense. She was basically his weapon. He found her because demons were released from their prison and invading earth. Quentin must help Genie find her powers so they can defeat them together.
The book had some laugh out loud moments along with action and Chinese folklore.
“You’re Chinese and you don’t know me?” he sputtered. “That’s like an American child not knowing Batman!”
“You’re Chinese Batman?”
I loved these moments of Genie’s personality. When she wasn’t so serious. I also loved Yunie and wished there was more of her in the book. There was a little romance in the book, but nothing that was distracting to the story. I loved reading about the folklore.
The ending did make it seem like there will be a book two and I’m very much looking forward to reading it.
I gave this book 4 1/2 stars (rounded up to 5 on Goodreads).