Genie Lo is a tall Chinese girl with a temper and will out-study you any day. Quentin Sun is the weird new kid who has incredible muscles and is Sun Wukong, the Monkey King. Demons are showing up in the Bay Area and the gods want the pair to hunt them down. Genie’s got her grades to worry about— who cares about the magical powers she’s manifesting?
EVERYONE READ THIS IMMEDIATELY. It’s a Xiyouji / Journey to the West retelling. It’s the first retelling of these stories I’ve ever read. It’s incredibly funny, Genie’s voice is amazing, Quentin is quippy about everything and I love him because I am impressively weak when it comes to trickster characters. Genie struggles with fighting demons and homework, her parents are separated, the book talks about classism. She gets invited to watch a violin competition and if that isn’t realism I’m eating a piano (and the book being set in the Bay Area with an angry Asian girl who’s starting to go through the college admissions process just hits so close to home. Literally. Oops). She punches demons. The demons are crushed with great sass. Basically everyone is Asian. Genie hates boba. Erleng Shen and Guanyin are characters and this is VALIDATION. I cried three times while reading/thinking about this book for reasons completely unrelated to the plot, thought that might be because I’m a wreck today — white people, you have no idea what this book means to me. Even I didn’t know what this book meant to me until I saw it on display. These were the stories I grew up on. I love it.
Cynthia gives this book a rating of several dozen supernovas.