Mini Review Monday: The Hawkweed Legacy and The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

hawkweed legacyThe Hawkweed Legacy by Irina Brignull
Series: Hawkweed Prophecy #2
Published by: 
Weinstein Books
Pub Date:
August 15, 2017
arc | Source: publisher
young adult, fantasy, paranormal
Rating: 5_Star_Rating_System_2_and_a_half_stars

Poppy is discovering a purpose for her powers in Africa, but she is haunted by a vision of her own death. Taken in by a boy and his great-grandmother, a healer, they vow to keep her safe-even if that ultimately means holding her captive. But Poppy never stops longing for Leo and, when she feels his magic begin to spark, she will do anything to be reunited with him.

Desperate to regain Poppy’s trust and bring her home, Charlock embarks on a plan to reunite Leo with his mother. What Charlock doesn’t foresee are the string of consequences that she sets into motion that leave Ember all alone and prey to manipulation, the clan open to attack from other witches, Sorrel vulnerable to Raven’s ghost, Betony determined to protect her son from his father’s fate, and which leave both Leo and Poppy in terrible danger.

I had mixed feelings about the first book but ultimately I was entranced by the story of friendship and witchy sisterhood. Unfortunately the qualities which drew me to The Hawkweed Prophecy were missing for me in The Hawkweed Legacy. I really missed the friendship between Poppy and Ember and didn’t understand why Ember’s story was shunted to the side in favor of the older generation. Poppy’s mother Charlock gets her own POV, as does her friend Betony, as do younger versions of themselves (essentially flashbacks). I just didn’t find them as compelling as the story of Poppy and Ember in the first book. Ember was treated so poorly and it bothered me. I also didn’t fully understand Poppy’s storyline in Africa, the nastiness of a new character named Nick, or the connection between Poppy and Leo. Ultimately, I really enjoyed the writing style and the atmosphere but the story itself made me vaguely uncomfortable at times (especially with matters of consent) and I still didn’t feel an emotional connection to the characters or their motives.
mcgonagall headshake

epic crush of genie lo.jpgThe Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Yee
Untitled #1
Published by: 
Amulet Books
Pub Date:
August 8, 2017
ebook | Source: purchased
young adult, urban fantasy, mythology
Rating: 5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars

The struggle to get into a top-tier college consumes sixteen-year-old Genie’s every waking thought. But when she discovers she’s a celestial spirit who’s powerful enough to bash through the gates of heaven with her fists, her perfectionist existence is shattered.

Enter Quentin, a transfer student from China whose tone-deaf assertiveness beguiles Genie to the brink of madness. Quentin nurtures Genie’s bodacious transformation—sometimes gently, sometimes aggressively—as her sleepy suburb in the Bay Area comes under siege from hell-spawn.

This epic YA debut draws from Chinese folklore, features a larger-than-life heroine, and perfectly balances the realities of Genie’s grounded high school life with the absurd supernatural world she finds herself commanding.

This was awesome!!!! I’m so glad my friends suggested it as a buddy read or I probably wouldn’t have picked it up for awhile (that’s how TBRs go, or is that just me? Haha). It was SO funny and the story & mythology was unique and action packed. It also felt like a true YA setting- school was important and didn’t disappear from the storyline the more that Genie’s powers developed. Same with her parents; they were important to her growth and the overall plot. Genie was also allowed to be a real teenage girl- she was angry and confused, with lots of emotion and pressure-not perfect by any means- but she was still a good person trying to do right by everyone. I loved her. Quentin annoyed me at first but quickly grew on me; he was condescending but patient, and very mischievous. I absolutely loved his relationship with Genie in all its forms and how they were forced to work together to succeed. And talk about a slow burn hate-to-love romance, my favorite kind! I could see this as a really great monster-of-the-week type tv show; the Chinese mythology was rich and interesting and I’m definitely looking forward to the sequel! I’d highly recommend this to fantasy and contemporary fans alike. There’s something for everyone.
wendy wu

Have you read any good books lately? Are either of these on your fall TBR?

6 thoughts on “Mini Review Monday: The Hawkweed Legacy and The Epic Crush of Genie Lo

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