Three Elements of a Successful YA Novel

The Epic Crush of Genio Lo by FC Yee

I loved this book! But rather than write a review, I decided to give a preview of the exciting superhero action to come and mention three elements of a successful YA novel. F.C. Yee executes these perfectly: (1) complex characters, (2) a fast paced-plot, and (3) humor.

The logline
An overachieving Bay Area teenager meets a mysterious new student who reveals a secret about her true identity.

The tagline
A demon invasion is no excuse for bad grades.

From inside the jacket cover
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…

Suddenly, acing the SATs is the least of Genie’s worries…

What’s Different
A heavy dose of Chinese folklore sets this fast-paced superhero story apart from others, but it’s told in the breezy, conversational voice of a Millennial. The history lessons and plot are intertwined and never dull.

What’s Awesome
An intelligent and realistic “strong female” protagonist; Chinese folklore; the complex relationship between Genie and her mother; the unwavering friendship between Genie and her best friend, Yunie; the rocky partnership between Genie and Quentin; large doses of humor.

Opening Paragraphs
So I didn’t handle the mugging as well as I could have.

“I would have known what do to if I’d been the victim. Hand over everything quietly. Run away as fast as possible. Go for the eyes if I was cornered. I’d passed the optional SafeStrong girl’s defense seminar at school with flying colors.

“But we’d never covered what to do when you see six grown men stomping the utter hell out of a boy your age in broad daylight.”

Author’s Bio
F.C. Yee grew up in New Jersey and went to school in New England, but has called the San Francisco Bay Area home ever since he beat a friend at a board game and shouted, “That’s how we do it in NorCal, baby!” Outside of writing, he practices capoeira, a Brazilian form of martial arts, and has a day job mostly involving spreadsheets.

Follow F.C. Yee online

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She enjoys dabbling in fiction, most recently at, a new literary platform for writers to create micro-fiction inspired by unique “fathoms” that tap into the psyche. Log in and search for “KatValdezWriter” to read her story “Mr. Snuggles,” which was chosen for Zathom’s October 2017 launch.

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