Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Title: Crazy Rich Asians Image

Author: Kevin Kwan

Rating: ★★★1/2

Provided Synopsis: Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should—and should not—marry.

Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

Review: Crazy Rich Asians is my guilty pleasure read of the summer of 2013. After all, how can you not be sucked into a story that drops designer names on an average of every other sentence? Rachel Chu had no idea what she was getting into when she agreed to go to Singapore for the summer with her boyfriend of two years, Nick Young. Suddenly, she is thrown into the lifestyle of the filthy rich, and trust me — these characters are the most outrageous and ostentatious rich people that I have ever encountered. I am both disgusted and enthralled by the thought that there are people who actually live this way. Bloodlines matter, as does how far a family can be traced back to so-and-so’s dynasty. A forty million dollar wedding is the social event of the season. The gossip over how much money a person has along with the acceptability of who-is-dating-who runs wild. This book read like a campy soap opera and I soaked it all up.

Other than Rachel, Nick, and their closest friends, I found none of the characters in this book to be likable. The snooty attitudes came across as authentic, as did the reasoning and history behind why the characters thought the way they did. To the author’s credit, I thought this book could have gotten a lot more outlandish with the drama, but he held it in to create situations that seemed plausible. While I was reading I could not help but think that this book reminded me of some sort of movie, but the name of a specific film never came to mind; maybe this book is a mixture of plenty of movies, since the progression of the plot is predictable enough (with the exception of the part about Rachel’s family). I only wish that the ending of Crazy Rich Asians had felt a little more definitive. I have strongly formed ideas of what will happen to all of the characters, yet I would have liked the author to conclude the storylines in the way that he considers to be fit.

If you are on the lookout for something juicy, campy, filthy rich, and crazy then I would suggest this book to you in a heartbeat.

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