Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Links: AmazonTBD • Goodreads
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Source: Borrowed

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.

I was inspired to read Crazy Rich Asians after seeing the trailer to the movie. It looked funny! And like it would just be a great time! And I did really enjoy the first half of the book. Just not the second half.

It starts off with a bang, with the most over-the-top, hilarious response to racism I’ve ever read. The first part of the book knows it’s over-the-top. It’s like an episode of a trashy reality show, where the characters are all gossiping and throwing money around and nothing’s really happening, but at least it’s entertaining.

It takes a turn, though, after Rachel and Nick get to Singapore. His very wealthy family doesn’t accept her, and they let her know it. It was that same laughable kind of excessive behavior until it wasn’t, and it just got repetitive and I just got bored. There were so many characters and so many relationships and so many conflicts to keep track of that I felt like I should have been keeping track with a flowchart.

I honestly don’t have a ton to say about this one because aside from the gossip, not a lot happened. I’m still excited to watch the movie, but I don’t need to read the next book in this series.

Have you read Crazy Rich Asians? Have you seen the movie?
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