Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Rating: 4/5
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Description from Goodreads:

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.

My thoughts:

Happy to say I finished up Crazy Rich Asians just before the movie comes out. I’ve had this book on hold at the library for over a month and it came off hold sooner than expected, which ended up being perfect timing.

Going into this story, I expected a lighthearted tale about the extravagance of rich families, but it actually ended up getting pretty deep and heartwarming at parts.

The first chapter starts off with one of the families literally buying a fancy hotel because the manager was mean to them.

I loved this set up because it truly shows the lengths these families from old money will go to get their way.

The story follows three different families, but I would say the main focus is on Nick Young and his girlfriend Rachel Chu. Rachel knows nothing about Nick’s family prior to visiting them in Singapore for a big wedding, so we get to experience the immersion into this world through her eyes.

She is exposed to all the crazy gossip of these old rich families. Meanwhile, Nick doesn’t even really realize the true extent of how crazy the family he came from is.

Most of the members of these families are downright horrible, but there were some surprising moments when I actually found myself feeling sorry for them.

You also learn about how coming from old money affects the children in these families and the lengths they either go to embrace it or distance themselves and try to live as normal a life as they possibly can.

This was a pretty fun read, and even though it did have some deeper parts, it was overall a pretty light read if you’re looking for something lighthearted and easy to read.

Overall I enjoyed this story and I’m looking forward to seeing the movie this weekend. I might write up a separate post next week comparing the two and seeing how the film holds up.

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