Thursday, August 27, 2015

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan~★★★★

Author: Kevin Kwan
Title: Crazy Rich Asians
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Doubleday
Genre: Fiction

Book Jacket: "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."

Taryn's Review: This is the kind of book you dream of having for summer reading. Drama, intrigue, laughs, and romance all wrapped into one excellent novel that you can enjoy without too much brain effort. Kevin Kwan delivered a great book that made me excited about learning what was in store for the characters.

Kwan divided the book into chapters that focused on a handful of people and the chapters jumped from person-to-person. I think this added great suspension to the story since I as the reader was able to return to each individual's life and focus solely on that person. I also loved the footnotes that Kwan included about the words, food, and culture of the different people and their backgrounds throughout the book; although the book was a fictional work, the realities of culture that Kwan included made it feel very real and sparked a curiosity in me to learn more in the future. The book read in reality show-style format, but I mean that in the best way. The issues the characters faced are of the first-world sort by asking how does one rectify money of new with traditions of old? Kwan painted a graphic picture of what one definitely shouldn't do!

Their were an assortment of characters to meet and I truly enjoyed reading about all of them, from the snobby mothers to the arrogant cousins to the down-to-earth Nick and Rachel. This book easily could have been forgettable, but Kwan's strong writing gives it a backbone against the sort of predictability that so often ruins fun novels.

Why not 5 stars then? There were a few times when I felt like story lines wrapped up a little too cleanly or just weren't believable. In the grand scheme of the book, that feeling didn't happen a lot, thankfully. Overall I really enjoyed the book and I definitely plan to read his next book China Rich Girlfriends. This book had the glitz, glam, and drama that so many reality shows have but doesn't induce the same feeling of shame you get after watching those shows.

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