Title: Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Page Count: 527
Release Date: May 20, 2014
“When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.”
It’s safe to say that by now, just about everyone has either read this book, seen the movie, or want to read the book or watch the movie. It’s obvious why. Crazy Rich Asians is a book that reads like a rom-com because on the surface, that’s what it is. But if you delve deeper, you’ll see that it’s much more. It’s family ties and old traditions all wrapped together with money thrown in to make things more interesting.
Rachel Chu is a normal girl living in New York with her boyfriend, Nick Young. Then, Nick invites her to travel across the world to attend his friend’s wedding in Singapore. When they arrive in Singapore, Rachel learns that Nick’s family is insanely rich. Not just that, but Nick’s family is completely against Rachel and Nick as a couple because she’s ABC (American-born Chinese) and a ‘gold-digger’.
I never got bored during the entirety of this book’s 500+ pages. That’s a hard thing to do, but this book was addicting. If I were to compare this book to anything I’ve consumed before, it would have to be Boys Over Flowers. Boys Over Flowers is a K-Drama where a normal girl gets thrown into the world of the rich and elite after joining one of the most prestigious schools in South Korea. I was absolutely obsessed with this show when I first started getting into K-Dramas. Now I have a similar obsession with Crazy Rich Asians.
This book is absolutely over-the-top in the best (and worst) ways possible. The crazy rich elite Singaporeans in this book spend hundreds of thousands on wardrobe, fly to exotic destinations for weekend retreats, and care about status more than anything. If someone in the family were to date or marry anybody deemed as ‘unfit’ for the family, they would simply be looked down upon by everyone in the family or even cut off from the family fortune.
That’s what happens to Rachel as she lands in Singapore, despite a select few members of the clan that seem to be on her side. I absolutely adored Rachel, Peik Lin, and Astrid. Nick seemed like a great boyfriend to Rachel and I honestly don’t know how such a great guy came from such a family haha.
Even though I loved most aspects of this book, those aspects are also kind of the downfall for the following reasons:
- Firstly, it reads like a rom-com. It’s not a bad thing. Not at all! But, I have read a lot of Goodreads reviews and the main issue people had with this book is the fact that it’s not ‘different’ enough. I get what they mean, but the entire point is to show that we can have something that’s been done a million times before but with people of color as the center focus of the book.
- Secondly, it breaks stereotypes while also giving into stereotypes. These stereotypes are the over-controlling and lets be honest, racist, Chinese parents and the crazy rich Asians that only care about money and status. These two stereotypes were kind of unavoidable given the book’s premise, but it’s also important that readers don’t generalize all Asians this way.
- Although I love the craziness in this book and ate up the drama like the delectable Singaporean street food from the novel, it could be a bit much at times. Especially for those that aren’t used to this kind of drama in the media they consume, it could be overwhelming and off-putting.
Concerns aside, I absolutely HATED most of Nick’s family. I know that was the point but OH. MY. GOD. I wanted to punch half of them the entire time. Can they just… not exist? I know, I know, they’re fictional but I’ve seen reviews where people are all like “yeah, these kinds of people exist irl, it’s not all made up” so just imagining people like this out there makes my blood boil a bit haha.
I just realized that I haven’t said anything about the writing yet?? Honestly, my reviews are always a mess anyways so this isn’t anything new. The writing itself isn’t anything interesting, but I think that’s a good thing because there was already a lot of stuff going on so if the writing was too much, then everything would have been just… too much.
The descriptions were great because I felt like I was actually there in the character’s shoes. I felt the emotions they felt, I could taste the food they were eating, I could see the gold and the expensive surroundings. I felt like a billion dollars every time I picked up Crazy Rich Asians, which was probably the entire point.
Now that I’m obsessed with this book and the world Kevin Kwan wrote, I’m ready to read the rest of the series and I really want to see the movie. Too bad the rest of my family doesn’t seem interested in watching it with me *sigh*.
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
Just the fact that this book exists is enough reasoning to give this book a high rating. And while the book has it’s issues, it’s fun to read and I was never bored. I got back into reading almost every day after I started this book and I can’t wait to consume the rest of the series.
Purchase This Book:
Do you have any favorite rom-com books? Have you read Crazy Rich Asians? Have you seen the movie? What were your thoughts on it? Let me know!