Author: Kevin Kwan
Publisher: Random House
Date Published: June 11th 2013
Source: From the publisher for an honest review via the awesome Ardo
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.
Number of Days It Took to Read: 2.5
Pretty amazing cover, its sooo sparkly and totally fits with the decadence and show off nature of some of the crazy rich Asians in the novel.
The Writing Score: 4 out of 5
Recommendation: Must Read
Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Before I continue with this review, I should mention that this book was my most anticipated read of the year. There are times when a book you have been so excited to read turns out to be a major let down once you have the book and are done reading it. Fortunately this was not the case with Crazy Rich Asians. I sure many of us, especially those of whom are currently broke students have at some point wished we never had to worry about money. For many of the characters in Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians, that’s what being “crazy” rich means; that they never have to worry about being broke like the rest of us.
What I loved the most about this book was that although there was some social commentary on those the crazy rich people in Singapore, the novel does a good job of not being too preachy and instead takes the readers along for a fun ride giving them a glimpse of how the elite live and spend their fortunes. In addition by having Rachel Chu who comes from a relatively normal immigrant upbringing as a sort of audience surrogate really enhances the reader’s perception of just how rich these people really are. Overall this was a very fast paced and fun read kind of like riding a roller coaster, if you enjoy doing that sort of thing. I thoroughly enjoyed how although the book is meant to be a satire; the characters appear to be very real and even though I could not relate to any of them I found their interactions, thoughts and actions to be very amusing . Like every other family these characters all have their issues and not everyone gets along. There is a saying that having a lot of money only enhances who you previously were and I think that is true for many of the characters in this book. There is still jealousy and conflict, but there are also things like a mother’s love for her child. All of this is still there even though it may not seem like they are on the surface.
All in all I believe this may be my most favourite read of the year so far, and I have no doubt that it will make my top ten list for 2013. I would definitely recommend this book if you are looking for an entertaining read and or if you are like me and like to change things up by reading a fun book with Asian characters that does not focus entirely on the ethnicities of the characters. Crazy Rich Asians is a great summer and even beach read and as long as you don’t take the materialistic attitudes of the characters too seriously it can be quite a hilarious and enjoyable look at how the rich in Singapore live.
The opinions expressed in this review are my own; I did not receive any compensation in exchange for this review. I am currently accepting young adult fiction and adult fiction books that have a crossover appeal to young adults for review. If you have any questions or would like for me to review your book feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.