Thursday, March 26, 2015

crazy rich asians

crazy rich asians
kevin kwan
published 2013

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.

I don't know what I expected when I finally got my hands on Crazy Rich Asians, but I wasn't quite prepared for what I got!  Crazy Rich Asians was like a cross between Gossip Girl, Sex and the City and Pretty Little Liars.  I have no dislike for fashion or reading about the ridiculous opulence, but it did get kind of monotonous having to hear every designer of every piece of clothing, jewelry, handbag, shoe, glasses, china, table, bedding, car, etc. etc. etc.  If something could be expensive we were battered on the head with its pedigree.

On the other hand, I loved Astrid, liked Rachel a lot and really had fun with the story.  Sure, it's not anything new (except the insertion of Asians) - girl meets boy who she thinks is just a normal guy, turns out he's filthy rich and doesn't tell her until she's confronted with his rich, snobby family - but the characters were colorful and fun.

I listened to the audiobook as well as read though it on my kindle.  I liked being able to hear the Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations, but the reader's British accents and male voices (she's a female) were slightly distracting.

Kevin Kwan's second book China Rich Girlfriend comes out in June, a sequel to Crazy Rich Asians and I'm sure I'll read it.  I have to find out what happened to Astrid!

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