Books

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan

I received an invitation to the Dallas premiere of Crazy Rich Asians, so I thought I would write a quick book review. I’m looking forward to seeing how similar or different they are from each other.

                         Crazy Rich Asians at Internet Cafe 2 (now closed)

Here is a summary of the novel from Amazon:

“The book is about three wealthy, upper-class Chinese families, and how they undermine those who are not as rich and influential as them. It shows the scheming, gossip, and backbiting that occurs when Nicholas Young, the heir to one of the richest families in Asia, brings his girlfriend, Rachel Chu, home to one of the greatest weddings of the season. Rachel is an American-born Chinese girl who doesn’t come from a very rich family. Her presence causes jitters among the guests.”

I found that several of the characters were shallow and most of them had no depth. A handful were likable, but many made me cringe. Some of the things that the characters did was supposed to be shocking, but they didn’t surprise me. I don’t want to say it was a typical forbidden love story because there was one plot twist.

I hardly know anything about Asian culture so I won’t discuss that. I will say that knowing the things I knew, helped understand some of the references. I feel that because I won’t be covering this, I’m going to be missing a lot about the book.

Being a fashion lover, I was obsessed. I really appreciated all the designer references. My favorite was the way a wedding dress was depicted:

“…the train, embroidered with ten thousand seed pearls and silver thread, took a team of twelve seamstresses nine months to sew and featured a pattern replicating the train Consuelo Vanderbilt wore…”

I really appreciate that Kwan not only name drops but discusses the history and design aesthetics of most designers mentioned. You can tell he really did his research.

I will say the novel really left me wondering if there are people that really live such lavish lifestyles (ex. wearing couture only, owning top of the line airplanes etc.). I know there’s rich, but is there really crazy rich? I once met a gentleman from the Philipines who confirmed to me that such people do exist in Asia. I still can’t help but wonder though.

It was also a super quick read and overall enjoyed the book but left you wondering what will happen next. With that said, the book is part of a trilogy. You could still read as a stand-alone, but don’t you really want to know how the story finishes?

Did you read it? If so, what did you think?

-A.

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