Crazy Rich Asians is certainly not a book I would typically read (in fact, I never would have picked it up had I not loved the movie so darn much) but it was so much fun! Kwan demonstrates a heavy focus on dialogue, so I absolutely flew through it. Like a guilty-pleasure romcom, the plot is very predictable, but I was still itching to see how everything played out in the end.
From the back cover:
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.
“Remember, every treasure comes with a price.”
-Kevin Kwan, Crazy Rich Asians
A modern day Pride and Prejudice, Crazy Rich Asians has it all: the large cast of characters with complicated relationships, the very prevalent gap between rich and poor, and, of course, the romance at the center of it all. Though the book revolves around the controversially romantic relationship between Nick and Rachel, the familial drama is what really “makes” Crazy Rich Asians. Kwan explores this large, gossipy family, their customs, and their bizarre treatment of outsiders as they react to Nick’s relationship with Rachel and reflect on their own relationships.
One can’t discuss Crazy Rich Asians without discussing the film, which was one of my absolute favorites last year. Upon some serious contemplation, I actually think I prefer the movie over the book. The film’s ending is a bit more satisfactory, and the conflict between Rachel and Eleanor is better fleshed-out on screen. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I saw the movie first, but Crazy Rich Asians is just going to be one of those rare cases where I prefer the movie.
I would highly recommend Crazy Rich Asians as a beach read, or a book to pull you out of a reading slump. Its fast-moving, predictable plot will keep you entertained and interested as you fly through its pages. I can’t say I will continue reading the rest of the trilogy, but I sure did enjoy getting caught up in the craziness of Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians.
Find this book on Goodreads.