Margin Notes: Crazy Rich Asians
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
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.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I really enjoyed reading this book! It was so readable, the characters were really well composed, it gave me a peak into a world that I had no idea existed... I have a friend living in Singapore right now and this made me think of him (he's in an entirely different social set than this, obviously. However... he does love food. :))
I loved the beginning of the plot, I thought the cliques were so well drawn, the social strata of who was important and why really well explained, I was rooting for certain characters and interested in them. The story is ambitious. It tells so many subplot mini-stories that are all really interesting. But, for me, the plot just went a little haywire as things wrapped up. Characters actions didn't jive with who I thought they were or wanted them to be.
Spoilers from here on!
Astrid-I thought Astrid was such an interesting character throughout, the fall out of her marriage was confusing for me. The husband's actions somehow rang false, and I felt like they really didn't belong together. She almost admits in one part that her relationship with her husband is basically all physical. I wanted more for her, I was rooting for her ex at the end of her plotline because it felt like their relationship was more than physical and I prize that.
Eddie Cheng seemed like a caricature. His poor wife and children. I wanted there to be some sort of retribution for his obsession with flaunting wealth.
Nick-he was a little too unaware throughout the book. If you're an intense heir, you know to warn your significant other... I was glad he had a good group of interesting friends.
I thought the Francesca character and the Mandi character could have been combined-we didn't need them both
I wondered what Ah Mah would be like when it came down to it and I was disappointed. With all the stories of her greatness, I wanted her to be Rachel's champion.
There also were some characters I wanted more of. Like Aunt Felicity. She was so interesting! How did she become so much more accepting than her sister?
The whole Kelly Pong / Alistair story line... I wanted more of Alistair and secretly wanted him to end up with Rachel's HS friend. Also, the whole friend of her father's who lived in the shack in the middle of Singapore.
There were so many great characters! I wish the plot came together the way I wanted it to, ha. :) Overall, still a fun read. Perfect for the beach this summer!
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