Something new for me – a review on a Monday morning! Not sure I’ve ever done this before. This will be a good test for how well my brain functions early at the start of the week. I finished Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan last night and have some spare time at the moment so I’m getting my thoughts down now whilst they’re still fresh.
Rachel Chu is ABC (American-born Chinese) and is madly in love with her boyfriend Nicholas Young whom she met in New York but was born in Singapore. She agrees to spend the summer in his homeland and is envisions meeting his humble family and exploring all that Singapore has to offer. The trip doesn’t quite go as she expected when she arrives to find that Nick’s family home is more palace than 3 bed semi, the mode of transport is private jet rather than car and Nick’s family and friends are beyond rich. Unfortunately, Rachel isn’t met with a warm welcome from either the families or the friends purely due to her social status and the fact that she is on the arm of the country most sought after bachelor. Nick’s mother Eleanor and his grandmother are the most critical of them all and are adamant that their precious Nick will follow their wishes and marry whoever they decide upon.
So, I truly enjoyed all of this book. It was fairly easy going, funny, informative and at times jaw dropping. It gives a true insight into how the other half live. I loved how Kevin Kwan captures the hostility between old money and new. I’m fairly sure that this exists in a big way in Britain, but I wasn’t aware that it was such a thing in Asia. It frustrates me that people’s opinions are formed based on an individuals heritage and genealogy rather than an individuals qualities, but I suppose some people just are the way they are.
This book is full of characters that I loved to loath. The drama and the cattiness is so addictive for me, I love it. Reading this book was like watching a series of gossip girl and although it’s petty and bitchy I LOVE it. It’s so far removed from my own life, I can’t help but indulge in it. The girls on Araminta’s hen weekend were just ridiculously awful – Love it. Nick’s mother and her friends should have been old enough to be better than the judgemental witches they were – love it. Rachel should have had enough back bone to say screw you all, I love him – love it. It’s so “teen” and school yard but I LOVED THEM ALL.
I have one teeny tiny thing that frustrated me reading this book; all of the footnotes. My word there are so many footnotes for language translations and as I was reading on my iPad, I found it difficult having to keep flicking to the end of the chapter, read the translation, let out a “aaahhh, that makes sense now” and finally flick back to the page I was on. It just got a little annoying! I imagine that the footnotes are actually at the bottom of the page in print, which would be easier, but it was just a grip I found with the apple book.
All in all, an awesome guilty pleasure read. I’ve just returned from a weekend away shopping with my best friend and as I wondered around Gucci, Prada, Valentino etc all I could think about was “Crazy Rich Asians” haha. They were all there with empty suitcases, filling up on everything they could get and it was such perfect timing to bring the book to life for me. I’ve only just realise that there are two follow on books for this and they are going on my TBR shelf immediately.
“I criticize you when you’re wearing something that looks so cheap. It’s a disgrace to me.” – Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan