“All that talk of ‘being in love’ or ‘finding the right one’ was absolute nonsense. Marriage was purely a matter of timing, and whenever a man was finally done sowing his wild oats and ready to settle down, whichever girl happened to be there at the time would be the right one.”
Rachel, an American-born Chinese woman, agrees to spend the summer with her boyfriend, Nicholas, in Singapore for his friend’s wedding. She doesn’t realize how ridiculously rich his entire family and social circle are. Will Rachel be accepted by the gossipy, judgmental, and crazy high society? For a complete summary, you can go here.
TL;DR: An otherwise interesting book uses too many perspectives and elaborate descriptions that leaves us with an abrupt ending, lack of character development, and a push for the sequel.
Full Review: I read Crazy Rich Asians while on vacation in Jamaica. It was a great beach read. Pretty light and easy to read a few pages at a time and pick back up later or sit and read large chunks at a time. I was so engrossed that I carried the book with me everywhere during the trip, sneaking in a few pages at a time. My copy is ruined with sand, salt water, sunscreen, and… ahem… alcohol.
This book was Gossip Girl crossed with Meet the Parents with an all Asian cast of characters. It was a fun (and over-the-top) look at Asian elite. It was cool to learn so much about Asian culture and language, especially in Singapore. And it is awesome that they made this into a highly successful movie with an all Asian cast.
I loved getting a variety of perspectives, but the author had a big writing no, no—head hopping and point-of-view shifts within paragraphs. We knew all the characters' thoughts and motivations, which could be seen as a positive, but shifting POVs like that is on the list of what to avoid in writing.
Also, there wasn’t enough character development by the end. I was expecting a few of the major characters to get more resolution and changed perspectives about money by the end. Some of the set-ups from the main characters were dropped. Instead, we get a switcheroo that leaves us with an abrupt ending and requires us to read the sequel. [See why I hate series here]. I was shocked that such a long book with extravagant details and build-up ended right at the climax. I would drop about a hundred pages from the middle and add another fifty at the end.
Overall, it kept me hooked and I enjoyed it. It had the potential to be a five-star book if it had a better ending. I finished the book at the airport and watched the movie version on the flight home. The movie did a great job bringing the beautiful descriptions from the book to life. Usually, I don’t like movie versions of books, but the movie and book were equally enjoyable in this case. If you are interested in buying the book, you can buy it here. After you have read it, leave a comment and let me know what you think!
“Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action.”