Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1) by Kevin Kwan

Author: Kevin Kwan
Publisher: Doubleday
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Published: June, 2013
Price: Rp238.000 (Periplus)
Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Date started: September 18, 2018 - Date finished: September 19, 2018

Synopsis:
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.
Review:
Rachel Chu is a university professor in New York living a normal life and is currently dating a colleague in her university named Nick Young. One day, Nick asked Rachel to take a trip back to Nick's home country, Singapore, because he'll be attending his best friend's wedding as the best man. But other than that he also wanted to show Rachel around Singapore and introduce his new girlfriend to his family & friends back home. Rachel agreed to the idea because being Nick's plus one at his friend's wedding means that she can also visit her college friend Peik Lin, even though she almost knew nothing of Nick's family and friends in Singapore.

During the trip and their time in Singapore, Rachel was thrown into a world unknown to her. From first class seats on the flight, staying in the most luxurious hotel and when she meets Nick's family and friends, it became clear that Nick and all of those people are filthy rich. Besides navigating this world she was thrown in, she also had to deal with Nick's mother who from the very start doesn't approve of Rachel. What Rachel thought was a simple vacation turned into a test of her wit, resilience, sanity and relationship.
"Welcome to Singapore, Rachel–where arguing about food is the national pastime," Araminta declared. "This is probably the only country in the world where grown men can get into fistfights over which specific food stall in some godforsaken shopping center has the best rendition of some obscure fried noodle dish. It's like a pissing contest!"
Well, first of all i'd just like to say it has been a hot minute since I posted anything on this blog. The truth is, I haven't been reading that much lately. Crazy Rich Asians was actually the first book that I finished in one sitting in a LONG time. Honestly, going into this book I expected I would finish with a 4 star rating or maybe even more than that, but truthfully this book didn't live up to my expectation and its hype.

What I liked about this book is the culture aspect, especially about life in Singapore, which I don't know much about from the local language, customs, tourism, food I think this book pretty much has it all. I also liked reading about the behaviors of rich people in this book, although sometimes some of their actions are too extravagant and got me to think "do rich people actually do this or is it just embellishment by the author since it is a story about the crazy rich".
“Just because some people actually work for their money doesn’t mean they are beneath you.”
“Doing nothing can sometimes be the most effective form of action. If you do nothing, you'll be sending a clear message: that you're stronger than they think you are. Not to mention a lot classier. Think about it.”
Another thing I liked that is also at the same time what I disliked, the book's characters. The author used multiple POVs in writing this story so we really know the value of some of the characters and are able to get to know some of them deeper than others as well, I particularly liked Eddie's and Eleanor's perspective. On to the problem I had in terms of characters, since there are a lot of characters in this book, the side characters were underdeveloped in my opinion. I even feel that some side characters only appear in one line only like the author was just throwing it in there for exaggeration sake.

A part that's true to what people say on this book is the fact that reading this was an entertaining journey. The story is pretty much plot-driven in the sense that the readers are taken on a journey to follow what will happen to Nick & Rachel's relationship, what kind of obstacles they'll face, etc.
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.
I was actually one of those people who read the book after seeing the movie. In a way, I feel that this is the right way for me to read this book because when I started reading this book I was hella confused because there's like a million characters in this book and I was able to navigate reading this book without confusing one character over another because I already had a good grasp of some of the characters. If I had started this book before watching the movie, I would've hands down DNFed it.

Of course as with any book to movie adaptation there's bound to be differences between the book and the movie. In this case, I don't feel like the book was better than the movie or vice versa. Will I pick up the sequel? Yes, because I do want to find out some things that were left unanswered in the first book, but I don't think I'll be picking it up anytime soon.

That's all for now!

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