Heyyy guys. Hello. Today I’m reviewing a book long over due. I have so many books left unreviewed, please help me. Enjoy.
This is how it went: I loved the book. Then I didn’t love it anymore. I even started to hate it. And now, reading it again after many months, I love the book again.
I love the book outside of the general buzz of it and outside of my dislike for its irrelevant series continuation (my opinion). The book did just well with only the first book but then Kevin Kwan went ahead to stretch it into a trilogy (China Rich Girlfriend & Rich People’s Problems). The second was averagely okay for me because I was already enjoying the Asian escapism I got from the first book. The third would’ve just bored me so I skipped it altogether.
Not withstanding, I would always recommend it for a pleasurable holiday read.
My review in a sentence: CRAZY RCH ASIANS DEALS WITH ASIANS WHO ARE RICH AND CRAZY.
My review in full:
Rachel Chu(A Prof of economic development) meets Nicholas Young(Prof of history and law) and they fall in love in New York. But Nicholas’ family aren’t in New York, they’re in Asia(Singapore) where it gets crazy.
Its two years into their relationship and Nick coaxes Rachel to travel home with him for his best friend’s wedding and there she meets the craze. The book takes us on a ride along with Rachel through Nick’s stupendously rich and quiet elitist family. The wealth and snobbery of the Singaporeans gets Rachel Chu’s head spinning. Would she stand the anger and jealousy thrown at her from all around or will she balk?
The Singapore where they live, is akin to a big village where everyone is in everyone’s business. Take Eleanor for instance:
“To Eleanor, every single person occupied a specific space in the elaborately constructed social universe in her mind. Like most of the women in her world, Eleanor could meet another Asian anywhere in the world- say, over dim sum at royal chia in London, or shopping over in the lingerie department of David Jones in Sydney – and within thirty seconds of learning their name and where they lived, she would implement her social algorithm and calculate precisely where they stood in constellation based on who their family was, who else they were related to, what their approximate net worth might be, how the fortune was derived, and what family scandals might have occurred within the past fifty years.”
The gossip in this book is lit – everyone has (interesting, scandalous) background story you’ll have to know of.
The book presents Singaporeans who can figuratively die over food; eating five times a day and arguing about the best food spots. We’re introduced to other characters like Astrid,Charlie Wu, Peik Lin etc.
At a point you just might get tired of the wealth description. There are articles in a house (ceramics) worth thirty million dollars, every jewelry is scrutinized to the last detail, the clothes they put on are from the next season.
“Forbes only reports on the assets they can verify, and these rich Asians are so secretive about their holdings. The richest families are always richer by billions than what Forbes estimates”
I think for those who are unaware, you also get to learn secrets like this:
“let me share a secret with you, Nick. As much as a girl might protest, you can never go wrong buying her a designer dress or a killer pair of shoes”
And simple songs like this:
“it only takes a spark,
To get the fire going.
And soon all those around,
Can warm up in its glowing.
That’s how it is with God’s love,
Once you’ve experienced it.
You want to sing,
Its like fresh spring,
You want to pass it on”
I must tell you the truth – dialogue in this book is fun!
I like the fact that the book also picks up quickly.
The characters come off as so many at the beginning, and they’re unfamiliar Chinese names so it gets difficult to hold on sometimes. You’ll however get the hang of it later.
This book is in essence – Rich entitled delusional Chinese families 101; which in spite of its light humour strokes subjects such as family bond, identity, self-worth and belonging. It is cool for what its worth and helps transport you to Asia. I generously rate it a 4 stars in its own right.
P.S: I’ve seen the movie adaptation and I think its wack.
Have you read this book? Have you seen the movie? Are you interested in reading it? If you’ve read it, are you like everyone else who likes Astrid?
Love and books,
You have reinforced my desire to get all of the books. I watched the film and though I feel they did justice, I still want to see all the bits they most likely left out.
You certainly should read it. Then you’ll probably be upset with the movie. I love the depth of characters we get in the book which is obviously missing in the movie.
Thanks for the comment Tope.
I’ve read the book and also seen the movie, I liked the movie a lot but the book was better (isn’t that always the case haha). I loved the description of all the food, Singapore is now on my travel wishlist because of all the food haha. It was a really interesting story, all the elitism made me so mad at times but at the same time, it was interesting to get a glimpse into that world. Great review Debby ?
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Singapore is really a place to visit, I never paid much thought to the food personally but now that you mention it…
Thanks Demilade. ?