Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Published by: Doubleday
Release Date: June 11, 2013
Genre: Contemporary, General Fiction
Series: Crazy Rich Asians #1
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.
This is a book I’ve been told to read again and again, and has been on my list forever. I’m definitely late to the game and I am not ashamed to say that what pushed me to finally read this was the movie trailer. It just looks so. Freaking. Good.
Anyways, I enjoyed the book! It was fun and funny and I liked the characters a lot. It was really interesting and it was pretty refreshing to read a book where everyone is Asian, that doesn’t take place in America, and talks about a different group of people than I even realized existed.
That said, the writing bugged me quite a bit. It is written in third person, and I think the best term for it is third person omniscient since there were character names as headings. The issue is that the narrator didn’t stick to any of those people. There’d be a chapter from Astrid’s “perspective”, where we even get her inner thoughts, but then she goes to speak to Rachel and suddenly we’re in Rachel’s head getting her thoughts. It was all over the place and drove me insane. I didn’t understand why we even had character headings if we didn’t stick to one character. It pulled me out of the story pretty much every time it switched, and that’s really saying something.
It also had some slightly slut-shame-y passages, which bothered me. I thought it would be something that Rachel would call out, but she didn’t and if anything she just added to it. They were just weird and unnecessary and put a kind of “not like other girls” veil on Rachel, which is annoying at the best of times. And I don’t want to say it’s probably because it was written by a dude, but it’s probably because it was written by a dude…
It also ended rather abruptly–it didn’t feel like anything was resolved at the end. I know this is only the first book, but some sense of conclusion has to be present at the end of a novel, even if the novel is the opener to a larger series.
I do want to read the other books though, so I am really hoping the writing improves. If anyone has read the others please let me know how they are!
Are you as excited for the movie as I am? I recently found out Kina Grannis will be in it and I’m even more pumped for it now. Let me know what you think about this book and movie!