Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Is it read-worth? Absolutely worth it, especially if you’re interested in reading the entire series. While it’s definitely not a serious book, it’s fun to read and it’s an especially great option if you’re looking for a book with a correspondingly great movie. It’s a perfect book club read. However, the writing isn’t perfect and it take me a little while to get into.

Back of the book

“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.”

What’s my take on it?

I’ve got to be perfectly honest. I was NOT a fan of the writing style of this book. Even when the most exciting, interesting events happened I was still left wondering why this book felt so slow. 

Even the climax of the book (or what I assume was the climax of the book- it was hard to tell) felt slow. A dead fish left in Rachel’s room? I got that that could be shocking, but there was no emotion. 

And that was a common trait throughout the book. Crazy Rich Asians was funny with tons of interesting little side facts and events happening, but it felt stale without any emotion behind anything. Maybe that was intentional to show how rich people are cold, but it just made the book a lot of bit boring to read at times.

However, I did keep reading and overall did enjoy the book. I particularly loved Astrid and her husband Michael.  Michael leaves her throughout the pages of this book and she struggles to hide/fix their relationship problems in vain. Watching her relationship with him crumble was the most interesting, and realistic, part of this book in my opinion and I’ve got to confess I sometimes skipped deeper views into the other characters lives to get back to them. They felt more real than other characters and, even though they were still missing intense emotions, that felt intentional. 

I also enjoyed the fact that this book so clearly displayed the difference between rich people and people of normal or lower incomes. The rich are so concerned with petty drama and not things that actually matter! Gossip and judging others are the women in this book’s favorite pastime and I found that to be laughable (and accurate as hell.) 

Overall, I’d recommend to read this book – particularly because I can see how it would make a great movie and I’m excited to watch that version of this story! But beware of the writing style. It can make the characters hard to relate to, the storyline and all those interesting events seem boring, and it’s just not my cup of tea. 

UPDATE: Loved the movie! Made the book more than worth it to read.