Series Review: Is this series worth your time? Does it get better as the novels progress? Or does it get worse? Find out below:
Synopsis for Crazy Rich Asians (from Goodreads):
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.
Series: Crazy Rich Asians
Author: Kevin Kwan
# of Books: 3 (Full Reading Order Here)
Book Order: Chronological
Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Drama, Family, Romance
Heat Rating: cool
Point of View: Third Person, Multiple
Publication Dates: June 2013 – May 2017
Source & Format: Public Library–eBook
Why I Picked it Up / My Expectations:
I remember when Crazy Rich Asians (the novel) came out; it was around the same time I got my very first eReader. But it didn’t sound like something I would enjoy so I passed on it despite the buzz. Fast forward to 2018 when it was the movie of the summer and I decided to give the novel a shot based on the recommendation of a family friend after watching.
The Concept / The World:
I think we all have an idea of what the filthy rich do with their money…but it’s nothing like what is described here. These characters take money, privilege and family to a whole other level! So everything comes across as over the top and that just amplifies every aspect of the story throughout the series.
I’ll admit, I know the basics of high end couture and the like so I wasn’t totally lost. However, I did get a little bored with all the descriptions of it all at times. But I loved the insights into culture and the like.
There’s just something about the drama of rich people’s everyday lives that is so fascinating to uncover. I found for the first half of the series, we get lost in the flow of everyday life. Yes, there are some dramatic twists along the way but they are few and far between the pages. (I mean there is certainly drama–and it’s over the top–but no reveal is truly revolutionary with the exception of Book #2).
Think of these books as tomes of local gossip…only the local gossip is from groups of elite around the world with a lot of money.
There are a lot of characters to follow but for the most part, it’s easy to keep track of them all. I think it helps that I watched the movie first so that I can put names to faces as I read.
Some characters get more airtime than others depending on the novels. The character development is there but it’s much slower because it takes place across all three of the books.
While it isn’t as big as a deal as the movie has you believe, we get enough of a taste of various relationships to satisfy the romantic in me.
My Audiobook Experience:
I highly recommend the audiobooks because they do a great job bringing all the characters to life. I also think it makes it easier to keep track of everyone because they all have their own distinct voice.
Series Rating: 3/5
Crazy Rich Asians 3/5 | China Rich Girlfriend 3/5| Rich People Problems 3/5
I think those expecting more of a romance novel (like the rom-com movie) might be disappointed in the lack of romance here. I also think that not everyone will enjoy the theatrics of the characters and the somewhat mundane plot. However, it is definitely entertaining in its own way if you know what to expect.
Read if You Like: gossip, lives of the rich and famous
Avoid if You: want more romance
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