Rating: 5/5 Stars
Crazy Rich Asians is the first novel in a trilogy by Kevin Kwan. It also happens to be my favorite movie ever, so when I learned that there was a book series behind it, I knew I just HAD to pick it up!
The story follows New York resident Rachel Chu as she flies to her boyfriend’s hometown of Singapore for the summer when he extends the invitation. Rachel expects to have a mostly relaxing vacation. They have plans for her to meet his family (which makes Rachel’s mom think there’s an ulterior motive behind the trip that equals a ring!), spend some time together exploring since Rachel has never been to Singapore before, as well as attending Colin Khoo’s, her boyfriend’s best friend’s, wedding. Rachel is a little nervous about meeting Nick’s friends and family since he doesn’t tend to talk about them very much, but she tries to convince herself that things will be A-okay once they arrive.
“Spoiler” alert: things are not A-okay.
Before Rachel even knows what is happening, she’s thrust into the life of her boyfriend that she never knew he led. Not only is Nick Young considered the most eligible bachelor in all of Singapore, but his family is one of the wealthiest families in the city, owning most of the prime real estate. We’re not talking rich; we’re talking crazy rich. The expectation is that Nick is supposed to inherent his grandmother’s massive family fortune someday and move back to Singapore. On top of that, Rachel now has to deal with the differing expectations and traditions between Singaporeans and Americans, as well as handle all of Nick’s vicious old flings and hopefuls. If that isn’t bad enough, coming as Nick Young’s girlfriend makes her the topic of every gossiper in the city, and Nick’s mom, Eleanor, is out to get rid of her since she can’t handle the idea of an American woman marrying her son.
Rachel has to navigate these twists and turns while Nick is completely oblivious to it all, and it starts to take a heavy toll on their relationship. Will Rachel be able to handle the struggles, or will she give up on Nick for good? And when it comes down to it, will Nick choose to listen to his family that think they know what’s best for him or follow his own heart?
Five. Stars. FIVE STARS EVERYWHERE. A million stars, if I could give it such a rating.
This book was everything. It was a quick read, it was drama-filled, it was intense, and it was refreshing. While different from the movie in lots of ways, I found that the story was just as rich and enchanting, so I didn’t mind the differences in the least.
One of my favorite parts about the book, and one of the key differences from the movie, is that Astrid, Nick’s cousin, has a more prominent role to play. Whereas in the movie, she was there for emotional support and a side plot line, in the book she had a plot line that was entwined with the main plot. She had a lot of chapters in her point of view, and apparently she’s still a prominent character in the rest of the series. I can’t wait to pick up the other books and read more about her!
Nick and Rachel’s relationship was also another one of my favorite parts about the book. I thought they were cute in the movie, but they are THE CUTEST THING EVER in the book. Take my word for it. *winks* I love how the author portrayed each of their viewpoints to the situations they have to go through, and the fights they had over Nick’s family’s money and status were incredibly realistic and honest. Their dynamics and relationship throughout the book was great, and I don’t think I could have asked for it to be written any better.
I don’t believe I have anything negative to really say about this book… Only that I own Crazy Rich Asians, which is book one in the trilogy, and not the other books. And as of right now, they don’t have book 2 and 3 in my local library. It’s very depressing since all I want to do is continue Rachel and Nick’s story. 🙁
All in all, a truly fantastic read! While I’m sure it’s a great read anytime, I definitely recommend reading it during the summer. It just has a summer-vibe to it that makes it great to take with you to the beach or the poolside or on vacation, wherever!
Have you read Crazy Rich Asians, or at least seen the movie? What were your thoughts?