Friday, September 21, 2018

Audiobook Review: Crazy Rich Asians By Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Publisher: Books on Tape
Release Date: June 10th, 2013
Format: Audiobook Narrated by Lynn Chen
Source: Audible
My Rating: 
★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

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, crazilyrich.
I am pretty conflicted about this book. On the one hand, it's super entertaining in a soap opera kind of way, but on the other hand there are way too many characters and most of them are insufferable. I will be the first to admit, that I don't necessarily think this book was my cup of tea. That's totally okay, because I definitely see why so many other people enjoy this book so much.

So let's first talk about what didn't work for me with this book. TOO MANY CHARACTERS. There are a lot of characters in this book, and we get to see their perspectives a lot, but sometimes it was just too hard to focus on who everyone was. I think I needed to draw a family tree! I think this might have been harder for me since I did this on audio and some of the names sound a little too similar so I had to remind myself who that person was in relation to everyone else. My other issue is that most of the characters are just insufferable judgmental people! It drove me crazy, and made me really feel for Rachel and what she had gotten herself into. I do think since there were way too many characters there were also a lot of different sub-plots in this book that I didn't think were necessary.

So what did I like? Rachael! I understood where she was coming from being put into this "stranger in a strange land" type of narrative. She had no idea what was in store for her, and as much as I did like Nick he was an idiot for not giving her fair warning about his money-obsessed judgmental family. I felt like Colin and Araminta were kind of two-dimensional characters, but they were also ones that I liked. I really felt for Nick's cousin Astrid. Oh man, the things she goes through in this book just made my heart wrench. She deserves a happy ending, and I hope she gets it.

On another note, I do think this book was interesting to read to understand how the other half (the affluent society) lives, and it also was interesting to learn more about a culture I am not a part of. I also think it was great that the movie adaption came out and was successful. I would like to see more movies coming out that have a diverse-cast such as this one. I definitely think that the audiobook also helped me to understand the cultural stuff, like some of the slang. I don't think I really would have understood that as well if I had just read this one.

I'm not really a soap opera fan, and I feel like this book kinda plays on all those stereotypes. There is definitely nothing wrong with that, but I just don't think it's for me.

What did you think about this book? Can you convince me to read the second one?

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Happy Reads Everyone!