Last year I came across a book called Rich People Problems – it seemed to be the book everyone was reading and talking about – all the time. So naturally I checked it out and realized that it was (unfortunately) the final book in a trilogy (of which the first book was Crazy Rich Asians).
I say unfortunately because it’s always easier for me to pick a standalone book than one that is part of a series. I am usually more cautious about picking up a series because once I start I feel compelled to read the entire series (another one of my many bookish quirks). So I tread carefully.
But then of-course there are some stories that sound so appealing that I don’t mind reading multiples books (if I have to). This just happened to be one such tale that piqued my curiosity.
Actually no, to be completely honest, it wasn’t even that. It wasn’t the story (or the blurb) that made me want to read the novel, but something the author said. Kevin Kwan once mentioned that his intention in writing the book/series was to introduce contemporary Asia to the North American audience (or actually even the rest of the world).
And I was like, yes please! It was a culture I was curious about but knew little to nothing about, and now I had the opportunity to see it from an insider’s point of view. So clearly I was all over it! And I couldn’t get to the book/series fast enough.
The fact that Book#1 was getting adapted into a movie was simply icing on the cake I was already interested in gobbling up.
Crazy Rich Asians – Book Review
So far (at the time I am writing this review) I have only read Book#1, so I can’t speak for the entire series, but for just this one book.
And the best way to describe it is – The Real Housewives of Asia (Or at-least Singapore at any rate). Yeah that would be it. Insanely rich people living their ridiculously rich lives.
With one twist though. There is also an “outsider” here (Rachel Chu) who is just about getting introduced to this crazy rich world (thanks to her boyfriend Nick, who is a part of it), which means we get at-least one POV that we can relate with (we = the rest of the NOT super-duper-crazy-rich world) amidst all the other folks whose accomplishments and struggles seem too out there to even completely grasp.
That being said, this book was kind of different from what I expected it to be. I expected the romance to take center-stage, and while Nick & Rachel’s love story was an important component of the book, there was so much going on, that it did not even seem like the main component.
And even when the spotlight was on them, I can’t say I really cared much about them as a couple, mostly because I felt like Nick’s character lacked depth, and the love story was mostly all tell, no show.
The only reason I cared, even a little bit, whether they end up together or not was because of Rachel, who really grew on me.
However, without giving too many details (to avoid spoilers) I have to say that there was this one other couple whom I did find myself rooting for, and I feel like their story will take prominence in the upcoming books, and I simply cannot wait to read it.
The thing that dominated this book was the drama, a lot of over-the-top, sometimes aggravating drama. And yet I found myself thoroughly entertained through it all. I am not even entirely sure why, but I just ate it all up.
Maybe I needed this exact brand of hyperbolic escape from reality, and I found it here. Whatever the reason, doesn’t change the fact that I found it a really fun read.
However I think the thing I loved the most was the fact that this book/story was soaked in Asian culture, even though yes, it mostly highlighted only the extravagant lives of the super and the super-duper rich. But then that was to be expected, right? It was just living up to its name. Regardless, I loved the sneak-peek into a culture that is so different, and yet so familiar in many ways.
Which now brings me to the titular question — is the book worth the hype?
Is Crazy Rich Asians worth the hype?
I would say, in many ways, yes! However it also depends on what you are looking for.
If what you are looking for is an easy, breezy, fast, fun, addictive, and entertaining read (that doesn’t take itself too seriously) – look no further, and pick up a copy of Crazy Rich Asians.
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That’s all from my end folks. I’d love to hear from you. Did you read Crazy Rich Asians? Or see the movie? I personally haven’t seen the movie yet, but I’m looking forward to it, because I feel like this story will translate really well on screen (crazy rich life can make for some stunning visuals!!). But if you have read the book/seen the movie, I would love to hear what you thought of them.
P.S. If you do choose to read the book, I’d recommend you keep a copy of this family tree handy. You are definitely going to need it. More than you think. 😛
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