Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan- Review by Carlyn


Crazy Rich Asians was a book that was really looking forward to reading. I’m Asian and I thought the title was hilarious. I knew that it was going to be a big hit. I also bought this book as a Christmas gift to a friend because I thought she would find it a hoot too. The main character in the book is Rachel Chu, a thirty something professor of economy. She lives in New York with her boyfriend Nicholas Young. Nicholas invites Rachel to Singapore to attend a wedding and meet his family. In Singapore, Rachel discovers that Nicholas’ family is crazy rich. What is crazy rich? Well, Nicholas’s father once bought a hotel just to fire a concierge that had been rude to his wife.

The story follows Rachel as she tries to survive among the rich, some are generous and kind while others are snobby and spiteful. She soon learns the difference between old and new money. People who come from old money are families who have been rich for generations. In the book, the older ones look down on Rachel who doesn’t have an aristocratic lineage like they do. Thankfully, Rachel is supported by her best friend named Peik Lim, a new money girl whose family made their fortune in real estate. Meanwhile, Nicholas is oblivious to the hateful attempts by scheming girls and his mother to drive Rachel out of his life.

The book is a comedy so there are funny one liners and outrageous scenarios involving the crazy rich Asians. The chapters alternates between characters describing their background and their attitude to money. Many of the secondary characters don’t appreciate their wealth and scheme to have more wealth and prestige, like Confucius says money can’t buy happiness. Besides Rachel, there were plenty of secondary characters I liked. I liked Nicholas’ cousin Astrid for always being herself and working hard at her marriage, I also liked Eddie a ridiculous man who is obsessed with his family looking perfect, Kitty Pong, the gold digging starlet and Su Yi, Nicholas’ grandmother. There’s were plenty of other characters I liked as well.

I think that Rachel almost takes second place to the descriptions of wealth in the novel. There were frequent references to designer clothes and accessories. I heard that this book will be made into a movie and I’m glad that it will be. I think it can easily be adapted for film. It reminds me of the movie Monster in Law starring Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. Crazy Rich Asians is a funny and entertaining book to read. I think it’s great for when you just want to relax. 


  1. I was looking at the bestsellers shelf at a bookstore recently and this book's cover immediately caught my eye because of the loud and minimalistic, glittery design as well as the hilarious title.

    After reading the blurb, I was put off by how many different characters there were and it seemed like a story that would be quite difficult to keep up with. Also, I was worried that I would get annoyed and angry from reading about the snobbish and hateful rich people, haha!

    Your review summarises everything in a much better way that is easy for someone to digest and get a rough idea of what the book is about. And now that I know it's a comedy, I'm really excited about reading it myself! Thank you for the great tip, Carlyn!

    And, oh my. I had no idea you were Asian! I've been reading your blog this whole time under the impression that you were an Australian Caucasian (I hope this does not come across as offensive/insensitive, I certainly did not mean for it to be).

    May I ask what race you are? :))

    1. When I first read the book, I was confused by all the characters as well. I wasn't expecting the book to alternate between different people so I didn't understand why I was suddenly reading about one of the rich families. However, I came to conclude that the book is like a soap opera and that Kevin Kwan needed to prep the scene so that people could see from all angles, the attitude towards the high society wedding that they all would be attending and Rachel.
      There's a family tree in the book where you will be able to see how all of them are related to each other.
      I'm glad that my review was some use to you and I really hope you enjoy reading the book.
      I'm Laotian but I have lived all my life in Australia. I understand how you might have thought that I was Caucasian. My alias is Carlyn Brody is a western name. On another note, Jon Bear is a full Caucasian American as far as I know. ..


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