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Crazy Rich Asians

⛰ What It's About

Rachel Chu is happy to accompany her longtime boyfriend, Nick, to his best friend's wedding in Singapore. She's also surprised to learn that Nick's family is extremely wealthy and he's considered one of the country's most eligible bachelors. Thrust into the spotlight, Rachel must now contend with jealous socialites, quirky relatives and something far, far worse -- Nick's disapproving mother.

🔍 How I Discovered It

I first heard of it when the film was being promoted in late 2018. I knew that I generally prefer books to movies and so I decided to read the book before even seeing the trailer.

🧠 Thoughts

An enjoyable read and an interesting insight into higher-end Asian culture. I probably would have liked it much more if I were actually Chinese/Singaporean and could appreciate the references (which in fairness, the author does his best to explain in footnotes).

The characters are quite lovable, and the Nicholas / Rachel story is really cute.

In terms of wider lessons, the book exemplifies the phrase “money can’t buy happiness”. I liked how some of the chapters are written from the perspective of completely random characters that we’ve never come across - for example, we sometimes see a single event from the perspective of (a) the main character, (b) a super rich grandparent and (c) a dazzled-by-the-glam journalist. It’s interesting to see how a journalist (non-rich) views the affair and gushes about how amazing everyone looks, whereas when the author lifts the veil we see the abuse and the drama behind the scenes that led to this picture-perfect moment.

But yeah, solid read. If you’re not Chinese but have Chinese friends, you’ll probably chuckle at some of the references.

🥰 Who Would Like It?

If you enjoy cute romances + lots of drama + you want an insight into the world of the ultra-wealthy, you'll enjoy this.

📚 Related Books

I also read the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, but it wasn't as good as this one. Didn't bother reading the third book in the trilogy.