Crazy Rich Asians
I picked up the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy craving an escape into the lives of the filthy, fabulously rich and was not disappointed! Rooting for college professor Rachel and her relationship with soul mate Nick kept me turning pages long into the night.
Rachel Chu is expecting your standard meet-the-parents trip. She has no idea that her beau is heir to one of Singapore’s biggest fortunes! After a first-class ride from New York to Singapore, Rachel steps into a world of lavish estates, private jets – and billionaires bent on sabotaging her relationship with Nick.
While the jewels, cars, and haute couture were drool-inducing, for me Rachel was the very best thing about the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy. Her down-to-earth character was so real and relatable I felt like I knew her. This made her eyes the perfect pair through which to view the extravagance of Asia’s super-rich. While Rachel is at times captivated by a hand-painted dress or a piece of antique jewelry, she isn’t impressed by ostentatious displays of wealth. She also doesn’t mind telling entitled young scions exactly what she thinks of them!
And yet, Rachel’s eyes were not the only ones author Kevin Kwan makes use of in his trilogy. We are treated to the perspective of such personalities as fashionista Astrid Leong, soap star Kitty Pong, and household servant Ma Ling just to name a few. At first, I was puzzled by the sheer number of characters Kwan uses to tell his story. After all, I’ve only encountered such a huge cast in epic fantasy novels. There, the opportunity to follow many characters feels essential because it gives the reader the chance to explore their invented universe. However, by the time I’d finished reading the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy, I understood Kwan’s approach completely. The “crazy rich” live so differently from the rest of us that we may as well explore their world just like the ones that are pure fantasy!
All in all, I had an incredible experience traveling the globe with Kevin Kwan’s jet set characters. I’m also so excited that Crazy Rich Asians has given characters hailing from Singapore, Hong Kong, mainland China, and Thailand the spotlight in a bestselling American novel. I might even be slightly more excited that the first book in the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy is now a blockbuster movie! Although I myself am a white woman from the United States, I join the many voices – such as the ones featured here, here, and here – who want to see more Asian actors on their movie screens.
It is with confidence that I pronounce the Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy a must-read. The series is a true pop culture phenomenon, and Rachel Chu is the perfect companion for a romp through a world that isn’t fantasy, but sure feels like it!