“You love your children so much, you do everything to try to protect them, and they don’t even appreciate it.”

16085481What is this book about?

Rachel Chu is American Born Chinese and has been dating the dashing Nicholas Young for a while now. When he asks her to come to a wedding with him in Singapore and meet his family, she reluctantly agrees, not knowing it will be much worse than she’s imagining. Nicholas comes from a very, very rich family, filled with crazy women, prestigious prep schools and designer everything. Rachel is completely unprepared for the riches that are awaiting her, not knowing anything about Nicholas’ past or his mother, who will do anything to drive a wedge between them.

Why is it boring?

The title does really say it all. It’s about rich Asians doing insane things. Don’t expect a deep look into the unfair division of riches or some kind of class struggle. All you’ll get is rich people shenanigans and a bunch of things that are only recognizable to Singapore’s 1%.

Who would you recommend it to?

If you are in dire need of a fun book, pick this up. You will get so swept up in all the drama and riches that you’ll forget all your own troubles.

Why should I read it if it’s boring?!

I found this book through The Cat Overlord Book Club, who described it as ‘A present-day Downton Abbey with Asians instead of white people set in Singapore with a Mean Girls theme, with the sex and glamour of Sex and the City’. This is such a good description that I’m not even going to try to beat it. Crazy Rich Asians is fun and over the top and extravagant and perfect to bring with you on summer vacation. Kevin Kwan’s writing is what makes this book works. (The audio version is also great, with Lynn Chen doing amazing voice work). Without the fun, snappy writing of Kwan this book could be offense or just boring. Instead he makes the crazy richness of Singaporeans funny and their obsessions with having the best seem a bit sad, but without really making fun of anyone. He shows us the extremes without judging himself and let’s you decide for yourself if you think it’s awful or funny. This book made me feel extremely poor though, hearing all the descriptions of the mansions the characters live in and everything they wear. So prepare to feel like a slob while reading this.

The actual story has a lot of twists and turns and starts out really slow, only to then hurtle towards the finale. It’s fun when you’re along for the ride, but no joke in the world can make up for a rushed ending. Luckily there will be a sequel coming out this year, so we get to see how Rachel and Nicholas are fairing and if all the other crazy rich Asians are still hanging on.

Rating: 3,5/5

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Esmée de Heer is head honcho over at the Bored to Death book club website, writing the daily content and making sure the site stays up and running. She's one of the founding sisters of the book club and enjoys reading and giving unsolicited love advice.

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