Book Review: China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

As soon as I finished Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, I had to move onto the second book in his trilogy: China Rich Girlfriend. I needed to find out the continuation of Rachel Chu and Nicky Young’s story. Also I had a desire to know what would happen to some of the other characters I had come to know in the story.

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Blurb: 

It’s the eve of Rachel Chu’s wedding, and she should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond, a wedding dress she loves, and a fiancé willing to thwart his meddling relatives and give up one of the biggest fortunes in Asia in order to marry her. Still, Rachel mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be there to walk her down the aisle.

Then a chance accident reveals his identity. Suddenly, Rachel is drawn into a dizzying world of Shanghai splendor, a world where people attend church in a penthouse, where exotic cars race down the boulevard, and where people aren’t just crazy rich … they’re China rich.

My thoughts: 

The second novel in the trilogy was as much fun to read as the first. I laughed at the craziness of it all, and enjoyed the extravagant nature of the new wealth in China. Once again the romance in the story is interwoven with humour and wit as Kwan describes the outrageous behaviour of those with far more money than they can spend in a lifetime.

Love, however, is not always easy and Kwan shows us this in his description of Astrid and her beau. And even though Rachel and Nicky are moving towards the altar, obstacles still stand in their way. What I enjoyed most in this novel is the continuation of the stories that began in the first. Not all problems are resolved in the end (there is a third novel in the series) but some are – and mostly to my satisfaction.

The second novel in the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend did not disappoint me. My attention was kept throughout and I completed the story in 2 days. Definitely a perfect read for those who enjoy romance with lots of humour.

I give this novel ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 3rd in my book pledge for 2019)

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

For my birthday, my children gave me the trilogy box set of Crazy Rich Asians as I had enjoyed the film so much that I wanted to read the books. I decided to make Kevin Kwan’s first book in the trilogy, Crazy Rich Asians, my second read for the year 2019.

Genre: Women’s Fiction, Romance

Blurb:

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.

On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

My thoughts:

I saw the movie before I read the book and it did spoil the novel on some level for me as I knew many of the scenes already, as well as the climax of the story. However, the book does have more than the film (as is always the case) so there were some new events for me (though not much). Some events in the film were not as described in the book – and I preferred the way Kwan had chosen to portray these happenings.

Reading the book was such fun and within the first few pages I was laughing. Kwan has included footnotes in his writing and these are perfect to translate Cantonese or Hokkien expressions, as well as any actions that readers may not be familiar with. I loved these footnotes and often found myself smiling at the outrageous behaviour or expectation described.

Crazy Rich Asians is definitely a fun read – but it is also a romance. A romance that has not often been described in mainstream novels as it is of a culture that has been sidelined in the past. Even though it is funny and describes outrageous behaviour, Kwan is not cruelly mocking the rich Asian set. Instead, he gives us a snapshot of a sub-culture within a particular society.

I enjoyed reading of the American Born Chinese, Rachel Chu, who is totally unprepared for her entry into Singaporean society. Her experience describes so much the experience of the Chinese born out of China – an experience my husband himself has lived through. Kwan’s characters were believable to me because because of my observation of many Asians born in western countries.

I was definitely holding thumbs for the two main characters in the novel: Rachel Chu and Nick Young. They should be together and yet there are so many obstacles in their way. Their story does not end in this novel as described in the movie and I knew at the end I had to delve into the second book of the series.

The first novel in the Crazy Rich Asian series was a great read filled with humour and romance. It is a perfect ‘chick-lit’ novel.

I give this novel ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 stars

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This novel was the 2nd in my book pledge for 2019)

Books and Biscuits

I am back at work this week and therefore have less time to read. Oh how I wish I could sit quietly for a couple of hours and enjoy the last section of the Crazy Rich Asian trilogy!

My current read © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

When I come home, I am able to put my feet up for about half an hour and read with a warm cup of tea. This week I have been taking out the last of the cookies that my friend baked and gifted me for Christmas.

A Book and Biscuits. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

My friend has been trying out new recipes and adapting them to find that spot where a cookie is not too sweet. I love her new shortbread recipe with just a hint of sweetness. I find the shop bought cookies are excessively sweet and the sugar taste overwhelms the other flavours in the biscuit. Her recipe for white chocolate, cranberry and amaretto shortbread looks so easy to make. (It is even easier if I get her to bake me some more 🙂 )

My friend has recently started her YouTube channel Under 300 Calories. Head on over and see if there are any of her recipes take your fancy. And while you do that, I will continue reading the third novel in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan, Rich People Problems.

What are you currently reading?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

Towards a Book Hangover

It is almost time to go back to my work-week routine and, in the days leading up to waking up at 5:30am, I find myself enjoying the gift my children gave me for my birthday.

The Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

I began reading the first novel last week Thursday – that is, four days ago. Even though I had seen the film already, I found myself enjoying the humour and the little details that were not written in the screenplay. Friday evening I had to delve into the second tome of the series. And on Sunday afternoon, I could not resist cracking open the third. The story is a fun, contemporary tale that describes the craziness of the ultra rich (and makes a little fun of them).

Immersed in a trilogy. © Colline Kook-Chun, 2018

This weekend I have read for many hours, immersing myself in Kevin Kwan’s story. It has made me smile – and encouraged me to enjoy the remaining moments of my break until I am back in the craziness of work. I was hoping to complete the tale before my Sunday bedtime. Alas! I do not think I will manage to do so.

How did you spend the last moments of your break for the Holidays?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2019

(This post was inspired by Trent’s Weekly Smile, a challenge which focuses on sharing all things positive.)