Review

Crazy Rich Asians

by Kevin Kwan

Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young are a happy, seemingly ordinary couple who live and work in New York City. When Nick invites Rachel to accompany him to his home in Singapore for the summer, she agrees with some trepidation. After all, she's never met his family before, and while they're there, they'll be attending the high-society wedding of the season at which Nick will be the best man. Still, none of Rachel's apprehensive musings can prepare her for the reality of the situation she finds herself thrust into when she reaches the shores of Singapore.

It turns out that Nick is from one of the richest families in the small Asian country, a fact he never bothered to mention, and is considered one of the most eligible and highly sought-after bachelors on the market. As may be expected, there are no number of catty Asian girls willing to do whatever it takes to break up the happy couple so they can have a chance with Rachel's man.

"With a wicked sense of humor, Kwan easily acquaints us with the dizzyingly dazzling myriad of memorable characters who populate his debut."

Not only are there other women chasing after Nick, Nick's mother is dead set against his relationship with Rachel from the get go. Eleanor Young knows that Rachel, an American-born Chinese, known as an "ABC," is nowhere near good enough for her baby boy. When Eleanor's extensive grapevine of gossip reveals no information on the young woman who has the audacity to try and infiltrate the Young clan, she sets out on a nefarious fact-finding mission to discover everything and anything she can use against Rachel in the hope of ousting her from Nick's life.

Raised by a single working mother in California, Rachel is totally unprepared for the kind of wealth the Young family takes for granted. While her mother saw that she didn't lack for anything and ensured that she received a good education, there was no way she could provide Rachel with even luxuries that the Youngs would consider passé.

Multi-million-dollar apartments, palatial family homes, top-of-the-line luxury cars, and accommodations at the best hotels in the most expensive cities in the world are commonplace in Nick's circle. His relatives purchase couture outfits that cost more than Rachel makes in a year, and while she doesn't covet their finery, she can't help but notice that they live on a completely different level than what she anticipated.

While Rachel does have a few of Nick's relatives in her corner, the opposing factions are devious, cutthroat and willing to do whatever it takes to protect Nick from the woman they perceive as a gold digger. Will Rachel and Nick be able to maintain the close, loving relationship they've always had, or will Nick's family and friends manage to tear the couple apart and leave their relationship in shambles?

CRAZY RICH ASIANS is a funny and fascinating first novel from author Kevin Kwan. Not for him are the tales of humble peasants working hard to make a living in the rice paddies. Instead, he introduces his readers to an elite lifestyle that many may never have known existed. With a wicked sense of humor, Kwan easily acquaints us with the dizzyingly dazzling myriad of memorable characters who populate his debut.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on June 28, 2013

Crazy Rich Asians
by Kevin Kwan

  • Publication Date: May 20, 2014
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN-10: 0345803787
  • ISBN-13: 9780345803788