Crazy Rich Asians Book Review


   Kevin Kwan wasn’t lying when he decided to name this juicy, and over-indulging literature craze Crazy Rich Asians. Being able to read even a glimpse of a spectrum of wealthy business owners, tycoons, and a conglomerate of other titles that are specified in the read, was shocking yet so satisfying. My family background (to my knowledge) does not come from generational wealth. So, reading about a group of people who aren’t White talk about the masses that they have acquired over hundreds of years can be very interesting. Nonetheless, this is not to compare other groups of people who are of color, but it is refreshing to hear and learn about another culture that I don’t think about on a daily basis. Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians dives into a world of family structures, fashion, money, cultural distinctions, gossip, and so much more.

     The story opens up in London of 1986. The Youngs finally made it to their first stop (for whatever rich reason) and are ready to check into their hotel. Kids of course are being kids, a tad bit rowdy and ignore the rules but Eleanor Young (Nicholas Young’s mother) was ready to rest in the Lancaster suite at The Calthorpe Hotel. As she approached the counter, she said in perfect English (these crazy rich Asians are sticklers for correctness) “We have a reservation.” The general manager stood in awe and told Mrs. Eleanor Young that he couldn’t find the booking under ‘Eleanor Young’. I mean damn can I have one tall glass of discrimination with a dash of racism? Their interactions only escalated from there. The children had already spilled a drink on the floor right after tracking up the floor with their wet shoes, Felicity Leong (cousin to the Young family) reached across the desk to clarify the records and much more. After returning back to the hotel from being asked to leave, Mrs. Young called her husband and explained everything to him. The situation does a complete turnaround. Mr. Young called the owner of the hotel (who he frequently golfs with) and ends up buying the hotel that his family was just discriminated at. Mrs. Young then turns to the rude manager and says, “Oh yes, I almost forgot,” she began with a smile, “I’m afraid I’m going to have to ask you to leave the premises.”

     This eye opener is a short introduction to how massively wealthy (rich doesn’t do these families justice) the Youngs, Shangs, Leongs, T’siens and many other Asian families are in this story. Aside from this, the plot begins when Nick, who has been dating his ABC (American-Born Chinese) girlfriend for 2 years, decides that it’s time to take Rachel Chu to Singapore. However, Nick fails to detail or even mention to Rachel how rich his family truly is. With Rachel being born into a single-parent, hardworking household, she is automatically seen as a “gold-digger” and judged before she steps her naïve little foot on the plane. In a swirl of thirsty Asian women wanting Nick to a conniving mother who stops at nothing to ensure her son does not fathom the thought of marrying Rachel to Nick’s cousin-in-law’s made-up affair (Astrid Leong is Nick’s dashing cousin who is married to an insecure man), Rachel finds herself confused and essentially tired of the shenanigans that these crazy rich Asians seem to get into. Kwan excellently introduces readers to diverse Asian cultures, from cuisines to different dialects and music to familial ties. Crazy Rich Asians will open your mind up to what it’s like seeing generational wealth, the nuisances of having insanely amounts of money with nothing to do with it besides spend it and a humbling, crazy love story between a couple that isn’t expecting what family, friends, money and life throws at them through their journey. Kevin Kwan finishes off this trilogy with China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems.

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