A few weeks ago I came across a trailer for this movie and upon finding out it was a book I immediately went out to purchase it because I thought to myself, “that looks like a good movie. I’ll read the book first!” Honestly, I wish I hadn’t because dear God was this a mess.
The Goodreads synopsis reads as follows:
“When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfrie nd, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.”
You read that synopsis and think, “oooooooo, a romantic comedy of sorts in book form!” Or at least I did. I honestly thought going into this that it was going to be like one of those early 90’s chessy romantic comedies with the right amount of Romeo and Juliet, but wow was I way off.
For starters, I personally never came to care for any of the characters. It didn’t help that there was a copious amount of them and that you never really got to know any of them well enough to care. None of them had any real depth and a vast majority were just used as plot devices. Characters would be brought up by other characters and I’d be like…who’s that???? There just wasn’t a good enough balance between these characters and the story. Less is more sometimes and I really wish the author had kept this in mind.
The story itself was also something I didn’t care for until the last 80 pages or so because that’s when the drama actually happened (why’d I keep reading? Every now and then I find a book that’s fun to hate read. This was one of them). I don’t even know what to say about the story, really. I’m at a loss for words and the best I can do is say that it felt like it was all over the place. So many things happened and yet a huge amount of them felt completely unnecessary to have them there in the first place. This book would’ve worked so much better had it just fully focused on Nick, Rachel, and Nick’s mom.
I did later find out that this is the first in three books and I can see how the author exploring certain storylines that felt unnecessary could’ve been in a move to continue the storylines in the next book, but I truly feel like what would’ve worked better was to give little snippets of those characters while still directing its main focus on Nick and Rachel and the whole ordeal with people not wanting them together. It would’ve made for a more cohesive read and it truly is where this book fails.
One thing I also don’t understand is how people actually found this book funny. I’ve seen a huge amount of reviews where people are talking about how they were laughing out loud throughout the book and meanwhile my laugh count for all 527 pages was ONE. I laughed one time. Unless you count the amount of times I laughed at how stupid these characters were in which case I actually did laugh a lot.
The last thing I want to say is that there is an excessive amount of name dropping concerning designers. The amount of detail given to what these people wore and who they wore was the detail some of these characters needed in order to be fleshed out. And yet there was more depth given to outfits than to the characters. As someone who also doesn’t pay attention to those in the fashion industry, I had no idea who the vast majority of these designers were and at one point I just started skimming through the names. This book had an unnecessary amount of lines dedicated to this and it got tiring long before I was even halfway done with it. This might just be a pet peeve I have, I don’t know, but it definitely hindered my enjoyment of this story.
I gave this book 1 star in the end because of those 80 pages or so where it got really good, but other than that I really wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. I just don’t think it’s worth anyones time and I am definitely not going to see the movie after reading this. Although, the movie could end up being far superior so who knows.
So yeah, those are my thoughts on this book! Thanks for reading 🙂
Quick question, does anyone know of any good book clubs on goodreads? I’ve been wanting to join one, but can’t seem to find a good one Thanks in advance to anyone who suggests any! 😀