Take one part Gossip Girl, one part Anthony Trollope, and set it in flashy Singapore and you've got Kevin Kwan's delightful beach read, Crazy Rich AsiTake one part Gossip Girl, one part Anthony Trollope, and set it in flashy Singapore and you've got Kevin Kwan's delightful beach read, Crazy Rich Asians.
If you've been paying attention to the news over the last decade, you may have seen reports of the wealth boom in Asia and the elaborate lifestyles of the elite class. But there is also old money in Asia, families who found wealth generations ago, before China even became communist, and have managed to hang onto it. Crazy Rich Asians transports readers to both worlds, new money and old.
The readers watch the world unfold through the eyes of Rachel, a Chinese-American who has no idea that her boyfriend of two years is set to inherit one of the largest fortunes in Singapore. As she travels home with him for his best friend's wedding -- a wedding as anticipated and star studded as any Asia has ever seen -- she is exposed to both the alluring and the repugnant among the fabulously wealthy.
Crazy Rich Asians is the best beach-type book I've read this year. I am not at all surprised the movie rights have already sold, and I hope Kwan does continue to tell this story in one or two sequels. I'm not quite finished with Nicholas, Rachel, Astrid and the gang. ...more
Well, I am glad Elizabeth Strout is over the hump of writing another book after Olive Kitteridge. She did not try to duplicate it's format and wrote aWell, I am glad Elizabeth Strout is over the hump of writing another book after Olive Kitteridge. She did not try to duplicate it's format and wrote a more straightforward novel this time around. I did not enjoy it nearly as much, but it was well-written and I look forward to reading whatever she comes out with next....more
I haven't seen the movie (yet) but its great reviews persuaded me to give this book a chance and I am very glad I did. A moving story, easy to read buI haven't seen the movie (yet) but its great reviews persuaded me to give this book a chance and I am very glad I did. A moving story, easy to read but powerful in its own way. There is a great deal of wisdom and hope in this story, and I think it will connect with lots of people that I know and I'd recommend it to most. I understand why people compare it to Perks of Being a Wallflower, but calling it Perks for grown-ups is not entirely fair. Quick deserves high praise for this thoughtful debut, and I am looking forward to reading more of his novels. (8.5/10)...more
We Sinners tells the story of a large family wrestling with their connection to their separatist, Lutheran sect. As the children grow and consider theWe Sinners tells the story of a large family wrestling with their connection to their separatist, Lutheran sect. As the children grow and consider their faith more deeply, there is a lot of solid material to draw from. The writing was sincere and the choices seemed realistic. But the jumping around from different narrators and around the time line occasionally confused and other times left me with looming questions. I did not love the last chapter, it felt more forced and out of place. But overall, I really appreciated this novel and look forward to reading more from Pylväinen in the future (7/10.) ...more
The Starboard Sea is a well crafted story, ably written, about a young man's Senior year at a New England prep school. Jason is a boy born into privilThe Starboard Sea is a well crafted story, ably written, about a young man's Senior year at a New England prep school. Jason is a boy born into privilege who is struggling to make sense of the world as his life falls apart.
His best friend and sailing partner is dead, his parents are divorcing, and he is unable to return to his previous school to finish out his high school career, so he's off to somewhere new, a school for the misfits who are cast or kept out of the most elite prep academies. As he tries to navigate his circumstances, he befriends Aiden, a California girl with her own dark past.
I enjoyed the story, but the writing really set this apart for me. I was very drawn to the descriptions of sailing and found myself thinking of sailing apart from when I was reading. I was also moved by the way Dermont described relationships. I felt Jason's losses and pain acutely, because she did a good job portraying them (and not just informing us of how he felt.)
It's a coming of age story and set at at boarding school, but I wouldn't classify this as young adult. Not because the themes are mature and sometimes graphic (even though they are), it just feels more geared to adults. (8.5/10)...more