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Sex and Vanity

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  36,040 ratings  ·  4,102 reviews
The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with a glittering tale of love and longing as a young woman finds herself torn between two worlds–the WASP establishment of her father’s family and George Zao, a man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.

On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill se
Hardcover, 321 pages
Published June 30th 2020 by Doubleday
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Rachel Swords I took it to be a fun little cameo, just like the mention of the princess at the end of the book.
Maureen No more please. The heroine is ridiculously inane. There is no sustainable plot. And how much name dropping can a reader withstand?

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Average rating 3.35  · 
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 ·  36,040 ratings  ·  4,102 reviews

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Oct 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There’s a lot of merit in showing the protagonist’s struggle with her half-white/half-Asian identity, how other people have treated her because of her more Asian features, and her rejection of Asian culture. Unfortunately, the message of embracing yourself as you are gets muddled by the flat characters and rushed execution. The protagonist is appallingly immature and behaves like a rash child (especially in the last half of the book), and most of the side characters act insufferable and annoying ...more
Lily Herman
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
*takes deep breath* *prepares for pitchforks*

Okay. Okay okay okay okay OKAY. I'm sorry to say it, but...I wasn't a fan of this novel.

Retellings of any sort are difficult. I should know; I'm the bitch who read four different Pride & Prejudice retellings in the past two months. (I hate me too!) One thing I've learned from seeing how a variety of authors reinterpret past literature is that the best adaptations are those that don't just shuffle a few things around and give the source material a fres
Miranda Reads

Hey! January 2021 Reading Vlog is up!!
The Written Review
Lucie Churchill has lived her life within a very narrow box thanks to her stifling family.

You'd think that being incredibly rich would lead her to a life of glamor and excitement but instead she's constantly petrified of stepping one foot out of line.

During a visit to the Capri island, Lucie (for the first time) steps outside her family's boundaries thanks to the irresistible George Zao.

Unfortunately, she's quickly discovered and th
Nilufer Ozmekik
Two different aspects are colliding each other and giving me painful headache about this book. It’s not something between hate and love. It is just mostly between hmm okay, not Crazy Rich Asians kind of humorous, smart, entertaining but it is “meh” kind of read and “Oh,no!” It’s a true crime to call this book retelling of “ A room with a view!”whirling opinions take tours around my overused brain cells.

I have to admit when I start my reading I had no clue this book was retelling of E. M. Forster
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

I requested this thinking I was a total longshot at getting approved. I mean this Kevin guy might have a career in writing, know what I’m saying? If you know me you know I’m not super big on books in a series so I’ve been awaiting the day Kwan would break out of the Crazy Rich Asian world and introduce us to some new characters. I about pooped myself when I received the approval and couldn’t wait to start. Especially after coming off
Tucker  (TuckerTheReader)

I am so bitterly disappointed. Just kidding. Unfortunately, I was so nonplussed with this book that it wasn't even painful when I didn't like it.

When an author hits it big with a debut (or series in this case), they have a lot of pressure when they're writing their next book and almost always, their sophomore novel or series is subpar.

This was the case with Sex and Vanity. From the first chapter, I felt like I was reading Crazy Rich Asians and that feeling continued all the way until the last pa
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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So I guess this is a loose retelling of A ROOM WITH A VIEW and I was excited about it ever since I heard Kevin Kwan was coming out with a new book because CRAZY RICH ASIANS was so addictive and I compulsively devoured all the books in that series, and I totally expected SEX AND VANITY to be more of the same.

Lucie, the heroine, is half-Asian and half-white. When we meet her, she's still very young and attending the (interracial) wedding o
Olivia (Stories For Coffee)
*sigh* This was sadly a disappointment.

Most of this novel was simply describing the opulence of Capri and New York life for the wealthy elite, from their fashion to their food to their cars, in excruciating detail which got old after the first two hours of listening to this novel that had very little actual plot.

I was expecting a romance similar to Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians but instead was given glimpses into Lucie's brief interactions with George which didn't convince me of their romance that
May 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I found this book to be very disappointing. The first part, set on Capri, was mostly fun, but even there the problems that would persist throughout showed. Lucie, around whom the story revolves, was bizarrely naive and sheltered for a rich American city girl in college in 2013 and her companion/cousin Charlotte was likewise bizarrely fusty and prim. Eventually realizing that this is a modern retelling of "A Room With A View" didn'
capture stories
Absurdly wealthy, mixed-race perplexity, whipped with snarky remarks in between lines, outlook to the inner life of elite class that comprises of mostly Asian or Asian American and the novel gave a perspective to the privileged class's inner livelihood that is whisked with extravagance while finding one's own identity, heritage, and root.

Set in Capri, Lucie Tang Churchills and George Zao met and then switched to Hamptons to change scenery. The chemistry was intense but intruded by the tragedy th
✨ A ✨
The other day I was thinking about how I miss the Crazy Rich Asians books and now we're getting new Kevin Kwan content!!

• Release Date: July 14th 2020 •

(ps. this book is not part of the Crazy Rich Asians series)
Feb 17, 2021 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: no-judgements
Novels written specifically to be an "homage" to a piece of classic literature are always a risky venture for authors. You have to appeal to people who have never read the work that your book is based on, by making your story stand on its own merit and not just on its similarities to another story; and by the same token, you need to put enough of your own spin on the story so fans of the source material will still be entertained. And of course, the biggest risk comes from inviting - and almost e ...more
Jordan (Jordy’s Book Club)
QUICK TAKE: the book is split into two sections: an extravagant wedding in Capri, and an engagement in The Hamptons. I loved the Capri portion of the book and the homage to A Room with a View. However, the book kinda lost me in part two and felt a little frivolous and less fun. I didn't quite buy into the romance (both men were duds to me), but the discussions on class and racism kept me engaged and invested in the story and I recommend this one for anyone looking for escapist fun this summer. ...more
A whirlwind. I’m dazed.

I was initially wary when I read the synopsis, which states our protagonist Lucie Tang Churchill “has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side.” A story about the internalized racism of a biracial woman born to a WASP dad and Asian mom, written by a non-biracial Asian man? Why? In Crazy Rich Asians there is a line about Rachel Chu not dating Asian men that was cut from the movie, as not to perpetuate stereotypes. I wondered about this book’s i
Larry H
Sex and Vanity is another zany tale of wealth, love, and excess from Kevin Kwan, the author of Crazy Rich Asians and its sequels.

"When we align with the truth of who we are, all things are possible."

Lucie Churchill arrives on the gorgeous island of Capri for the wedding of her old babysitter. She can’t believe she’s been invited to what will inarguably be the wedding of the year, especially in such a beautiful location. She also can’t believe she’s being chaperoned by her older cousin C
Jul 19, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was a big disappointment for me, as I LOVE Crazy Rich Asians and was expecting another gem from Kevin Kwan.

It's a modern retelling of Forster's A Room With a View (NOT of any Austen novel, for Christ's sake, there ARE other classic books), a book which I've read and hated. But I totally went in with an open mind. I didn't mind when I saw the book announcement, because I thought, if anyone can make me like this awful novel, it's Kwan. But no, it still sucks.

Tragically, the writing in Sex & V
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
[2.5 stars]

The title speaks for itself—and if you've read Kwan's famous Crazy Rich Asians series, you'll know he's a master at writing about vapid, impassioned elites. However, this one lacked the thing that I think made CRA different than your typical 'beach read,' and that's heart.

Sex and Vanity is a re-telling of E.M. Forster's 1908 classic, A Room with a View. Admittedly, I've never actually finished that story. But if you are familiar with stories set in the Edwardian era—full of social et
Roman Clodia
While this doesn't have the freshness and breezy comedy of Crazy Rich Asians, it's another fun romance. Lucie is sweet but lacks the character of Rachel and there's no good reason for her original antagonism to gorgeous George.

What I like about Kwan is that he sends up snobbery and excess while being fundamentally good-natured (on Auden: "I'm going to speak about the role of mindfulness in resolving global conflict") and even awful Cecil (with his weekly appointment with a wealth psychologist!)
Sheree | Keeping Up With The Penguins
I came to this one with high hopes for a light-hearted summer romp through the lifestyles of the rich and famous. It delivers, but unfortunately the sparkling premise is let down by flat prose. Every page is littered with adverbs (how often can your main character do something “nervously”?), the dialogue is stilted, and the story (loosely based on E.M. Forster’s A Room With A View) just didn’t have enough substance to compensate for its lack of style. That said, even though it wasn’t for me, I’m ...more
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: italy, united-states
In 2013, 19-year-old Lucie Churchill, daughter of a blue-blooded New Yorker and a Chinese born American, first meets University of California Berkley student George Zao and his mother, Rosemary, in the hotel lobby when his mother insists she and her cousin, Charlotte Barclay, switch their room of a view of an alley to Rosemary and George’s deluxe suite of an ocean vista. Lucie then keeps running into George while all of them are in Capri for a six-day wedding extravaganza between the wealthy Isa ...more
May 29, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-arcs
This was a very disappointing follow-up to my beloved Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. Sex & Vanity has a number of the same hallmarks as CRA: rich food descriptions, brand name drops, and footnotes. It isn't a strength to dip back into that well, especially with such bland. odd characters.
I haven't read A Room of One's Own, so I'm not sure if the issue is with the source material or if Kwan failed to update the story for the modern day. Whatever the issue is, it is glaring. Lucie, we are told is very
Jenny (Reading Envy)
If you loved Crazy Rich Asians you'll love this too OR if you obsessed over E.M. Forster novels in your teens, this is a modern retelling of A Room with a View. Kwan starts in the days heading up to a wedding on Capri, and he knows his details are for such a small part of the population so he provides footnotes (don't skip them, they can be pretty funny.) It's the richest of the rich and their romantic dramas within the fanciest spaces in the fanciest clothes, a fluffy perfect summer read.

I have
Yesenia Cash
Note to self, no more pretentious bougie books. I just found out I don’t like books about rich people and lavish lifestyles.
Apr 28, 2021 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
i had no idea this was a retelling of A Room with a View until i wrote this thing for f(r)iction!!
Bam cooks the books ;-)
First of all, I have to be one of the few people who have not yet read Kwan's Crazy Rich Asian books so I came to his latest novel with no preconceived notions or expectations and cannot make any comparisons to his other novels.

Lucie Tang Churchill (age 19) attends the fabulous destination wedding of a friend on the isle of Capri and falls in lust with a handsome and multi-talented fellow named George Zao. They are caught in an embarrassing position and Lucie is whisked away by her chaperone of
biblio_mom (Aiza)
Jul 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Lets talk about how stunning the hardback cover is! It is beyond stunning and elegant! Pure beauty and brilliant illustration!

Rich people talking about which country they went to further their studies, to spend the holiday, what brand their handbags, clothes, shoes are, about careers, status, wealth and stuff like that, definitely not my cup of tea.

It started off good in Capri, then it just went down the hill all the way through the middle of the book until some conflicts about Lucie and George
Jul 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The story opens as 19 year old Lucie and her much older cousin Charlotte jet sets to a destination wedding in Capri, as her friend, a Taiwanese heiress weds a polo playing Italian count. While in Capri, she meets the handsome and mesmerizing George Zao and experiences a summer fling.

Lucie Churchill is a ‘hapa’ a term used for mixed ethnic ancestry, whose mother is Chinese from Seattle and father is white with a pedigree history that could be traced back to the Mayflower. Lucie unlike her brothe
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley, owned
3.5 stars My first Kwan read was a hit for me. I was quickly hooked with all the quirky characters and the location. I didn’t even like any of the characters and still I enjoyed this read very much, it was hard to put down. The visuals were amazing, Mr. Kwan writes images so beautifully. We star is one of the most stunning places, Capri Italy. Lucie and her cousin (chaperon) are there for a wedding. Not a normal wedding, no imagine having an endless budget and a need to wow the world type weddi ...more
Charlie Marie
Kevin Kwan’s books just sweep me away into a very glittery, fashion-filled world! If you enjoyed the Crazy Rich Asians series, you’ll probably also love this novel, which is set in Capri, NY and the Hampton’s. Getting to see Kwan’s sharp eye turned toward old money WASP culture was an absolute treat!
2.5 rounded up

Kevin Kwan's new novel, Sex and Vanity is a modern retelling of A Room with a View, however this time the story is set in the mid 10s, between 2014 and 2019 (as opposed to the early 1900s setting of the original), with Kwan keeping the location in Italy but relocating the story to Capri and the Amalfi Coast (as opposed to Florence). Fair warning though - this novel is also a bit of a hot mess in some ways, but I'd venture that if you enjoys Kwan's brand of writing in the Crazy Rich
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KEVIN KWAN is the author of Crazy Rich Asians, the international bestselling novel that has been translated into more than 30 languages. Its sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, was released in 2015, and Rich People Problems, the final book in the trilogy, followed in 2017. For several weeks in 2018, the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy commanded the top three positions of the New York Times bestseller list - ...more

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