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Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)
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Archive: Other Books > Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (3 Stars)

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Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
3 out of 5 Stars

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, 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.

The Positives of Crazy Rich Asians
While this book is certainly in what I call the Popular Fiction category it was an enjoyable read. I find books like Crazy Rich Asians; books with good story lines, fun characters, and easy reading to be a great follow-up to a heftier novel. Having just finished Warlight by Michael Ondaatje this was a perfect vacation/beach read for me. The real positives of this novel have to coincide with the right reading setting. The chapters are short, the story flows easily, and while not a memorable story the book has enough intrigue to keep it moving. I really enjoyed reading this by the pool, on the beach, and in the airport. I would recommend it for that type of reading.

The Negatives of Crazy Rich Asians
The fact that the book is written as Popular Fiction is not a downgrade as that is what the reader is expecting. The only real negative I had with this book is the continual descriptions of the opulence of the characters at every turn. My paperback version of this novel was 527 pages and I easily believe it could have been just as enjoyable at closer to 400. Too many of the descriptions were not necessary for the story line nor for the development of the characters. The wealth was intriguing but the lengthy descriptions weigh the story down.

Overall, the book was enjoyable. The romance was not overdone and the characters were well developed. A nice read if you know what you desire.


Meli (melihooker) | 3685 comments I have this on my tbr and look forward to reading it so I can see the movie adaptation!

Kwan was on Bookriot Recommended podcast and his recommended book was a novel from the 80s (I think) about the upper echelon of New York City which was his inspiration... completely drawing a blank on the book title now, but I was interested in reading it.


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments I have the other two books in the Crazy Rich Asians series waiting. If humor or friendship wins out for the September tag I will be reading the next installment.


Meli (melihooker) | 3685 comments Good enough to read the next installment even at 3 stars is a good sign.


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Meli wrote: "Good enough to read the next installment even at 3 stars is a good sign."

Yeah, three stars is not a bad rating from me. I only give 5 stars if I feel like the writing is above popular fiction. So 4 stars is the highest I would have given this book, and really the lengthy descriptions of the opulence was the only major downward force.


Meli (melihooker) | 3685 comments Above popular fiction? Does that mean it can't be popular or does that have another meaning?


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Meli wrote: "Above popular fiction? Does that mean it can't be popular or does that have another meaning?"

I consider popular fiction books to be those that are written for the masses. These, for me, are books that don't possess the same level of writing but are more focused on the "fun" of the story. I group romance, chick-lit, thriller, and mystery all under popular fiction for the most part. In calling them popular fiction I am not degrading the book. I enjoy a good mystery or chick-lit read as much as anyone. I just consider them to be popular fiction and will not give them that extra star.


Meli (melihooker) | 3685 comments OK, I understand.
Thank you for the additional explanation.

I love popular fiction, thrillers especially. But it is also awesome to come across a book in a popular fiction category that transcends that tag.

My 5 star is reserved for something I want to immediately read again or a book I loved, or I would recommend to most readers.
So I would easily rate a Big Little Lies same as There There.

I am rethinking my rating system, but not sure how I will change it yet. As I wrote the above, it seems strange to include Big Little Lies in the same ranking as There There. But I definitely loved both.


Hahtoolah | 441 comments I recently read the book. I wanted to read it before seeing the movie. I enjoyed both book and movie.


message 10: by Meli (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3685 comments Does the movie only cover the first book?


message 11: by Meli (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli (melihooker) | 3685 comments They were talking about this book on NY Times Book Review podcast's latest episode.

To expand on your point about popular fiction, some quotes regarding the book from the readers on that podcast:
"like a milkshake, you just sort of slurp it down.

"pretty bad book... just sorta breezy and trashy..."

I think they actually liked it, but the point was it isn't objectively good.

"Milkshake" books are kinda my sweet spot though.
I don't think I would honestly be able to deny them a 5 star rating when it is one I really enjoy.

But, I found those criticisms helpful to expand on what you were explaining.


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Meli wrote: "Does the movie only cover the first book?"

Yes, I believe it does. We have not made it to see the movie yet though.


Jeremiah Cunningham | 717 comments Meli wrote: "They were talking about this book on NY Times Book Review podcast's latest episode.

To expand on your point about popular fiction, some quotes regarding the book from the readers on that podcast:..."


Milkshake books ... I like that.


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