23

A cherry on top: Rich People Problems

When I finished reading China Rich Girlfriend in 2015, I immediately began looking forward to book three. So to say that I was anticipating Rich People Problems would be a massive understatement.

From the first page of Crazy Rich Asians, I knew that I had found something special, something new. And it’s been a love affair that I will not shut up about ever since.

With this much expectation, Rich People Problems could have been a massive letdown.

BUT IT WASN’T.

I cackled and screeched and laughed my way through this third book with unconcealed glee.

RPB

When the matriarch of the family, Su Yi Shang becomes ill, the Youngs, Chengs, Leongs and Shangs all come back to Tyersall Park to stake a claim to her massive fortune. The huge 64 acre property in the middle of Singapore becomes the scene of family scheming, backstabbing and hysterics.

Look, if you haven’t read the first two books, the plot of this one won’t mean anything. If you’ve read the first two and have yet to read the third (how I envy you!) know that all your favourite characters are back and in fine form: Kitty Pong and her stepdaughter Colette Bing are embroiled in a stealth battle of status across the globe, Eddie Cheng is up to all the same tricks while collecting watches and forcing his family to dress just like him, and Astrid and Charlie Wu are trying to make things work while their exes are hell-bent on destroying their lives.

(Also, can we talk about this cover? SO CHIC)

I read this over the long weekend, in the sunshine, and it was glorious. I was messaging Catherine @ The Gilmore Guide to Books (who has a review up that you should read even though I haven’t yet because I wanted to write this first) because I knew she had read it. I had to talk to someone about what I was reading. There were moments, I swear to you, I was screaming in the garden because I was delighted by the audacity of this book. Kevin Kwan is a genius.

Among other things, this book includes a completely over the top Bollywood proposal, a kidnapping at an elite private school, a Nigel Barker photo shoot for Tattle magazine, and plastic surgery for a stupidly expensive FISH. I mean, what more do you WANT?

Look, the world is a garbage fire and it seems to get worst every day. Kevin Kwan’s series is one of the only things I know of that guarantees to take you out of this world. His delicious, gorgeous, over-the-top world filled with intrigues big and small, peopled with some of the most memorable characters, will thrill you. It will put a big ol’ smile on your face. And when you’re done, I’m pretty sure you will join me in obsessively reading Crazy Rich Asians casting/production news.

If you haven’t read these books yet, get on it. If you are waiting to read Rich People Problems, don’t.

Rich People Problems was the cherry on top of a very decadent, perfect, wonderful sundae.

Huge thanks to Penguin Random House Canada for making my dreams come true a little earlier with an ARC of this book. 

14

My Love for China Rich Girlfriend Knows No Bounds

It’s summer. Which means it’s time to totally give ourselves over to delicious, gossipy, hilarious, wonderful books. They will be tucked in our backpacks at the park, toted to the beach, packed for the cabin and nestled next to picnic staples. Oh yes, summer is a glorious time for reading.

Two summers ago I was delighted by Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians. It was unlike anything I’d ever read before. It was unapologetically over-the-top and yet, totally culturally enlightening. It was one of the highlights of my reading year.

So when I heard about the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, I was SO EXCITED.

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I did try and temper my expectations. Crazy Rich Asians was such a perfect gossip read while explaining a certain segment of society. Culturally, I learned a lot. Could a follow up book really live up to that?

YES. So much yes.

You absolutely need to have read Crazy Rich Asians before you embark on China Rich Girlfriend and I really urge you to do that. Immediately. China Rich Girlfriend is even more over-the-top than it’s predecessor. I was laughing like a maniac as soon as I cracked it. Kwan puts footnotes in his fiction because this world is based on real life. The footnotes were great the first time, they are hysterical this time.

It’s hard to talk about this book without giving a lot away. There are a lot of storylines happening, a lot of different characters all more or less connected. This book is full of exotic locations, private jets, family hysterics, social histories, antiques, priceless art and the rules that everyone must play by.

I don’t know why this isn’t already tucked in your beach bag, honestly.

If you need more convincing, you should read this.

Thanks to Penguin Random House of Canada for providing me with an ARC of this book. 

9

Summer Hype

So far this summer, two books have really stood out for me in terms of hype: The Rosie Project and Crazy Rich Asians.

The Rosie Project was a spotlight read on the 50 Book Pledge (have you participated yet? I know it’s the middle of summer, but it’s a great New Year’s Resolution for 2014!) and was basically forced on me by the all-knowing reading guru at my local bookstore.

Well everyone was right because The Rosie Project is freakin’ adorable. It is such a feel-good read! A total delight.

rosie

Don Tillman is a genetics professor at a university in Australia. He’s completely brilliant and has his life running just-so. There are rules and a schedule but he feels like he needs a wife. So he comes up with a way to find one: The Wife Project. He comes up with a questionnaire to hand out to prospective dates so that he can find the perfect mate and not waste a lot of time on women that aren’t perfect matches.

Then the universe sends him Rosie who is the exact opposite of what his questionnaire is looking for. But he finds himself wanting to spend time with her anyway.

This new plan sees them doing all kinds of crazy, unscheduled, things like tending bar for a medical school reunion, flying to New York City, climbing down fire escapes and making friends in unexpected places.

It’s a short read – less than 300 pages – but it will leave you with a big smile on your face.

crazy rich asians

The other book that I kept running into this summer was Crazy Rich Asians. I saw the book launch party photos on instagram and the cover of the book is pink and gold and shiny and by that alone I was intrigued. My favourite gossip blogger, Lainey Gossip, (as well as being my go-to for gossip, her blog has now become one of the places I mine for potential new reads) mentioned the book as well so as with Life After Life, I was going to get it.

I’ve never read a book like Crazy Rich Asians. It’s a cultural tutorial into a world I had no idea existed. A world so extravagant and over-the-top it seems completely made up. But the author, Kevin Kwan, insists that it’s real and it’s getting crazier and more over-the-top every year.

The story of 3 insanely wealthy and interconnected Chinese families over a summer leading up to the wedding of the century is fictional, but the world described really exists. When the son and heir of one of the largest Chinese fortunes brings his ABC (American Born Chinese) girlfriend home to meet the family, the games are on. So much gossip and backstabbing. It’s delicious while being totally eye-opening.

For a fictional book, it is surprisingly full of footnotes to help explain cultural facts and rituals as well as some actual history of the area and the families.

I was left wanting more. Much more. I hope there’s another book but it looks like we’ll have to be satisfied with the movie for now.

What’s been your favourite summer read so far?