Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan 

3/5 star rating ***

Premise- (4/5) I'm generally not a rom-com person, but everyone was raving about Crazy Rich Asians, both the book and the movie, so we chose it for this month's book club. I was definitely curious to see what all the hype was about, and I was excited for a fun, light read. 

Characters- (2.5/5) None of the characters connected with me super well, and they sometimes felt very artificial. Granted, some of them were supposed to feel like that, but even Rachel and Nick at times just didn't feel genuine to me. I did appreciate the variety of personalities and attitudes that we saw from Nick's world. Lots of rich people, but not all the same kind of rich. And there were some really funny character interactions. 

Plot- (3/5) The main plots were very much what I expected, but I appreciated the plot twist at the end a lot which brought something new to the table. However, there were also kind of a lot of side plots that I found kind of distracting and/or unsatisfying. Those might be more interesting in the sequel to this book, but I found them kind of unnecessary here. 

World- (3.5/5) At times, the world was really, really fun to read about. There's something about the extravagance and absurdity of rich spending that's just so much fun to read about. Sometimes the details could be a little much, but I loved Kwan's footnotes, which made it much easier to locate yourself in his world (and provided some really funny, subtle digs at the characters and/or world he was writing about.

Writing- (2/5) Although his writing could be really funny at times, it was also a little choppy and sometimes cliched for my taste. Which, granted is sort of par for the course when you're writing a romance. But still, it was occasionally a little much. Also there were a handful of off-color jokes about some sensitive topics that made me wince pretty hard. That's not cool or funny. 

Overall- (3/5) This book was fun, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I wanted to. The vibrant multi-billion dollar setting couldn't quite make up for the disconnect I felt with the characters, or the writing style which I didn't love. One of the few books I've read where I can actually see where it would work better as a movie, so hopefully I'll be able to see that soon! 

Trigger Warnings: Casual mention of rape, suicide (which are not treated very seriously)