It’s February, which can only mean one thing: Valentine’s Day decorations galore. We all know how store chains love going all out with the chocolate candies, flowers, and the cutest stuffed Peanuts characters. Last month’s essential book read was all about owning your own power and making this year a sense of renewal. This month I’d thought I would switch it up with the first book of my all-time favorite book trilogy. Although I may be (slightly) biased about this book series, it is without a doubt the perfect read during this month. Crazy Rich Asians, is the perfect blend of comedy, romance, and the lure of excessive and lavish wealth.
Back in 2018, Warner Brothers stole many of our hearts by making a book-to-film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians. But as any book lover will tell you, as much as you may have adored this film (trust me I am not the exception), the books are ALWAYS better. When I first read this book, it was the summer of 2018, right before the film was released. I have always been a big believer in reading the book before watching the film and I am SO glad I did.
Not only is the storytelling in this novel humorous, dramatic, and above all a work of art, but it does an amazing job of showing you a culture different from your own. I was unsure at first because I didn’t know much about Singaporean culture and was worried I would feel lost, but that is the furthest thing from the truth. Author, Kevin Kwan, allows readers into a whole new world that is honest, heartbreaking, and a story that will stick with you long after you put it down.
If you haven’t heard of this beautiful novel, it follows a New York couple, Nick and Rachel, as Nick invites Rachel to his best friend’s wedding in Singapore. There she prepares to meet Nick’s friends and family, but little does she know how wealthy Nick’s family is. Stepping into a world unknown, Rachel has to navigate through all the drama that entails being the girlfriend of the infamous Nicholas Young.
This book took me by complete surprise and I guarantee that it will be nearly impossible to put down once you start reading. The reason I chose this book for February’s must-read is that it shows what true love really entails. Not the phony, cheesy, and overly played out rom-com that you see on Netflix. But rather the love a mother has for her family amongst experiencing prejudices and troubles of immigration. It shows how love shows no bounds, and yet it can be hard to hold tight to. Kwan allows readers to realize that sometimes true insurmountable love is knowing when to stay and when to go.
You will discover a world of obscene wealth, fall in love with characters that will steal your heart, and learn more about your own personal definitions of love than ever before. So when you’re thinking of how to treat yourself during this Galentine’s day, be sure to rent out this book and I promise you that it will be a book that pulls at your heartstrings and never let’s you go.