China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2)by Published 16 Jun 2015
|China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2).pdf|
Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians, is back with a wickedly funny new novel of social climbing, secret e-mails, art-world scandal, lovesick billionaires, and the outrageous story of what happens when Rachel Chu, engaged to marry Asia's most eligible bachelor, discovers her birthfather.
On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiance willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won't be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore's It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia's most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it's like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich.
"China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2)" Reviews
Another fun, soapy trifle of a novel. I wish these books had just a bit more ambition. Mostly it's extravagant descriptions of extravagant wealth with a glimmer of plot loosely holding everything together. The absurdity of Crazy Rich Asians is dialed way up for this second book in the series. It's just beyond. But again, lots and lots of fun.
3.5 Stars. Definitely not as good as book one, but it was still worth the read. Review to come!
Though I prefer the first book, this was still a solid continuation of the series.
Did you think that Crazy Rich Asians was over the top with the extravagant displays of wealth? Well, buckle on in! The constant description of palatial homes and couture clothes got to be exhausting after the ninth shopping trip. (I know it's necessary for the satire, but my point still stands.)
I enjoyed how Kevin Kwan expanded upon the scope of his first novel, showing us the wild lives of Hong Kong and Shanghai's elite. Unfortunately, this also came with so many new POVs and storylines to follow that rarely intersected. Rachel and Nick didn't seem like the main characters of their own story.
I will say that the last 100 pages almost made up for the relatively boring first 3/4 of the novel. I actually started this three times before I finally got into it. However, nearing the end, the stakes were raised and these storylines more or less came together. There were mysteries! Drama! Intrigue! Romance! My favorite things. Except it came together a bit too quickly in comparison to the rest of this drawn out book. (I'm still 100% picking up the next book, because I am very invested in the lives of Rachel, Nick, and Astrid. Also, I need to check up on Kitty Pong.)
If you enjoyed the first book, I'd definitely recommend picking this up! Despite my criticisms, I had quite a lot of fun galavanting around the world in this novel.
Reading this, I can't help feel anything but disappointed. In Crazy Rich Asians, there was equal parts drama, gossip and brand name-droppings, but China Rich Girlfriend is just absolutely tabloid material.
Some SPOILERS of course...
For starters, Kevin Kwan turns his two main characters, Rachel and Nick, into two-dimensional beings who just exist in the book to give us a better-than-gossip-column eyes into the lives of China's Fu Er Dai (children of billionaires), and Guan Er Dai (children of politicians). There was so much he could have done with the China setting: politics at play not just in upper society but Communist Party politics and how it affects the lives of China's upper crust, or address the tension between the Overseas Chinese and Mainlanders, or if he wants to be really superficial, what it means to be Weibo/Wechat famous vs just Instagram blogger famous. He even had the typical stepmother/bastard daughter plot to work on! But instead he gives us Paris Hilton style tabloid stuff. Yawn. Boring. I skipped through most of their story. It's bland story-wise unless you're in it for the brands.
And then there's the two other subplots, Astrid's marriage, and Kitty Pong's transformation, which were definitely more interesting story-wise, but which he also failed to fully develop. Astrid's trying to overcome the monster, and Kitty's rebirth plot! The bad thing is Kevin Kwan setup the stage for their troubles and conflicts, but never really dives deep on their low moments and their eventual transformation! All of these happens behind the screens and that's what makes the book sooooo lacking.
Kitty represents a lot of things: upstart gold-digging starlet, mainlander trying to fit in with the Straits Chinese who have a lot of protocols she's not aware of. I'd love to know how she eventually gets accepted by society given her... "undignified" background. There's Corinna, but that didn't really end up in anything.
And Astrid's love story with Charlie. Like I mean come on! After all that drama, we just suddenly read that they're now finally together. Where's the retribution for Michael? That takedown would have been so awesome to read about!
So yes, this book is disappointing. If you want to read about tabloid stuff, it is very entertaining. But if you care about plotlines, then prepare to feel the lack of it.
A very special kind of something else is what half the characters are. Life-style bizarro?! Is that some kind of lit stream?
IS that Kitty on the cover?
I know the average outfit in your wardrobe costs more than a semester of tuition at Princeton, but it makes you look like a community college during summertime: NO CLASS. (c)
People are messy. Life gets messy. Things are not always going to work out perfectly just because you want them to. (c)
In short, she was a special consultant for social climbers. (с)
“How annoying. You’re right—one hundred and ninety-five million is just silly. Let Kitty Pong have it if she wants it that badly,” Astrid said. She fished a stack of super-saver coupons out of her purse and presented them to the cashier. (c)
“Why didn’t you tell me about the conversation in the first place?”
“Because I knew you were going to be unreasonable about it.”
“You are a moron! An absolute moron!” Eleanor screeched.
“See, I knew you were going to be unreasonable.” (с)
“I see you are still reluctant to see her side of things.”
“I’m not reluctant at all. I can’t even begin to see her side of things. I don’t know why my grandmother can’t be happy for me, why she cannot trust me to make a decision about who I want to spend the rest of my life with.” (c)
Your true spiritual affiliations do not concern me—it does not matter to me if you are Taoist, Daoist, Buddhist, or worship Meryl Streep—but it is absolutely essential that you become a regular praying, tithing, communion-taking, hands-in-the–air-waving, Bible-study-fellowship-attending member of this church. (с)
Your chief handicap to social success will always be the fact that you did not attend the right kindergarten with any of the right crowd. This eliminates you from participating in seventy percent of the conversations that occur during dinner parties at the best houses. You do not know the gossip that goes back to these people’s childhoods. And this is the secret: They are all still completely obsessed with what happened when they were five. Who was fat or thin? Who wet her pants during choir practice? (c)
in order to distinguish yourself in the remaining meager five percent conversational window, you must either have one hell of a good stock tip or learn to become a scintillating conversationalist. Beauty fades, but wit will keep you on the invitation lists to all the most exclusive parties. To that end, you will embark on a reading program that I have designed specifically for you. You will also attend one cultural event per week. (c)
None of our goals will be effective if people are under the impression that your husband is somehow incapacitated, in a coma, or has become your sex slave in a dungeon. (That is the latest rumor going around.) (c)
I shall do an assessment when you have completed these books to see whether you are ready to attempt some light Proust. (c)
He realized that she wasn’t intentionally trying to sound pretentious—she was just perfectly blunt. (c)
Stick to the innovation side, because you’re never going to manage on the finance side. You need to make sure management is always stocked with the biggest motherfucking assholes—only hire Harvard or Wharton MBAs—and then get out of the way. Because you’re too damn honest—you’re just not a good enough liar. (с)
They just put up with her “dragon phases,” as they called it. She was born in the year of the dragon, and that was always the excuse they had for her behavior. (c)
“I assure you, Mother, I haven’t done any parading,” (c)
And do they all need to have that much stubble? I can’t imagine what it would be like kissing them.”
“Actually, that would be kinda hot—watching you and that cute Polytechnique grad make out! What was his name? Loïc?” Rachel cracked.
“Thanks, but I’d prefer Claryssa or Chlamydia or whatever that friend of Colette’s name was.”
“Haha—Chlamydia is exactly what you’ll get if you kiss her! (c)
You confuse them—you look Chinese, but they don’t get your body language. You don’t behave like a typical wife, so they don’t even realize we’re together.”
“Okay, from now on I’ll be sure to drape myself over you and gaze adoringly into your face at all times. You’re my one and only gaofushuai … (c)
and the bracelets are Lalaounis—”
“Actually, they’re not,” Astrid interrupted.
“Oh. Who did them?”
“I know, but who designed them?”
“I have no idea. They were made in 650 BC.”
“Okay then, most important, tell me which genius designed your fabulous dress. It’s Josep Font, isn’t it?”
“Oh, this? I bought it today at Zara.”
For the rest of her life, Roxanne would never forget the look on Colette’s face. (c)
I was half afraid she was going to end up asking what brand of underwear I had on. (c)
Then John Major appeared and asked me to stand next to him while he serenaded me—”
“The former prime minister of Britain serenaded you?” Nick cut in, utterly bewildered.
“I’m sorry, I mean John Legend.”
“I’m so relieved,” Mehmet remarked drily to Astrid. (c)