China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2)by Kevin Kwan Published 16 Jun 2015
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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 Girlfriendbrings 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
I think I liked this one better than the first and you've gotta admit that's rare for sequels. Laugh-out-loud funny, educational in an urban dictionary kind of way, tons of drama, romance, and even a little bit of suspense/mystery this time around. It was amazing!
My favorite quote:
“People are messy. Life gets messy. Things are not always going to work out perfectly just because you want them to.”
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.
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan is a 2015 Doubleday publication.
Another outstanding installment in this wildly entertaining series!
As the story opens, a couple of years have passed since our initial introduction to these “Crazy Rich Asians”.
Nick and Rachel are on the cusp of getting married, but Eleanor is still meddling and Rachel is still hoping to locate her long, lost father.
Astrid’s husband's company has seen unprecedented success, putting him on equal footing with his wife, but the success, power, and money have brought out an unpleasant side of his personality.
The story also prominently features Rachel’s father, his wife, and their son, Carlton, who is recovering from a near fatal car accident.
I was totally, and quite pleasantly, surprised by how much I enjoyed ‘Crazy Rich Asians”. I couldn’t wait to dive in to this second installment, but my excitement was slightly muted when I noticed several readers saying this one wasn’t as good as the first book. I had a slightly ‘let down’ feeling, but was determined to keep an open mind.
Curiously, I found this book to be every bit as enjoyable as the first- maybe even more so. There was one part, in particular, where I literally guffawed. In fact, every time I think about it, I get cracked up all over again.
This series is a guilty pleasure, a Fashionista’s dream, full of snippy dialogue, backstabbing, manipulations and snobbery. But, it’s also a family drama/saga, packed with cultural duties and expectations, generational conflicts, alliances, love stories, and friendships.
Again, there is much to learn culturally, which was as fascinating as it was informative… and often very funny.
I’m super excited about reading ‘Rich People Problems’, which I already have queued up and ready to go. Stay tuned!
I’m really enjoying this series. It’s fun, doesn’t take itself too seriously, and is over the top entertaining.
In China Rich Girlfriend, we follow Nick and Rachel two years after the events of Crazy Rich Asians. Nick is estranged from his family, and on the brink of marrying Rachel while still helping her in the search for her long lost father. A chance encounter between Nick’s mother and a Chinese playboy soon thrusts Rachel back into the lives of the Chinese ultra rich, and the opportunity to become embroiled in the scandals and dramas that surround these often strange and eccentric individuals.
Although this starts out by centering on Nick and Rachel, the story soon diverges to include Rachel’s extended family and friends in China. As such, we don’t see much of Nicks family, who I fell so in love with in the previous novel. In addition, the story is based almost entirely in mainland China. The introduction of so many colourful characters, after I had just got to know all of the ones in the first novel, did get a little confusing at times and I missed all of Nick’s aunties and uncles and their eccentricities. However, Carlton and Kitty Pong in particular brought enough intrigue and angst to the story to keep me entertained. Yes, some of the story is completely unrealistic and self indulgent, but I knew going into the story that it would be like this, and it’s one of the things I love about it.
In particular, I loved the slow developing relationship between Astrid, the one relative of Nick’s we do follow, Charlie and Astrid’s deteriorating marriage to Michael. Touched upon in the first book, we get an intimate look into their marriage and the rather obvious failings into a relationship that cannot be saved by throwing money at it. I think Astrid is my favourite character. She tries so desperately to mold her life around what her husband wants - sometimes at the cost of loosing a part of herself in the process, when to the outside world she comes across as effortlessly chic. She’s clearly not the right person for Michael, who has developed into a mean spirited and bitter money making businessman. He’s the perfect example of what money can do to an individual when they haven’t been taught to respect it or aren’t so casually use to having billions at their disposal.
The conclusion really ramped up the tension too, and took a plot twist I wasn’t expecting but became completely wrapped up in. I actually wish that there’d been a bit more direction and structure earlier on in the novel to take more advantage of the ending. This felt much more of an exploratory novel, introducing China to the reader much in the same way that Singapore and Hong Kong is shown to use in the first book.
That said, I can’t wait for the next book, if only to get reacquainted with Ah Ma.
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.
SO MUCH FUN