Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan fulfills the “Book that Includes a Wedding” category of the PopSugar 2019 Reading challenge. The story was a great choice for the entry as the whole book centered on a wedding, but it was not one of any of the main characters. Therefore, the mains could roam around and do things without being tied down. And they certainly did.
I enjoyed this tale. Even though there were tons of characters, some with names that might be challenging for someone like me. (I’m terrible with names in books. Fantasy stories always give me troubles because I read the complex name and invent my own. Then later I get confused because I don’t know who the person is.) I listened to the book on audio, but the author, more than the narrator, helped me understand each person and their story. Which made it easier for me to remember names, whether they were Americanized or Chinese.
I have to applaud Mr. Kwan on his characterization. Each separate plotline, character story was clear and plain to understand. I knew who everyone was and even when we hadn’t seen one of their point of view sections for a while, I easily recalled their plight and drama. I’ve read other stories with multiple characters (see my review of There There) and I couldn’t keep track of who was who. For me, that made the novel even better. If I don’t have to look up a character or reread (rewind), then they must be written well enough to be remembered.
As I read the tale, I wondered how much truth was behind the stories of these people and their wealth. It was almost unfathomable. To have the capital to buy a hotel…damn. Honestly, though, I’m a fan of billionaire romance. Money seems to remove the hardship of life and make any struggle seem superficial. But Mr. Kwan’s use of riches added to the characters. Wealth gave them stress and happiness and more. I loved the juxtaposition of the subplots with their opinions and experience with their riches, or lack thereof. Aster and Rachel’s plot lines complemented and enhanced each other’s tales. I am so grabbing the sequel.
I read some reviews that bashed the book for the money issues, the elitism, and the callousness of having tons of money. Yeah, that’s in there. But that’s part of the story. It’s fiction (for however much Mr. Kwan researched and is telling us about a real-world situation). He created various characters with different views on money. And to me, they seemed very accurate. Everyone reacts differently. Yes, some are callous and shallow, but so are people of all incomes. I didn’t see any issues with how he presented these uber-rich characters. I loved his female character and how they dealt with the universe they were born in.
A totally positive review! Phew, hadn’t had one of those in a while. Sorry folks. I’m picky.
I give Crazy Rich Asians a full 5 billion stars.