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Book Review: Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy

Crazy Rich Asians, both the book and the film, can be very empowering to Asians abroad; I know that. However, I grew up in Korea. I saw all-Asian cast film and read books all Asian characters all the time. So that factor doesn’t apply to me. I think that’s the reason the film flopped in most of Asia. I didn’t watch it yet myself. Nonetheless, Crazy Rich Asians and its sequels were entertaining reads.

When I first read the first book, Crazy Rich Asians, I loved the characters, their juicy dark secrets and all. It more or less followed Rachel’s adventure in a world new to her and it was exciting. I ate it up.

I read the second book, China Rich Girlfriend, quite some time after that, and maybe it’s me that changed, but I found it to be lackluster. I did like that the chapters took various formats like diaries, e-mails, and traditional novel style. But the first 25% or so of the book is just older ladies like Eleanor Young complaining. The new characters introduced weren’t as likable. Astrid, who used to be my favorite, became a complete pushover and her husband a borderline psychopathic jerk. And there were so. much. excruciating details about how extravagantly luxurious everything is. I get it; they are crazy rich Asians. But still, I found it to be excessive. I found myself only reading the portion I assigned myself per day, and not reading every chance I get like I did with the first book or other books I’ve read earlier this year.

I still wanted to finish the trilogy, so I checked out Rich People Problems from the library. It was more fun than China Rich Girlfriend. There was more drama, but a captivating way, not in an annoying way. Aside from Eddie’s vanity and greed taken to extreme, the characters were back to being more likable.

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