Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan | BOOK & FILM REVIEW

I got my first book last March 2016 and after 2 years of putting it on & off, I finally did a whole day reading marathon. I broke my personal reading record with this book because I finished the story within 24 hours. Grabe! Anak ng tokwa talaga! You know that feeling of getting a headache na but you’re so hooked rin with the story and how events dramatically unfolds! There were times when I feel like my eyes are about to pop out!

Back then, I already know that it’s a witty & funny book that I would tell my friends to try reading it. I didn’t get the title hot-off-the-shelves so I managed to get the small version with the grey-coloured pages & small fonts. Believe it or not, those were one of the reasons why I got lazy to read it. Oh yes. Sorry na! But I’m happy that I finished it, right before we watched the film. So… are you ready? Let’s do this!


SYNOPSIS:

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.


Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Romance/Chick Lit

Published Date: May 2014

Date Finished: 22 August 2018

Crazy Rich Asians - Book and film review

T H O U G H T S…

The book is like that bag of your favourite potato chips that you just can’t stop eating. If the chips were a good combination of sugar, sodium, cholesterol & umami, this book naman is a delicious combination of wit, humor, drama & the favourite past time of people, gossip. 

A lot of times, I found myself exclaiming the following:

  • WOW!
  • WHOA!!
  • OKAY??!
  • OHHHHH…..
  • Wait, what?! and last but not the least….
  • E DI WOW!

I love how Kevin Kwan showcased the different personas in his book although at first, it’s a bit overwhelming because there are a handful of names so the family tree presented on the first chapter was quite helpful.

FYI, take this with a grain of salt. Think of it like an SNL version of how the rich people hustle pero malay natin di’ba? It may also be true! hehe 

Crazy Rich Asians Book and film review

The book did not fail to point out how within a minority, meron pa rin racial discrimination. For example, the way the characters see the people from Mainland China (MC). Philip Leong has a point when Eleanor called him & reported that Rachel was from MC and yes, complete with disgust. E totoo naman ‘di ba? Lahat naman nagoriginate sa Mainland China but today, people are like “eww! Mainland china?!”

Crazy Rich Asians_Quote 2

It’s almost similar to that Terry Cruise scene from White chicks when he found out that the cool white chick he’s trying to impress was actually a black person. He doesn’t really care that it was a man, but what matters to him was that the person ain’t white. 🤦🏻‍♀️

 

tumblr_mk3lj0AKqR1s00ervo2_250

HealthyTerrificAquaticleech

White-Chicks-gif-Negro-please

Another point that got to me was when Eleanor showed greater disgust because Rachel was raised by a single mother. She even pointed out na kaya daw may criminal because of that. Haller? What a crazy reasoning. Mind you! Minsan kung sino ung galing sa de buena familia, mas marami silang issues #fact. It’s not as if it was Rachel’s fault 🙄  E ‘di kayo na may perpektong pamilya. 😝 

BOOK vs FILM

Between the book & the film, I’ll pick the book because it’s more fun and detailed.

Honestly, I was excited about the film but in my humble opinion, it failed to highlight some of the important things that made it CRAZY RICH ASIANS. Although, I understand that movie adaptations will never be like 100% accurate but I just felt that the movie failed to wow me as an audience the way I was wowed as a reader. The elements that made it extra crazy & rich, which were basically what the book was all about, were not met.

For example, the disagreement on the way of living between the simple, conservative rich parents & their millennial children who wanted to show-off their money. The contrast and morals behind every reason –  It’s just one of the beautiful parts of the story. Mapapaisip ka kasi, like oo nga naman, what do you wanna do with all your wealth? But at the same time, you don’t want to be the vulgar kind that you’re too rich, it’s almost offensive na.

Crazy Rich Asians film review

As a viewer, I was waiting for more exciting scenes of the story showing the power of subtlety yet overly rich. Like when Astrid attended an event in Paris wearing a vintage Grecian dress or when she’s exclusively fitting 10 dresses at Yves Saint Laurent.

Or how Eddie felt he’s the poorest amongst his circle despite having more than 4 SUVs he wants to have his own jet. These are just some of the many things that too bad didn’t make it to the film. So for me, the build-up of excitement was minimal.

Crazy Rich Asians_Quote 3

Or how catty & unlady-like the socialites can be when it comes to other things in life & their Chanels. In the end, it was just like you’re typical you-and-me- against-the-world kind of a chick-flick.

IF ONLY…

Maybe if they presented the gossip amongst the richie rich the way they did it in Ant-Man, that would have been fun! haha but I guess, it’s copyrighted?

start the clip at 00:10

I LOVE…

Here are the things that I loved from both movie & film:

  • We all loved the way they showcased the beauty of Singapore and yes, it’s truly a makan (eat) nation!
  • reading & watching made me hungry! Suddenly I wanted to eat congee, noodles & local desserts!

Characters I fell in love with:

Astrid Leong

  • Oh, she didn’t disappoint, alright! The character was portrayed by Gemma Chan and I was sold! I can’t wait to see more of her.

PEIK LIN GOH & family

  • A funny character that I liked her from the book and loved her more in the film. Her voice reminds me of Miley Cyrus – that raspy & scratchy kind of voice.
  • The Gohs was one of the highlights in the film and they delivered!

Oliver

  • I already knew that when I met his character in the book, I’m gonna love him and true enough, I did! And I’m glad that the film actor did not fail me. 😀

Unforgettable Scenes:

  • the altar scene where Nick silently mouthed “I love you” to Rachel it’s like “awwwwww” hong romantic!
  • that “Bahk-bahk-bitch!” moment with Peik Lin and
  • the mahjong table scene – BEAUTIFULLY done!

Lastly, I want to point out that the best exchange of dialogues from the book was between Astrid Leong and Charlie Wu. 

OVERALL

I enjoyed both the book and the film but I love the book more. If you haven’t read it, be sure you grab your copy and enjoy a weekend with Kevin’s story! Can we call this a hype or something? I’m not sure but I surely loved the story.

Crazy Rich Asians Book Review Cover

FAVOURITE QUOTE:

Crazy Rich Asians_Quote

Find the book here:

GOODREADS | AMAZON | BOOK DEPOSITORY

***

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xoxo roma - Aug 2018

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Filipina lifestyle blogger based in Singapore | Beauty Enthusiast | | Bookish Yogi

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