Kevin Kwan does it again! China Rich Girlfriend is the anticipated follow-up to Crazy Rich Asians and I will say, it did not disappoint.
Without providing too many spoilers, Rachel left quite the impression on Nick’s relatives in Singapore, some good and some – well, not so much. Nick didn’t waver in his love for her and they decide to move forward and get married anyway.
This book follows their path to the alter, and in true Crazy Rich style, there is no shortage of drama and plotting and pure, head-shaking ridiculousness. And all my spidey-senses go up when Eleanor (Nick’s mother, and the happy couple’s biggest adversary), show up on the California coast before the wedding.
What is she up to?
It appears to be good…she has solved the mystery of who Rachel’s father is. But does she have ulterior motives?
This book introduces us a host of new characters, such as Carlton, who has his own host of risqué problems. We learn more about others, such as Astrid and her complicated relationship with her husband Michael. We learn more about Charlie Wu, Collette Bing and the social-climbing Kitty Pong.
Kitty Pong’s attempts to break into the social elite crowd gave me the most chuckles, and I feel a slight nod to My Fair Lady in its journey. But it’s comedy gold.
While the main characters (Nick and Rachel) are as lovely and likeable as they were in the first book, it is the supporting cast and the soap opera that ensues around them that is so captivating!
We are never short on detail, whether learning about the intricate workings of a fine watch, or the levels of flavor in a noodle dish, Kwan doesn’t disappoint.
Like the first book, there is blatant elitism. These people are brutal! They are racist, sexist and classist. They are cut-throat and aren’t afraid to speak their minds or show where they think somebody ranks against them. And while I am not quick to dismiss these actions, I am aware that this is a purely fictional book, made to poke fun at fictional characters, who live lives none of us can even imagine.
So, with that being said, I don’t take any of it too seriously. It is meant to be a soapy, drama-filled, page-turner. It is meant to suck you into a world beyond your imagination, making you believe that there are people who bathe in diamonds and never wear a pair of shoes or article of clothing more than once.
It is campy and over-the-top and doesn’t apologize for being so. Filled with various points of view, tabloid excerpts, text message chats and newspaper articles; China Rich Girlfriend is a solid sequel.