Crazy Rich Asians is a movie from 2018 that I’ve seen so many times that if I had a dollar for each time I’ve said ‘bok bok bitch’ I too would be crazy rich. So naturally I went to my local library and checked out the audiobooks to listen to the series because I haven’t been able to sit down and read for a long while now. I really enjoyed the series and highly recommend them to anyone who loved the movie and is impatient for the other two books to be adapted to film.
Spoilers from this point on, you wish you had the money to pay me to spoil EVERYTHING though (I do have a price in my head though)
Crazy Rich Asians
This is a rare case where I actually saw the film first despite being aware of the existence of the novel since 2014 (I don’t know why I didn’t read it), but I saw it with my best friend and her sisters, my mom, and a few other people.
The film focuses mainly on the character Rachel who is an “american born chinese” (ABC) meeting the friends and family of her boyfriend Nick and the culture shock she experiences as both a woman from a lower income life and as a american born Chinese visiting Singapore. The movie follows the plot of the book fairly closely, but there are large chunks of plot removed from the film because that’s just what happens when a book is adapted to film.
The biggest differences include the character of Nick’s mother Eleanore Young who is just as crazy as the Aunties she ‘leads’ in the film. In the Film Eleanore is more calm and collected and at times it seems like she was telling Rachel to scram just to spare Rachel from having to go through what she herself went through after getting married to Nick’s dad.
There’s also loads and loads of more characters that it would make the character chart for A Song of Ice and Fire cry in jealousy. All of them are actually pretty funny and have various moments to shine as both heroes and villains in the story. Also lots of food is described in all three books (you could literally change the title to Crazy Rich Foodies and more or less have the same plot).
China Rich Girlfriend
The second book in the series picks up two years after the events of the first book and have the plot of Rachel and Nick getting married and Rachel meeting her long lost biological father and meeting and befriending her brother.
The plot doesn’t get as dramatic as it did in the previous book with the revelation that Rachel has a long lost father, if anything it made me loath characters introduced in the book that blow money on anything so long as it’s expensive.
The plot of Rachel getting to know and befriend her stepbrother is a heartwarming one though as the two do come from totally different worlds, but Rachel’s down to earth attitude and ‘realness’ causes her brother Carlton to change his life to a more modest approach. There is also drama with Rachel’s stepmother who is paranoid about the intentions Rachel has upon discovering her father is still alive.
Then there’s Kitty Pong, a surprise character to jump into the spotlight of the series who is making her way from small time actress (and porn actress) towards the bigger social circles of both China and Singapore.
While the book was paced differently from it’s predecessor, it still is a great listen and read just for the sake of seeing what Rachel and Nick are up to.
Rich People Problems
The third book in the series takes a darker tone and approach than what was previously presented in the series. Nick’s grandmother Su Yi becomes ill and many members of the family visit her in fear that her time on earth is running out. It was depressing to see so many characters more fixated on seeing what Su Yi’s will would leave them rather than caring about Su Yi herself. It also was depressing to see that her children were going through the struggles of seeing someone that they love dearly suffer and be powerless to do anything about it.
Then there’s the eventual death of Su Yi and how the family reacts to it both emotionally and how they react to what is written in her will along with the big twist hidden in it. Also more Kitty Pong and the levels of extreme her gold digging take her to.
Crazy Rich Asians is a great and hilarious movie and a pretty funny book series. I highly recommend them to people who like romcoms, people who like movies and books about different cultures, people who like fashion, people who like gossip, and the main target audience, foodies.
I give the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan four Leiber Precious Rose purses out of five.