Tag Archives: Kevin Kwan

Top Ten Books of the Decade

In just a few days, not only will there be a new year, but a whole new decade! It still feels like yesterday I was questioning my life choices as an english major and if I was genuinely happy in that degree program where I was actually reading a lot less than I thought I would be. So here is a top ten list of books I enjoyed published between 2010 and 2019! I am applying a rule where I can’t repeat books from a franchise (as in I can only pick one book from the Star Wars Franchise). There is no particular order for this list, I am just picking ten books I enjoyed from the last decade.

  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan- I admit I was aware of this book for a few years before the release of the film, but for whatever reason didn’t read it until after I saw the film. I think the books are hilarious and the description of the food was so wonderful that it made me want to go bankrupt flying to Singapore just for the sake of eating.
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer- As a young adult in the first half of the 2010s most of my reading was associated with sagas (we can blame Harry Potter and Twilight); it got to the point that when the Hunger Games was being adapted for films I just got tired of reading books with a mandatory sequel. Then came The Lunar Chronicles, I loved Cinder and was shocked at how fast I read through the first three books on my ereader. It’s also the series that jump started this little blog where I review books and movies!
  • Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan- I gotta say that after I read The Fault in Our Stars I was interested in what else was written by John Green, and saw that I was very disappointed with what he had previously written. A friend suggested I read Will Grayson Will Grayson with him saying “oh you’ll see why you will like it.” and I was shocked to discover that it is an lgbt story that didn’t focus on the “coming out” plot that I loath so much. It was a story about relationships and how love is more complicated than just being attracted to someone and goes beyond the romantic love people insist on so heavily in life.
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (and NOT JK Rowling)- I actually didn’t read this book until a few months ago despite owning the book since 2013 since like many after it was revealed JK Rowling had written a book under our noses I rushed over to Target and purchased a copy. In an effort to get back into reading again and fight the mental effect of grief I read the book, and liked it alot! Enough to read The Silkworm and currently read Career of Evil.
  • All the Wrong Questions by Daniel Handler- I loved reading A Series of Unfortunate Events as a teenager; the books were dark and comedic and just fit in so perfectly with my worldview. Reading the prequel series was mostly nostalgic for me and something I enjoyed heavily.
  • The Reason by Lacey Sturm- What a friend of mine thought was a ‘christian self help book’ when I was reading it turned out to be a book I liked (no it’s not a self help book. I don’t like self help books.) It was interesting to know what kind of life the former singer of Flyleaf lived and what led her to this point in life.
  • Glory O’Brian’s History of the Future by A.S. King- I have complaints about YA books at times; why must there be a love triangle, why must the protagonist need to find someone to love? Why is everything solved by money? Well this book addresses all of those complaints. It’s a story about friendship and fear of what the future has (it’s what was a ridiculous sounding future in 2014, until now where all kinds of crazy political things are happening in the U.S.)
  • Falling Towers by Jewell Parker Rhodes- I can’t exactly pinpoint exactly what I like about this book specifically; but I like that the protagonists place effort to get along with others despite different backgrounds in terms of culture, economic, and racial background.
  • Touched by an Angel by Jonathan Morris- I got into Doctor Who early 2012 and have been in love with the series ever since. I normally avoid expanded universe books for franchises because they are a hit or miss so I was delighted to see that this book wasn’t horribly bad (don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of crappy Doctor Who books out there and that’s an essay I’m saving for when I decide to end this blog.)
  • Whatever Mindy Kaling wrote- prior to a few years ago I avoided Autobiographical books because I don’t like knowing about traumatic events that happen to people, then I discovered there was more to these autobiographies written by female actresses and comedians beyond “woo feminism!” (Nothing against feminism, feminism is awesome.) Reading this book was hilarious and caused me to read similar books by Amy Pohler and Tina Fey.

And that’s it! A list of books I liked written in the past decade! No that doesn’t mean these are the end all be all best of the best from the 2010s, but they are the books that I did enjoy. What books did you like published the last ten years? Is there one you think I should have read? Do you disagree with anything I have on this list? Do you want to throw a chair at me? Comment below if you do.

Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Review

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.