Book Review: China Rich Girlfriend – Kevin Kwan

VA VA VA VOOM!

This series gets better by the book, honestly. With book 1, because I’ve watched the movie, some part of my brain was kinda distracted because I’m thinking both mediums at the same time. But now that I’m out of the cycle, my mind is taking in this book completely and completely well.

without further ado…


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Name: China Rich Girlfriend
Author: Kevin Kwan

Publisher: Anchor Books
Release Date: May 31, 2016 (1st pub Jun 16, 2015)

Synopsis

It’s the eve of Rachel Chu’s wedding, and she should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond, a wedding dress she loves, and a fiancé willing to thwart his meddling relatives and give up one of the biggest fortunes in Asia in order to marry her. Still, Rachel mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be there to walk her down the aisle.

Then a chance accident reveals his identity. Suddenly, Rachel is drawn into a dizzying world of Shanghai splendor, a world where people attend church in a penthouse, where exotic cars race down the boulevard, and where people aren’t just crazy rich … they’re China rich.


Book Cover Comments

We get another gorgeously consistent cover that continues from the new cover of the first book. The accessories still get a metallic shimmer to it which is a lovely touch, and I super duper love the matte feeling of the cover.


The Actual Review

OK WOW HOLY HELL it’s SO MUCH BETTER.

China Rich Girlfriend brings your eyes up the World Map: from Southeast Asia all the way back up to the roots. Yes. You know it. CHINA AND HONG KONG.

Rachel and Nick gets further deeper (well, it’s really just Rachel) into waist deep shit as, if you couldn’t tell from the synopsis, Rachel is about to get reunited with her father’s side of the family. Surprise surprise, she also happens to have a half-sibling… Along with the craziest “kinda-girlfriend”… Therefore the title.

Another big surprise is the focus this book has given to. While Rachel and Nick’s plotline was definitely the majority of this book—and, of course, the previous book, as well as the movie—a lot of the time and spotlight was in fact—other than Astrid who also had at least 1/3 of the spotlight in Book 1—given to, SURPRISE SURPRISE KITTY PONG! Yes! The flirty wack woman who ended up with Bernard Tai at the end of Book 1 / the movie. Kitty Pong is our tour guide to Hong Kong lifestyle and the social environment of Hong Kong as you are brought into yet another crazy whirlwind around Asia. Kwan’s real-life experience/research was very well done with Hong Kong, all the way from yum cha (drink tea) at the Mandarin (hi dad wink wink) to driving Mercedes Benz, and getting into either St. Pauls, St. Stephens or Diocesans, Kwan has nothing but given me a laugh all night long as I was reading this book.

While any other readers would be able to enjoy this book (proven that they enjoyed the first book and generally liked the second book), it is very unfortunate to deliver the news that only Asians like me will be able to get the charms of all these little references thrown in the book; if you didn’t grow up in any of the Asian countries mentioned in the book or grew up in a family like that, you probably will have a hard time really getting the charm of this series.

Astrid’s plot line was fantastic as well (this is where things are kind of different from the movie) as her family continues to move on from the conflicts they have had from book 1. But now that Michael’s company is gaining a lot of success, he is becoming a completely different person, and one that Astrid no longer knows. What on earth has happened within this relationship and how will it go on? Well, you’ve got to read it to find out. Believe it or not it’s absolute madness and, well, quite sad, I must say.

BUT BACK TO THE MAIN POINT. As the synopsis says, Rachel is now dragged into a WHOLE DIFFERENT world of Crazy Rich Asians… except, this time, it’s China Rich. Ohhhh boy brace yourselves because I KNOW that China Rich is on a. completely. DIFFERENT. LEVEL. Don’t even think that because I lived in HK my whole life, therefore I don’t know a thing about China Rich. Boy. I DO know. And the majority of the things depicted in the Shanghai rich life within the book is pretty accurate. Yes, maybe one or two things were dramatised a bit too much, i.e. the money and the apartments, but the attitude and moral and mindset are same same all the way. And yes, being China-rich, too, like Singapore-rich, has its consequences that simply roots back to the traditional Chinese minds as us readers, and consequently Rachel herself, discover the many Rich People Problems within the Chinese whirlwind.


Being a read that was so much more relatable than Book 1 (Not saying Crazy Rich Asians wasn’t relatable. I practically grew up in Malaysian & Singaporean culture.), China Rich Girlfriend was absolutely fantastic, and I’m SO LOOKING FORWARD to the last installment of this series!

now i must go to bed for it is 1:53am and i do have… a… finals… tmr.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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