Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan follows Rachel Chu who spends the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young. Upon arriving in Singapore, Rachel discovers that her boyfriend’s family is extremely wealthy. Rachel soon clashes with her boyfriend’s mother who looks down on Rachel because she is American-born Chinese and not wealthy.
Crazy Rich Asians was a hyped up adult book. I don’t typically read adult books, but once I saw the movie trailer I knew that I needed to pick this one up. To me, Crazy Rich Asians looked laugh out loud funny with interesting characters and a look at a different culture. While this story didn’t meet all of my expectations, it was still enjoyable and I can see myself continuing on with the book and (hopefully) movie series.
When I first started reading the book, I was slightly put off by the writing style. It frequently switches points of views, and like any story, there will be some than you enjoy more than others. Also, there were a lot of descriptions to weed through which often makes me bored while reading. That being said, Crazy Rich Asians still has a page-turning quality. It’s like reading a tabloid or celebrity gossip site. You are so interested in the outlandish characters, you want to keep reading to see what happens to them. That being said, it didn’t have that laugh out loud quality that I expected.
In this aspect, I much preferred the movie than the book. The book takes all the small, drawn-out aspects of them and puts them in a more concise format. This book took a long time to read and sometimes I found myself trudging through certain parts. However, I felt like the action moved a lot more quickly in the movie and I liked how we saw all the different character’s lives but there still was a larger focus on Rachel.
The stand-out aspect of the book for me were the characters. The author does a great job with characterization. Each character deals with the “crazy rich” part of their lives differently and it was nice to see so many perspectives. There were so many little details about characters and their lives which made it easy to tell them apart and made them fun to discover.
I found that the movie did a great job with casting. All of the book characters literally came to life on the screen! From the costuming to the acting, everything was spot-on! Before I even heard a character’s name, I already knew who they were because how they appeared on screen completely matched the book. From the book and the movie, I would have to say Astrid is my favorite character. Even though the end of her story line in the movie has minor detail changes at the end, I hope they make another movie so I can see more of her story.
Overall, the book and the movie are pretty similar. However, I found the movie to be slightly more enjoyable. While they are similar, the movie is a little bit funnier for me which is what I was looking for when reading the book. I give the book three stars, but I give the movie four stars.