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Book Review: Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians #3) by Kevin Kwan

This is the third and final post in my Crazy Rich Asians series review. Find the review to the first book here, and the second book here. Heads up: if you haven’t read the first two books, there are spoilers in my review. And the “About the book” section, because ya know, it’s the third book.

About the Book

When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside—but he’s not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim to their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park—a trophy estate on sixty-four prime acres in the heart of Singapore—Nicholas’ childhood home turns into a hotbed of backbiting and intrigue. As Su Yi’s relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu but tormented by her ex-husband—a man hell-bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile, Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, Jack Bing, still feels upstaged by her new stepdaughter, famous fashionista Colette Bing.

In this sweeping tale that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace that is caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi, Kevin Kwan hilariously reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia’s most privileged families and their rich people problems.

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Book Review: China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) by Kevin Kwan

This is the second post in my Crazy Rich Asians series review. Find the review to the first book here.

This is probably one of the longest reviews I’ve done, but I really have a lot to say. Just so you know, there are some possible spoilers ahead.

About the Book

On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiance willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be able to walk her down the aisle.

Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore’s It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia’s most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it’s like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich.

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I decided to jump in to reading Crazy Rich Asians in January, especially because that “Glorious” song by Macklemore and Skyler Grey popped into my head. If you haven’t watched the movie yet, the song came from the trailer. I highly suggest watching the trailer below before reading the review in order to get the full vibes on, and then watch the movie afterwards if you haven’t already. Trust me, the “Glorious” song is actually pretty motivational.

After finishing all three books (okay, I finished them a longgg while back, but you know the thing with magazines where schedule your posts ahead so new posts your write come months later? Yeah.), I decided to release a whole book review series for the series! I’ll link the other 2 reviews when they are released (March 19th and 23rd) to this post.

Book 2 Review (China Rich Girlfriend)

Be aware that there are some spoilers in my review. Without further ado…

About the Book

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich

My Review

So, I watched the movie before reading the book. I guess, in a way, I think the movie was slightly better than the book. But I definitely do not regret the order I read/watched it in. Having the movie running in the back of my mind actually reinforced the scenes and make them even more glamorous. And you didn’t have to to through the trouble of imagining how a character looks like and being disappointed in the cast (ahem, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before—this needs a whole rant post on its own). I think overall, the casting was done IMPECCABLY well for the movie though.

The book drew me in right away, from the very beginning. Yes, I knew where the story was going to go (mostly: there were some changes from the book to movie), but the writing was done really well so I was actually engrossed in the book. I loved the sass, charm, and snark of the characters, and they were truly brought to life by Kwan. Can I also just mention that he has stunning descriptions of the setting and things that the rich people buy/do? It actually makes you go “wow”. And now I want to go back to China and visit other places in Asia because I need to experience this for myself. It was pretty motivating, actually, to read this story. I feel even more drawn to the idea of running big businesses, acquisition, stocks, and the whole sch-bang.

The story and drama was so well developed, I really, really loved it. It’s refreshing to read a story with a new plot and atmosphere that you don’t normally read.

I definitely liked the ending of the movie better than the book. The mahjong scene was so EMPOWERING and the PROPOSAL!!! Can I just…I have no words. The ending was just so incredible. Part of that was missing in the book.

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Book Review: What The Other Three Don’t Know by Spencer Hyde

About the Book

Will I still be loved if I show people who I really am?  

Four high school seniors. Four secrets about to be told.
 
If Indie had it her way, she would never choose to river raft with three other high school seniors, mostly strangers to each other, from her journalism class.
 
A loner, a jock, an outsider, an Instagram influencer. At first they can’t see anything that they have in common. As the trip unfolds, the unpredictable river forces them to rely on each other. Social masks start to fall as, one-by-one, each teen reveals a deep secret the other three don’t know.
 
One is harboring immense grief and unwilling to forgive after the death of a loved one. One is dealing with a new disability and an uncertain future. One is fearful of the repercussions of coming out. One is hiding behind a carefully curated “perfect” image on Instagram.
 
Before they get to the end of Hells Canyon, they’ll know the truth about each other and, more importantly, learn something new about themselves.
 
What the Other Three Don’t Know is a poignant and gripping YA novel about the unlikely friends who accept you for who you really are and the power of self-acceptance.

About the Author

SPENCER HYDE spent three years during high school at Johns Hopkins for severe OCD. He is the author of the YA novel Waiting for Fitz. Spencer worked at a therapeutic boarding school before earning his MFA and his PhD, specializing in fiction, short humor pieces, and essays. Spencer and his wife are the parents of four children.

My Review

An ARC of the book was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

There were a lot of good things in this book, addressing the prevalent issues that teens face today. This was one of those coming-of-age stories where, amongst the whirlwind and uncertainty of being a teen, the main character learns valuable lessons and experiences incredible growth.

I will be honest, the beginning was a little bit slow for me. It wasn’t horrible to the point where you simply couldn’t carry on, but it took a while for me to figure out the plot and where everything was going.

The characters were developed well, and although they did represent stereotypes, I liked how Hyde added that extra edge and perk to each individual, bringing out that theme of how everyone hides something about themselves that others don’t know. And how that’s something that rounds out each of us and makes us unique. Specifically, I appreciated the character Shelby, as she shows the vulnerabilities behind being a content creator/influencer, and reminds us that we should sometimes unplug from our devices as there’s so much still to learn through being in the moment.

The main critique I have is that the themes and lessons in the story were kind of just blatantly stated; most of it was written out in character reflections. I can handle that to a certain extent, but I feel that its much more effective when its presented in a nuanced way, so that the themes are under the surface and detectible by the reader on their own.

Also, personally, I would have liked to see Indie’s mother’s death developed in a more impactful way. I think it would have a greater effect on the reader if we were able to feel more emotionally connected to the death–perhaps through more description on Indie and her mother’s relationship and why they were so important to each other.

The ending was very beautifully written. I love books that leave you with a reflective tone, and it matched really well with the river scenery. While there was some of that “telling” instead of “showing” I referred to in the last paragraph, the ending was overall refreshingly well done.

This book comes out March 3rd, 2020, so be sure to get it when it is released!

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes

If you’re a fan of Spin the Dawn and The Selection, then this is a book you CANNOT miss! This is honestly one of my favorites I’ve read this year, and I’m super excited for what’s to come in this series.

Welcome my friends, to my epic stop for The Seventh Sun blog tour, hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! This post will include a review, my favourite quotes, and an amazing giveaway!

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