China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan (BOOK REVIEW) 5/5
Kevin Kwan has stepped up his game. While I loved Crazy Rich Asians, it was a far slower, more tedious read for me than the sequel, China Rich Girlfriend. This book is dynamic. It’s, in my opinion, masterfully written. While head hopping had already been used in the original CRA, in CRG it was used much more efficiently. The focus pulled back from Rachel and Nick, and instead featured the rest of the colorful cast of characters- which was exactly what this novel needed. It was no longer just about what affects Rachel and Nick: Now it’s about what is affecting everyone at once, all the ties twisting together. I found myself just as excited to read about Kitty and Corinne as I was to read about Rachel, Nick, Carlton, and Colette. And my favorite parts of all were involving the illustrious Astrid Leong, her horrid husband Michael Teo, and her true love, Charlie Wu.
This book was refreshing, and I read it entirely in a day. It had the right amount of highs and lows, moments of drama that left me going, “Really?”, and plenty of back and forth situations. I loved to hate on Eddie and his eagerness to be perfect, and I loved to see Kitty trying so desperately to become more than her reputation. Most of all, I found myself enjoying the new characters. I loved Rachel’s wedding, the stunning interruption of Eleanor and the new reveal of family members. To have a new family drama- this time between Rachel’s father, step-mother, and half brother- was interesting to read along to, wondering how things would turn out. I feel like there were a lot of little details that just improved upon the series, things I don’t want to spoil but that I think made it worth reading. The conclusion of all the different storylines was beyond perfect- and the end of this book blew me away.
Probably the most emotional parts of the book were Astrid, Michael, and Charlie’s. Throughout the novel, you can tell that sudden success didn’t solve Michael’s problems- he still very clearly was done being Astrid’s husband, and they just got worse, and worse, and worse. Meanwhile, Charlie silently suffered, bemoaning his decision to save Astrid’s marriage, and loving her so deeply from afar. We finally got to meet his wife, and discover the extent of his own problems- and the love for Astrid that had never gone away. When the truth came out, and Astrid learned exactly how Charlie had been there for her all along, I wanted to cry. I messaged my best friend and told her I wanted to curl up on the ground and make ugly whale noises- and that is the mark of a good relationship in a book.
Overall, this book is where I began to love the trilogy, and what pushes me to finish it. I would recommend the trilogy just on this book alone- and I’m jumping right into reading the third, Rich People Problems.