Things I liked:
I knew almost nothing about the culture and history of Singapore before reading this, and it taught me a lot about something I otherwise wouldn’t have known about. Even though there is a lot of greed and backstabbing in the book, it also describes the natural beauty of Singapore, as well as the amazing food and architecture.
It is written by someone of the culture portrayed. Kevin Kwan grew up in Singapore and based much of the book off of stories from his own life.
The book is written from multiple perspectives, so you get to meet a wide array of different characters and learn their backstories and relationship to the main characters first-hand.
It has fun footnotes. Some of the footnotes further explain the history of Singapore or the main characters, and some are just sassy, funny side comments from the author. (If you read the ebook version of Crazy Rich Asians, the footnotes are all at the end of each chapter rather than on every page. Make sure to check them out!)
It was the perfect escapist novel for the current times. It was fun to read about the opulence and grandeur of Singapore, and forget about everything going on in the real world for a little while.
Things I didn’t like as much:
While I liked that it’s told from multiple perspectives, this does mean that there are A LOT of characters, and they can be hard to keep track of. Especially since many of them are distantly related, it can be hard to remember who is related to who and how and which rich grandparents are theirs.
Having so many characters also means many are not as well-rounded as they could be, which means sometimes their actions or appearances seem random. Specifically Nick’s father, who only shows up once, says very little, and is never seen again, but is talked about often.
A lot of name dropping of brand name designers that became over the top, especially since I hadn’t heard of most of them
Up in the air ending. Admittedly, this is because the book is part of a series, but I still would have liked to see more loose ends tied up.
Despite sometimes having a hard time remembering which character was which, this book was fun, glamorous, and funny. I definitely want to read the rest of the series, China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems. I also listened to part of the book on audiobook, and would suggest it if you are looking for a good audiobook. The narrator is amazing, and listening helped with pronunciation of some of the names. I would recommend Crazy Rich Asians for anyone looking for a light summer read, or who likes the Gossip Girl series by Cecily Von Ziegesar.
The Galesburg Public Library owns this book in print format, as well as an ebook and audiobook. There is also a book club kit for Crazy Rich Asians.