China Rich Girlfriend was dramatic, entertaining and extravagant rich fiction with amazing details on East Asian culture and lifestyle.
China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2) by Kevin Kwan
Publication Date : May 31st 2016
Publisher : Anchor
Genre : Fiction / Contemporary
Pages : 479
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.
China Rich Girlfriend was interesting and dramatic fiction that revolved around whole new level of craziness when Rachel set her feet in China to meet her father and his family. The story was about Rich people and their lifestyle, snobbery, family drama, power play, money personalities and behavioral change, East Asian culture, friendship, and love.
Writing was exactly like first book- interesting, detailed, vivid, steady paced in third person narrative from many characters’ POV. I’m sure getting used to writing now and I knew where to put my expectation this time.
Plot was interesting. Prologue was set in 2012 with introduction of Baos but rest of the story took place after the end of first book in 2013 with Rachel and Nick’s upcoming marriage in couple of months and Nick’s mother, Eleanore, accidently finding out about Rachel’s real father by meeting his wife and son. Now from the prologue it was easy to guess Rachel’s father and his family were the Baos. Eleanor with this information and her son’s marriage coming which was kept secret until she found about it in party and wasn’t invited, you can guess the drama it might have caused. All that led to Rachel being invited by her father to spend her honeymoon in China with him and his family, to get to know each other more. Now the wedding drama was nothing compared to family drama caused by Rachel setting her feet in China. It was interesting and entertaining to read Rachel and Nick’s time in China, how they found Rachel’s father and his family and what they discovered about them.
Like first book this was more character driven and once again secondary characters shadowed Nick and Rachel taking the larger portion of the story keeping Rachel and Nick at the centre (I hope you get my point). By now I was expecting that so that didn’t surprise me.
Astrid was my favorite. We get to read more about Astrid and Michael, how their relationship was after it almost failed but survived by sudden success of Micheal. Money can change lots of things even the person and we see that in Michael in worst way. I hated him most. I couldn’t belive how this insecure, coward suddenly got confidence on having the taste of money. He belittled Astrid, disrespected her family and their privacy, accused her for everything that went wrong, and not just that but his temper and the way he punished their son was unbelievable. His transformation was shocking but most shocking of all was Astrid letting him do that to her. His behavior throughout the book was outrageous. I would love to see Astrid’s family and Charlie bring Michael down to where he came from. I’m so happy Astrid finally saw Michael wasn’t the husband she married to, how much he was trying to change who she was, and Charlie’s love for her.
Colette surprisingly got lot of focus in story. She was Rachel’s brother, Carlton’s China Rich Girlfriend. I’m not sure but I think the title of the book was for her. She at first looked like all rich girls- fashionista, crazy shopper, control freak who got all things she wanted in her own terms- but at the same time she was so welcoming to Rachel, nice and generous. She helped bringing brother and sister together, know each other more but she wasn’t as perfect as she looked. As story progressed we see many sides of her.
Kitty’s character and her part of story was entertaining but I still don’t get her importance here. I get in first book she was girlfriend of guy related to Youngs so was given good role but in this it doesn’t make sense that much. It was the suspense where Bernerd was and what happened to him that kept me want to read her side of story and some funny events that happened to her. She also managed to surprise me in the end.
Rachel’s new family’s dynamic and their issues with each other and with Rachel entering their life was well written. I liked Rachel’s brother, Carlton. He was hard to figure out because of his accident and his behavior but I knew he was a good person as he never thought bad of Rachel. Shaoyen Bao, Carlton’s mother and Rachel’s father’s wife wasn’t likable at first but her character and actions were realistic. I could understand how hard it must be to find her husband had a daughter of 32 yrs old and suddenly coming in their life. It was genuine to feel insecure and worry about reputation as a politician’s wife. I don’t have much to say about Rachel’s father, Gaoling Bao. He was good man, influential politician, and loyal husband but we see him only few times.
I liked Rachel and Nick. I enjoyed reading them. Rachel was smart, lovely, compassionate, and patient but I liked she finally learned to speak her mind. Nick was absolutely lovely. He knew how to make his presence feel even though throughout the book he was just supporting Rachel and doing nothing else.
Again Romance wasn’t at the centre but I loved some of the moments between Rachel and Nick, specially during their wedding and romance rekindling between Astrid and Charlie was absolutely lovely. I have to agree with Toni, why Charlie’s marriage with Isabel failed was a little hard to believe.
Best part of the book was reading about new places of China and Hong Kong, all amazing details on culture, food, dresses, crazy rich extravagant lifestyle, social cues, and again footnotes translating East Asian words and explaining some cultures and context of the word. I also loved some of the insightful moments like Rchel’s talk with Colette about brands being patronizing to Cinese market and Rachel conversation with Peik Lin on spending money and comparing how that money could help someone in world, their different perspective on it was interesting and thoughtful. There were some epic moments as well like Eleanor’s entry a day before Nick and Rachel’s wedding, Colette meeting Astrid at party, Astrid’s walk out, and what exactly happened to Bernerd.
Twist and turns were much better in this. I couldn’t guess that mystery about Bernerd, what exactly happened to Carlton and what caused his accident, what happened to Rachel in third part, and who was responsible for that. Climax was most interesting with all the revelations and confrontation. I feel so happy for both Rachel and Astrid and I loved how everything was wrapped up. The end was unexpectedly surprising and I couldn’t even imagine that surprise came with Kitty. Now it is making me all the more curious to read last book in this trilogy.
Why 4 stars-
Like I said I don’t get the importance of Kitty’s character in this. There was too much focus on Kitty and Colette than main characters and their issues. Also Charlie’s wife’s story felt unbelievable.
Overall, China Rich Girlfriend was interesting, dramatic, entertaining and extravagant rich fiction with amazing details on East Asian culture and lifestyle.
I recommend this if you like,
First book in series
Character driven plot
so much details on culture and lifestyle
gossip magazines and blogs
well written family dynamic
some insightful and some epic moments
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