My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I honestly don’t even know how to review this book.
Here is my best effort…
Of course with the buzz of the movie coming out recently, I was dying to read Crazy Rich Asians. At the end of the day, I feel like it would honestly work better as a movie than a book (which is rare). There were so many characters with somewhat convoluted and complex relationships that it was hard to keep everything straight. I’ve read lots of books with many characters before and I feel like they tend to succeed if the author does a good job developing each of them as individuals with defining traits. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that these characters had defining traits or enough individuality to make them stand on their own. And without knowing who each person was, I had a hard time following the story as a whole. I did make connections with a few characters (the main ones: Nick, Astrid, Rachel) but many of the secondary characters blended together.
That being said, the story had a ton of potential and at times was entertaining. There were glimpses of humor, and the Asian culture definitely shone through. The “crazy rich” part was clear as crystal with the author making many references to the Bill-Gates-style wealth the various families held.
The narrator of the audiobook was superb. Her Asian accents we’re spot on and she did a great job capturing the essence and personality of the characters despite the lack of differentiation granted by the author.
I enjoyed the main storyline pertaining to the “royal” wedding but there were several secondary storylines that I didn’t find entirely relevant or necessary. The end of the book did not feel finished and left me unsettled. I realize this is the first in a series and the story does continue with subsequent books, but there is still a certain finesse to finishing a book within a series that leaves the reader satisfied despite a couple unanswered questions. The ending of this book just felt like the author wrote one massive book for the trilogy and decided this was where he was going to draw the line between book one and book two. It was like the book was still going… And then ended.
That being said, I think I will still see the movie as I suspect I may find it easier to follow, and the previews looked promising. But I doubt I will read the two remaining books in the series.