“Crazy Rich Asians” Book Review and Summary

🟢 Author 🟢

Kevin Kwan

🟢 Publisher 🟢

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

🟢 Synopsis 🟢

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home. But as it turns out, Nick’s childhood home looks like a palace, and he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor. On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back, and her relaxed vacation soon turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.

🟢 Non Spoiler Spew 🟢

This book was a great book! I LOVED the movie Crazy Rich Asians so much as soon as I found out it was a book I knew I HAD to read it. I wanted to read it to see how close the movie was to the book, and to see if I would love the book as much as I did the movie. I am so happy I went and picked up the book. As soon as I started I could NOT put it down.

There is honestly nothing that I disliked about the book. I know that is impossible, that there is always something, but I could just be biased because I love the movie😅 I thought everything was well written and I could get a feel for my surroundings. Even the characters were written extremely well. Each character had a great backstory and I did not feel that anyone was under developed. I also liked how this book was told from the perspectives of each character. Even though there are a lot of characters, it is easy to keep up with everyone.

Ok. actually I lied. There is something I did not care for in the book. It has to deal with Nick Young’s mother, Eleanor Young. There is a chapter that did not need to be as long. I won’t get into that because I don’t want to spoil anything. But I did want to be honest because I did remember something I did not like.

Overall, I think Kwan did a FANTASTIC job with Crazy Rich Asians and bringing me into this crazy world. It really is a brilliantly written book.

If you have seen the movie but have not read the book then you NEED, like NEEEEED to read this book.

🔴 Summary Spoiler Spew 🔴

We start off with Rachel and Nicholas. Rachel is a NYU professor of economics. She is raised by her mother, Kerry, and they are a middle class family. Nick, who is also a NYU professor, talks to Rachel and asks her if she would want to spend the summer with him in Singapore because his best friend is getting married and he is the best man. He wants Rachel to meet his whole family since they have been dating for 2 years. Little does she know is that Nick has a whole other life that he has been keeping a secret from her. Rachel agrees to go with Nick so she can visit her college roommate, Peik Lin.

A pretty cool scene happens here. Celine sees Rachel and Nick talking in a coffee shop and she snaps a photo of the two. She then sends the message to her sister. After this, a very long texting chain starts to happen. (This was an exciting part to read because it was cool to see how Kwan typed out a whole text chain). This WHOLE chain is all about Rachel and who people think she is and the jealousy they feel that she is with Nick.

The Young family is one of the top ten wealthiest families in Asia. Nick, is the sole heir to his families fortune. His Amah (grandma), taught Nick to always keep a low profile about his wealth and his family business. Amah raised Nick because his mom, Eleanor, let her do so. Eleanor did this so Nick would take over everything after Amah, grandmother Su Yi, passes away.

Even though Rachel wants to know about Nick’s family, he does not tell her anything about them. Nick calls his cousin, Astrid, and asks for advice and she tells him to tell Rachel everything. Astrid says this because she knows the type of life Nick and Rachel have been living and their family won’t like it. Nick decides he will wing it when it comes to Rachel meeting his family.

Over in Singapore EVERYONE is talking about Nick’s new girlfriend. They are the talk of the town because he is bringing Rachel to the social event of the year, Colin and Araminta’s wedding. There are so many rumors going around about Rachel too. Everyone is saying she is a Chinese American nobody or they are saying she is a rich Taiwanese. Pretty much all the women are just jealous of Rachel because they all wanted to be the ones who marry Nick.

Because of all these rumors Nicks mom, Eleanor, hired a private investigator to dig into Rachel’s family background. She hires the investigator in secret. While she does this she tries to have friends and family sabotage Nick and Rachel’s relationship. Eleanor does this because she wants Nick to marry someone who is like them, wealthy. We also find out information about Nick’s dad. We find out that he lives in Australia and works on the family business from there.

We now turn our attention to Astrid. Astrid is Nick’s famous cousin. She is known all across Asia. At her house while Michael is out of the room, she finds a message on his phone from a lady friend that leads her to know Michael is having an affair. She confronts Michael about it and he admits that he is having one with a lady from Hong Kong. Astrid and Michael talk about working on their marriage, but Michael ends up deciding to leave. Astrid can’t handle this so she secretly has her ex fiance, Charlie Wu, to help her follow Michael. Astrid follows him to his mistress’s apartment. She confronts Michael again and he tells her that he is not actually having an affair. He made it want to look like that so he can get out of the marriage. He tells her he is tired of her family and hates them all. To make Astrid happy, and to make Michael more rich to appeal to Astrid’s family, he secretly buys shares in Michael’s startup company at a high price.

Finally arriving in Singapore Nick finally tells Rachel about his family. They are greeted by Colin and Araminta. Colin takes everyone to get local food. This is where Rachel and Araminta bond. Araminta invites Rachel to her bachelorette party.

The next day, Peik Lin picks up Rachel from her hotel. Nick and Peik Lin finally meet as well. While they are heading to Peik’s house, Peik shows Rachel the sites of Singapore. During dinner with Peik’s family, Rachel mentions that she is going to Colin and Araminta’s wedding. Everyone is silent because this wedding is almost like a royal wedding. They ask Rachel who she is dating, but they do not know who Nick Young is when she tells them.

Peik Lin takes Rachel to meet Nick at his grandmother’s house. He lives in Tyersall Park, which is weird to Peik because her family is in real estate and she has never heard of Tyersall Park. When Nick and Rachel are reunited he says his grandmother has a lot of people over because the Tan Hua flowers are blooming. Nick starts to tell Rachel that this is where he grew up since he was seven. He then starts to introduce her to his whole family. Rachel starts to feel overwhelmed with EVERYTHING. By the money, the jewelry, the servants, and the armed guards.

For the bachelor and bachelorette parties, Araminta introduces Rachel to her friends. At this point ALL eyes are on Rachel and everyone starts to talk about her. On Samsara Island, Araminta tells everyone they get a 20 minute shopping spree and everyone goes BONKERS. Rachel only picks out a few items. In the dressing room Rachel can hear the other women gossiping about her. Back at the villa Rachel gets ready for a swim and she finds her satchel had a mutilates fish and her mirror with blood said “Catch this you gold digging BITCH”.

Nick arrives at the airport in Macau greeted by Bernard Tai. They go to a dog fighting arena. Colin quickly disagrees to this and they leave. They go to Bernard’s yacht and they play in the casino. To get away from the festivities, Colin and Nick go down to the library where they talk about how to get off the yacht. In order to do this Colin pretends to be sick. The Captain orders a medic helicopter to come and get Colin. Nick, Collin, and two others leave in the helicopter. They take the copter to Australia to have a low key bachelor party.

Now that the craziness of the parties are done, Nick and Rachel head over to dinner with his family. Nick finally introduces Rachel to his mom. Eleanor pretends she knows nothing of Rachel. When Rachel meets Nick’s dad, he likes her immediately. At this dinner, Nick is surprised that his mom has invited other people over when it was just supposed to be them.

The next day Rachel and Nick head back to Tyersall Park. This is so Nick’s grandmother can get to know Rachel more. They all talk while they have tea together.

Ok. So in the book I LOVED the wedding scene. Then when I saw it in the movie I LOVED it even more. The Cathedral like banquet hall was covered in greenery that made it look like a rainforest and there were many canopies. The more you go into the heart of the wedding the more greenery there is. Then when you take a closer look Cirque du Soleil was there performing in the greenery. At the end of the wedding there were even fireworks.

After the wedding, Rachel begins to pack up her clothes. Nick is confused as to why she is doing this so Rachel breaks down and finally tells Nick everything that has happened to her. She tells him what happened at the bachelorette party and the all the bullying she has been receiving. Rachel also tell Nick she is mad at him because he prepared her for none of this. He begs her to stay and tells her that they will have a day together, just the two of them.

Nick persuades Rachel to go with him to his summer house that belongs to his grandmother, Su Yi. He does this because he has been planning to ask Rachel to marry him and he wants to do it there. To Rachel and Nick’s surprise, they are stopped by Eleanor and Su Yi. They were there waiting for them the whole time. This is when Eleanor reveals that she hired a private investigator to look into Rachel. She tells Rachel and Nick that Rachel’s dad is not dead. He is in China. Rachel’s mother was also wanted for kidnapping because she took Rachel and immigrated to America. Her husband was awful to her, and when she cheated on him and got pregnant, she fled. Su Yi and Eleanor at this time both tell Nick that they forbid Nick from marrying Rachel.

At this point Nick and Rachel leave and Nick takes Rachel to Peik Lin’s house. Here is where Rachel looks back on how awful Nick’s family is. She tells Peik Lin everything that just happened. Peik and Rachel decide they want to go to China to find Rachel’s dad. Before they head out Rachel breaks up with Nick. Nick then goes to Colin’s house to get away. When Colin comes back from his honeymoon he tells Nick to go after Rachel. Nick surprises Peik Lin and Rachel, before they leave, when he shows up with Kerry, Rachel’s mom.

Kerry tells Rachel the full story about her husband, Zhou Fang Min. She tells her that he was an abusive and drunk person. Kerry confided in a friend of hers, Kao Wei, and they grew to love each other. They got together and Kerry became pregnant. Kerry’s husband found out and wanted to kill the baby, but Kerry and fled the country. Kerry tells Rachel that Nick is a wonderful man and she should give him another chance.

Nick and Rachel end up getting back together and they spend their time with Rachel’s mom and Peik lin.

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