Book Reviews

Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians Book

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) By: Kevin Kwan

Plot:

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

Review:

I watched the movie before reading the book, so I was expecting the movie only a bit more. The movie, in my opinion, is a romance but it’s also about an American Chinese woman returning to her roots. I didn’t get that from the book.

Crazy Rich Asians the book was much more fragmented than the movie. You saw into the lives of a lot more characters and if possible you saw a lot more wealth. There were numbers constantly being thrown at you, the price of clothing and real estate, the wealth of someone, both current and projected. It was a lot.

There was more insight into the culture of the people and area, but not so much Rachel returning to her roots. It was more these wealthy people do this thing and if you don’t meet this criteria then they will ignore you or treat you this way. Or this person is doing this thing so that the outside world thinks this about them. It was interesting, but also hard to take seriously because everything revolved around money and wealth and appearances to an insane and calculated degree.

Everyone was a lot less empathetic. Nick, who already seemed so delusional when it comes to his family, was even more so. Rachel was a lot more emotional and weak. My favorite scene in the movie wasn’t in the book at all. The entire ending of the book was quite a bit different from the movie and I feel like the movie made it much more approachable for my American sensibilities.

Honestly, I wasn’t a fan of the book, which really disappointed me. I don’t plan on reading the further books, but I’ll watch any further movies. Crazy Rich Asians, the book, was really light on the romance and discovery of self that I loved about the movie.

2/5

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The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) By: Helen Hoang

Plot:

A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.

Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Review:

While nominating books for Goodreads awards I stumbled across The Kiss Quotient. It sounded sweet, funny, and entertaining so I added it to my queue. While at the library I noticed it on display, recognized the name, so I picked it up. I hoped it was going to be good, but I know nothing about the author and I don’t always enjoy, what I think of, as more literary romances. You know, the books that don’t have gorgeous people on the cover, the ones that have blurbs that talk about semi-serious things, the ones that do a little bit to hide that they’re romances. The Kiss Quotient doesn’t go that way with the blurb, you know what’s going to happen based on that, but the cover kind of throws me off. My issue, not the books.

Anyway, I was ready to go to bed, decided to try the first page just to get a taste of what to expect. Next thing I knew it was four o’clock in the morning and I was finishing the book. I seriously can’t remember the last time that happened. This book was SO GOOD!

I love Stella and I was projecting on her hard. I am not autistic, at least not that I’m aware of, but so many of her little ticks I have done my entire life. She misses so many social queues, that the reader picks up on, and you just want to sit her down and spell everything out so she’ll understand. Ugh, I loved her.

My god, Michael is one of the hottest characters I’ve ever read. Seriously, the man is a dangerous fictional character. The patience and love he has for Stella is the stuff romance novels are made of. He is tortured and talented and loves his family in such a way that you just want to spend the rest of your life with him because you know that you will always be cherished. Dear god this man…

The Kiss Quotient deserved it’s Goodreads Choice Award win and then some. I am EAGERLY awaiting Hoang’s next book in a way I haven’t felt for a new author in years. I highly recommend.

5/5

The Suffragette Scandal

the suffragette scandal

The Suffragette Scandal (Brothers Sinister #4) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

An idealistic suffragette…

Miss Frederica “Free” Marshall has put her heart and soul into her newspaper, known for its outspoken support of women’s rights. Naturally, her enemies are intent on destroying her business and silencing her for good. Free refuses to be at the end of her rope…but she needs more rope, and she needs it now.

…a jaded scoundrel…

Edward Clark’s aristocratic family abandoned him to die in a war-torn land, so he survived the only way he could: by becoming a rogue and a first-class forger. When the same family that left him for dead vows to ruin Miss Marshall, he offers his help. So what if he has to lie to her? She’s only a pawn to use in his revenge.

…and a scandal seven years in the making.

But the irrepressible Miss Marshall soon enchants Edward. By the time he realizes that his cynical heart is hers, it’s too late. The only way to thwart her enemies is to reveal his scandalous past…and once the woman he loves realizes how much he’s lied to her, he’ll lose her forever.

Review:

Free was great. She was idealistic, but she wasn’t stupid. She knew exactly what she was fighting for and what she was fighting against. She was smart and didn’t let anyone take control of the situation. That ended up driving Edward to not telling her things.

Edward was damaged and didn’t feel as though he deserved anyone to love him. Friends or a woman, love was not something he would ever have. Of course, several people loved him and eventually he figured out he was maybe worth it.

The big thing was Edward’s brother who was an absolute piece of shit. Years ago Free told him she wouldn’t be his mistress. He didn’t take it well. He also, basically, tried to kill Edward few years earlier and caused all of Edward’s mental issues. He was the enemy in this book, but he was inept and they easily thwarted him, mainly because he had no idea they were working together.

They worked great as a couple, but I thought the ending was a bit underwhelming. They got married, had a fight, made up, and then they started planning to change their part of the world. I don’t know, I just felt a bit disappointed. I did like to see Free’s parents show up there at the end and I loved Free.

3.5/5

The Countess Conspiracy

the countess conspiracy

The Countess Conspiracy (Brothers Sinister #3) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Sebastian Malheur is the most dangerous sort of rake: an educated one. When he’s not scandalizing ladies in the bedchamber, he’s outraging proper society with his scientific theories. He’s desired, reviled, acclaimed, and despised—and he laughs through it all.

Violet Waterfield, the widowed Countess of Cambury, on the other hand, is entirely respectable, and she’d like to stay that way. But Violet has a secret that is beyond ruinous, one that ties her irrevocably to England’s most infamous scoundrel: Sebastian’s theories aren’t his. They’re hers.

So when Sebastian threatens to dissolve their years-long conspiracy, she’ll do anything to save their partnership… even if it means opening her vulnerable heart to the rake who could destroy it for good.

Review:

I was slightly disappointed in this book. Sebastian was a great romantic interest, very dedicated and funny and super sweet, but I found it hard to believe that he’d loved Violet for so long. The fact that he missed out on her trauma and yet was so in love with her felt suspect. He also felt a bit too good to be true. Maybe I’ve just read too many romances in a row?

Violet was an incredibly logical woman that was a scientific genius but emotions apparently alluded her. Which seemed to be because of trauma caused by her deceased husband, and I understood why she didn’t try and analyze those feelings, but I couldn’t understand why her supposed friends didn’t see what was going on. I was disappointed in all of them for how little they seemed to care about her.

The best part of the book was when Violet discovered her mother, who she didn’t think would support her, killed Violet’s husband because of what he was doing to her. Her mother’s love for her was beautiful.

I enjoyed The Countess Conspiracy, but I felt like it damaged my view of the relationship between the friends. There were so many secrets being kept from everyone and it conflicted with the image I had of them being long best friends.

3/5

The Heiress Effect

the heiress effect

The Heiress Effect (Brothers Sinister #2) By: Courtney Milan

Plot:

Miss Jane Fairfield can’t do anything right. When she’s in company, she always says the wrong thing—and rather too much of it. No matter how costly they are, her gowns fall on the unfortunate side of fashion. Even her immense dowry can’t save her from being an object of derision.

And that’s precisely what she wants. She’ll do anything, even risk humiliation, if it means she can stay unmarried and keep her sister safe.

Mr. Oliver Marshall has to do everything right. He’s the bastard son of a duke, raised in humble circumstances—and he intends to give voice and power to the common people. If he makes one false step, he’ll never get the chance to accomplish anything. He doesn’t need to come to the rescue of the wrong woman. He certainly doesn’t need to fall in love with her. But there’s something about the lovely, courageous Jane that he can’t resist… even though it could mean the ruin of them both.

Review:

Jane Fairfield is too much of everything. She’s too loud, too opinionated, too bright and colorful, and just too fucking amazing in the process. I loved her. I loved when she very nicely said things that you never say in polite society. I loved her and just wanted to be her friend and make all the mean people go away, but she handled herself beautifully.

Oliver is a good man that has let his ambitions cloud his judgement. I wanted to shake him a couple times but his “awakening” was worth the wait.

They were such a good couple, but Jane definitely stole my heart more than he did. I cried, again, while reading about her life and how she was treated. I worried about her and her sister, but they were both able to handle themselves.

The Heiress Effect wasn’t just about Jane and Oliver, though, it was also about her sister Emily and her love story. I loved the inclusion of a person of color, I do think the issues the couple will face were glossed over and racism was barely mentioned, but then this isn’t that kind of romance so I don’t really fault it.

I stayed up super late to finish this book because I just couldn’t put it down. I loved the characters, the story, the intimate scenes, just everything. Excited to read the following books and happy to have found a new author that I love.

5/5