Romance

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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While the Duke Was Sleeping

While the Duke Was Sleeping

While the Duke Was Sleeping (The Rogue Files#1) By: Sophie Jordan

Plot:

Sometimes the man of your dreams . . .

Shop girl Poppy Fairchurch knows it’s pointless fantasizing about the Duke of Autenberry. Still, dreams can’t hurt anyone . . . unlike the carriage Poppy spies bearing down upon the unsuspecting duke. After she pulls him to safety, the duke lapses into a coma and Poppy is mistaken for his fiancée. But one person isn’t fooled: his arrogant and much too handsome half-brother, Struan Mackenzie. Soon Poppy isn’t sure what she wants more . . . the fantasy of her duke or the reality of one smoldering Scot who challenges her at every turn.

. . . is not who you think.

An illegitimate second son, Struan may have built an empire and established himself as one of the wealthiest men in Britain, but he knows he will always be an outsider among the
ton. Just like he knows the infuriating Poppy is a liar. There’s no way the haughty Duke of Autenberry would deign to wed a working class girl. It doesn’t matter how charming she is. Or tempting. Or how much Struan wants her for himself.

Review:

I’ve never really had a desire to read While You Were Sleeping fanfic and in fact didn’t really want to read this book, but I was interested in the sequel, and I’m weird and like to read series in order. So I read this book and it was exactly what I was expecting. It was basically a novelization of While You Were Sleeping with a few changes and the period twist.

It was a fine book. I liked the character of Poppy and I always love a Scottish hero. I wasn’t a fan of her sister or the Duke, but then I don’t believe I was supposed to be. The other characters were mildly interesting but didn’t put forth enough presence to make me care about them.

I’m not sure what year this was supposed to take place. If it was Regency then there were several inaccuracies. There were horses and buggies, though, so I’m not sure. It’s a romance, so historical accuracy is not necessarily necessary, but it’s something that I appreciate an attempt to be made.

Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m going to continue with the series. I didn’t hate While the Duke Was Sleeping, but it didn’t really spurn me on too experience more in this world.

3/5

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

Ali’s Wedding (2017)

 

Alis Wedding

Ali’s Wedding (2017)

NETFLIX Movie

Director:

Jeffrey Walker

Starring:

Osamah Sami

Don Hany

Helena Sawires

Plot:

After a “white lie” which spirals out of control, a neurotic, naive and musically gifted Muslim cleric’s eldest son must follow through with an arranged marriage, except he is madly in love with an Australian born-Lebanese girl.

Review:

Ali, Osamah Sami, feels like he’s got a lot to live up to. His brother was killed by a landmine, his father is a cleric, and his other brother is clearly not going to become a doctor. So it’s all on him. Lies are born.

Ali is a sympathetic character, but I’ve never been fond of lies and poor communication as a plot device. His motivation is better than most so it didn’t bother me as much as it normally does. Still, the lies go on for a long time.

A crush he’s had for a while ends up blossoming into love, but of course the lies end up biting him in the butt. Thankfully, there is a very happy ending.

I guess, being able to tell the truth to friends and family, isn’t always a privilege people have.

3.5/5

Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018)


Sierra Burgess is a Loser (2018)

NETFLIX Movie

Director:

Ian Samuels

Starring:

Shannon Purser

Kristine Froseth

RJ Cyler

Noah Centineo

Plot:

A case of mistaken identity results in unexpected romance when the most popular girl in high school and the biggest loser must come together to win over their crushes.

Review:

I was starting to think my new favorite genre was going to be high school romance. Between Love, Simon and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before I was questioning everything I’d thought before. Sadly, the streak has ended with Sierra Burgess is a Loser.

There was too much going on in this movie. You had Sierra, Shannon Purser, and her con of Noah Centineo. You had her attempts to get into Standford. Her relationship with Veronica, Kristine Froseth. Her poetry assignment. Also, just general teenage girl in high school. It was too much and everything suffered from it.

I had a hard time getting into the romance because I couldn’t read their texts and they weren’t read out loud. Maybe if my TV was closer or I’d been watching on a laptop I could have seen them, but because I couldn’t I missed out on a lot of the romance building. Because of that I found it difficult to believe Noah forgiving Sierra when everything was revealed. It felt rushed and unbelievable.

I hated the wardrobe for Sierra. I loved that she wasn’t super skinny, but I thought her clothes were purposefully very unflattering. Even a high school girl that didn’t care about fashion wouldn’t wear some of the stuff they had her in. They played it up way too much and it pissed me off. She was larger, but that didn’t mean they had to dress her the way they did.

Overall, I thought Sierra Burgess is a Loser was messy and had too much teen angst.

2/5