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August 28, 2015

Review: China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwon

China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians #2)
Title: China Rich Girlfriend (Crazy Rich Asians, #2)
Author: Kevin Kwon
Publisher: Random House Canada
Publication date: June 16, 2015 
Genre(s): Fiction (Chick lit)
Source: Publisher
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 378
On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. She has a flawless Asscher-cut diamond from JAR, a wedding dress she loves more than anything found in the salons of Paris, and a fiancé willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won’t be able to walk her down the aisle. Until: a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Here we meet Carlton, a Ferrari-crashing bad boy known for Prince Harry-like antics; Colette, a celebrity girlfriend chased by fevered paparazzi; and the man Rachel has spent her entire life waiting to meet: her father. Meanwhile, Singapore’s It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. A romp through Asia’s most exclusive clubs, auction houses, and estates, China Rich Girlfriend brings us into the elite circles of Mainland China, introducing a captivating cast of characters, and offering an inside glimpse at what it’s like to be gloriously, crazily, China-rich. 
While China Rich Girlfriend is technically the sequel to Crazy Rich Asians, you can read this as a standalone, which is what I did. Kevin Kwon throws you head first into the extravagant and rich life of these rich asians, and I can't lie and say that it didn't give me a headache. I was so shocked and mesmerised at the same time at the reality of their lives. One line that really got to me was said among a couple of the older asian women about someone within their community: 
"Bernard has no money. He only gets about ten million a year to live on," Carol confirmed.  
That's ten million USD a year, by the way. I loved how we were able to see how these people live, and that it's not all roses and 100 thousand dollar Birkin bags. Initially I have to say I was OVERWHELMED by the sheer amount of people in this book. I do think if you read the first book, by the second book you would atlas know 50% of the people. But I didn't and it took me a while to get to know who's important enough for me to really know and who isn't. I wish there was a family tree chart of all the asian clans involved. 
Once we weed out all the unimportant characters, it finally got interesting and exciting. I couldn't put the book down and read it in a day or two. Several different plots are interwoven or stand alone in the book, and I have to say I enjoyed every single one. This is a rarity because I always have favourites and stories I don't like when it comes to multiple POV books. China Rich Girlfriend was a book I kept on recommending to so many of my friends and really stuck with me. Maybe because I was so unaccustomed to their lifestyle. The rich asians are seriously on a completely different level from other rich people. One thing a publicist at Random House said that stuck for me about this book is "There's rich , then there's China rich". I completely agree and feel like anyone who picks it up will get taken for a very interesting and exciting ride, especially if you are already into asian cultures, like I am. I definitely recommend this book to everyone and I can't wait to pick up Crazy Rich Asians and read that. I hope Kevin Kwon continue writing these fascinating and unique books; I really enjoy his storytelling. 

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