Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan// + Movie Review!!
Synopsis: "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."
Book Review: I didn’t think I’d be writing a review for this because there’s already so much hype, but I was unable to stop myself. I have to say I’m not the BIGGEST fan of this book, but this is one of the only books I’ve read with so much asian representation and that’s created a bond with this book I can’t ever forget. I have always supported diverse books and I have read books with an asian here or there, but never one like this. Growing up in a city where the majority of people are asian led my younger, less knowledgeable self to think that asians were the majority (only to be a shocked to find out years later that we definitely were not). Even now, a vast majority of the books I own don’t even include a single asian character, and so yes I saw diversity as an issue, but I never realized how different it would feel to read a book that was FILLED with asian characters and even represented some of the culture I knew. One of the craziest moments in this books was simply realizing I could talk to my chinese parents about this books and they could RELATE to it. As much as I related to other YA novels, there was nothing really for me to share with my parents.
Although I have definitely never met one of these “crazy, rich asians” as many asians are simply your average people, there were small cultural details that I had experienced and understood.
Asians in America are often seen as the model minority: they are quiet, hardworking, and didn’t cause any trouble. However, this novel shows asians in a light I never really get to see, these asians are influential, powerful, and intelligent not only with math or science, but culturally and socially.
Although the first 75% of the plot felt predictable to me, the importance of the novel, ultimately led me to really value it. For these reasons, I really recommend everyone to pick up this novel and open your mind to a culture you may not have known much about before (like me, since I didn’t know anything about Singapore beforehand ).
Movie Review: I was lucky enough to get to watch Crazy Rich Asians a full week ahead of time and I have to say IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Not only did it exceed my expectations, but I honestly enjoyed it even more than the book (despite the differences in the movie where I kept a mental list of all the subtle or even larger changes). I found the book a little slow, only picking up near the end, but since the movie has to fit everything in a short span of 2 hours, the pace was much quicker, and lets be honest the gorgeous sets really helped me visualize everything as well. The actresses and actors were absolutely amazing and I was so glad I could share this opportunity with my parents. Since there was so many asian references and Chinese culture it was amazing to hear from them that this movie was super easy for them to understand. Not only that, but they actually knew every single song that was played in the movie and this blew my mind. It's so amazing to see more asian culture represented in media and seeing it on the big screen was SO worth it. However, I'm so glad I read the book beforehand, just to notice the similarities and differences and I will definitely be reading the next two in preparation for the next two movies!
Caraval by Stephanie Garber
Synopsis: "Remember, it’s only a game…
Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.
But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.
Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away."
Review: WOW. just WOW. I have seen this book everywhere, so after picking this up I already had pretty high standards, but let's just say that my mind was completely blown.
Caraval has taken me on a journey. When people say books transport you to new worlds, no book does it quite like Caraval. Although, it was incredibly unique (like, I was unable to think about anything else) here are some the things I felt hints of similarities to while reading:
The characters, relationships, worldbuilding, and plot were all so unique that I still can't fully wrap my head around it.
The characters were perfectly imperfect. Unlike most YA novels where we have a classic heroine who is unconfidently perfect, we have some very real characters who each make their own mistakes and carry their own flaws.
The creativity of the world of Caraval is beyond me, but it really works itself into everything else. (AKA It makes everything, especially relationships, VERY complicated). Caraval's magic takes away any of my plot predictions (not a single prediction I had played out and if it did I was already there, so not much of a prediction ahah).
Caraval is on the surface level simply beautiful, but its beauty hides a darkness you can feel while reading: that constant anxious feeling that you have every time you turn the page, but don't know why. Anyone searching for a pageturner and something to scramble your brain and grab and twist your heart, please pick up this amazing novel. (Now it's time for me to leave and return to this insane world as I pick up Legendary! SO EXCITED)
Cover: ★★★★★ ( I MEAN)
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.