Earlier this month, I finished reading Kevin Kwan‘s debut novel, Crazy Rich Asians, and I loved it. So I immediately dove into the second book of the trilogy, China Rich Girlfriend. Up front I can tell you, it captures all of the humor, wit, and fun of the fist book. And while it largely features the same cast of characters, some of them have unexpectedly graduated to bigger roles, keeping this sequel fresh and surprising.
At the outset of China Rich Girlfriend, Nick and Rachel are engaged and planning their wedding. Their guest list omits some close family members – understandably, given what went down in Crazy Rich Asians – but some of them will not be deterred. And they have somehow dug up important information concerning Rachel’s long-lost father, and are willing to crash a party in spectacular fashion in order to deliver it (and possibly make amends).
Rachel gets a chance to finally get to know the father she never knew, taking her and Nick to Shanghai, China. In addition to welcoming her dad into her life, Rachel also gets to know his wife and son. This leads to some unexpected adventures that keep the story engrossing.
Meanwhile, other characters’ plots also develop in exciting directions. Astrid and an old flame rekindle their lost connection, and Kitty Pong of all people gets a significant story all her own. Despite her minimal presence in the last book, her plot actually becomes quite interesting here.
Just like Crazy Rich Asians before it, China Rich Girlfriend is an outlandish, gossipy, and captivating novel. Whether you love the characters or love to hate them, it’s impossible to look away from their dazzling and messy lives. Kevin Kwan offers a bit of mystery, drama, comedy, and satire all in one mesmerizing book. Even with the light tone, though, he also manages to shine a light on deeper topics, giving the book substance, complexity, and heart.
If you enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians, you’ll love China Rich Girlfriend, too. It is a perfect continuation of the story, boasts the same fun style and rich detail, and somehow still stays fresh and shocking. The final book of the trilogy, Rich People Problems, is already out, and I’ll be starting that next.
Don’t forget: Crazy Rich Asians has been made into a movie! It stars Constance Wu as Rachel, Henry Golding as Nick, and Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor, and features other big names like Awkwafina, Ken Jeong, and Gemma Chan. It comes out in August and I cannot wait! Be sure to read the book (or whole trilogy) before you watch the movie 😉