China Rich Girlfriend

- Kevin Kwan

Goodreads Book Blurb:

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 fiance willing to sacrifice his entire inheritance in order to marry her. But Rachel still mourns the fact that her birth father, 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.

Series / Genres:

My Review:

enjoyable/easy to read:
3/5
2.5 stars

The narrative of China Rich Girlfriend was a little too meandering for my tastes. It focused too much on price tags, artists, auctions, and private flights – all the rich people details, rather than the gossipy tone that made Crazy Rich Asians more enjoyable. While there were some exciting developments for the series, it was overall fairly static.

I was pretty skeptical of Carlton’s intentions with Rachel initially, but he did add some interest to the story. I enjoyed seeing his character develop along with his relationship with Rachel, making both of them more likable. He has a surprising amount of depth for a character in this series, and I look forward to seeing how he may feature moving forward.

One of my biggest complaints about Crazy Rich Asians was Rachel’s passivity, but it seems to have gotten even worse in China Rich Girlfriend. First, her long lost father invites her to visit and then never spends any time with her, and she just accepts it. Others keep making plans for her -where she stays, where she travels, what she buys – and she doesn’t seem to have a unique thought or any input of her own.
And then, someone poisons her and she barely even acknowledges it.

I keep waiting for her to develop a personality and stand up for herself, but it seems less likely that will happen with every page. As ‘controversial’ as Nick’s decision to marry Rachel was, she’s certainly proving to be the perfect submissive wife his family wanted for him.

Astrid continues to be my favourite, and I feel so bad for her. Sure, Charlie is giving off some real red flags (his actions could certainly be construed as quite manipulative or, at the very least, secretive), but I do think his heart is in the right place. He’s doing what he thinks he needs to do to keep those he cares about most happy, even if he may be misguided. Because, as bad as Michael was in Crazy Rich Asians, he’s gotten exponentially worse, and the future looks grim.

Not much has changed since Crazy Rich Asians; most of the characters are shallow, spoiled, terrible people. Unfortunately, the tone of China Rich Girlfriend didn’t do enough to make up for their actions. I don’t know if this is because there was an actual decrease in the quality of the writing or if the series has just lost its novelty.

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