by Kevin Kwan
Almost just as good as Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend really kicks it up about 10 notches as far as wealth and conspicuous consumption. I actually had to take a break, because it was so much, that I almost felt sick to my stomach. In CRA, Nick’s family is rich, yes, but they are so private, so unconcerned with public image and perception, so exclusive. The wealth that Rachel and Nick encounter in this book is so over the top, so shallow and empty, that the contrast is stark. Think Prince William and Harry vs. The Kardashians. Only of course the groups in this book are so much richer. A one or two billion dollar fortune is considered insignificant money. One of the wealthiest girls that Rachel meets is Collete Bing who does a fashion blog with 35 million followers for fun. She meets Astrid, one of our favorite characters in Nick’s family. Of course Collette has no idea who Astrid is, because “You won’t ever find the Leongs on any list because they are far too smart and far too discreet to be visible“, but she perceptively realizes that there is something special about her and wants to post some photos on her social media feeds.
Now, I just need some caption info. I recognize your shoes and your handbag, of course, and the bracelets are Lalaounis—” “Actually, they’re not,” Astrid interrupted. “Oh. Who did them?” “They’re Etruscan.” “I know, but who designed them?” “I have no idea. They were made in 650 BC.” Colette stared in wonder at the museum artifacts dangling so casually on Astrid’s wrists. Now she wanted some herself. “Okay then, most important, tell me which genius designed your fabulous dress. It’s Josep Font, isn’t it?” “Oh, this? I bought it today at Zara.” For the rest of her life, Roxanne would never forget the look on Colette’s face.
There is no real romance. Nick and Rachel are blissfully happy with a solid relationship.
This is a story about family drama. Rachel’s newly discovered father and his family are the source of major conflict, secrets, and lies, including a threat of arrest for attempted murder. Astrid’s stupid husband is making her increasingly unhappy. How long will she put up with him? The humor and satire remain in tact, and some very satisfactory servings of some much needed justice to several characters are included near the end. One, courtesy of our ever patient and levelheaded Rachel. She finally looses her temper and it is a sight to behold!
A few threads are satisfactorily closed (we think) at the end of this book, and a lot more really interesting ones left open to be resolved in the third and last book in the series. **5 stars out of 5**
November 19, 2018