Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan

So a few weeks ago I posted on Instagram that I was reading Crazy Rich Asians, but I couldn’t post on it as I was in the middle of Horrorfest VII.

Or post in my case.

So I saw this book when it first came out on Goodreads, it struck my interest and I put it on to-read, but did not read it as, well you book lovers know how it is:

But then I read this article comparing the book’s characters to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion. That made me even more interested.

Hmm…

Then when an opportunity to get a copy of the book came my way-I could not resist. I had to read it.

So first things first? Is it really as good as the hype says it is. You know me-the more they over pump the more hmmm…let’s say exact I am in my judgements-picking apart the book.

Welll…I thought it was……

Hmmm…

Super Freakin’ Fantastic

Now you guys know I’m not going to say that if I don’t really mean it. It was so good I didn’t want to put my book down and I am being literal-If I didn’t have to work I would have stayed up reading or just called in sick.

So I know zero about Singapore, the culture, class system, tradition, etc. I am thankful for all of Kwan’s footnotes as they were extremely helpful. Reading it reminded me of the first time I read classic literature and had no understanding of the culture of why people did what they did and had to go do all the research.

Kwan helps you out of hours of work by providing it for you. I don’t know how your publishing process went, but I imagine there was at least one person who was probably like there are too many footnotes, no one will read that, let’s just get rid of them-but let me tell you-I am so, so thankful. Thank you Mr. Kwan.

So the story begins with Rachel who has been raised by her single mother. They moved all over the country, settling in Cupertino, CA and her mother worked hard and moved up in real estate business. Rachel has studied hard, has her master’s degree, and is a Professor of Economics in New York.

So Rachel is set by a friend to meet the “perfect guy” She is completely not interested as she isn’t really looking and she doesn’t like to date Asian guys. Every time she has gone out with an Asian guy she feels as if they are more interested in her resume and transcripts than who she is as a person (I have an Asian friend who has told me she has had the same experiences), but then meets Nicholas Young. He is amazing, has an English accent, and the two fit together.

They have been dating five years and he decides to invite her to come to Singapore with him for the summer. He thinks they would have a great time, with him showing off the places he loves, and them attending his friend’s wedding.

Rachel is unsure at first but decides to go as it will be fun: she loves Nick, and she will be able to visit with her best friend from college, Goh Peik Lin. Her mother is a little worried, as she knows that Rachel isn’t going to be prepared for the traditional Asian culture having grown up in America.

When Rachel gets there she gets the surprise of her life-Nick is crazy rich. Beyond thought of all rich-like Gatsbyian rich (but legal). His family is one of the top richest in Singapore, and he is expected to be the sole heir of his paternal grandmother’s fortune. Nick thinks his family will love Rachel but…

Majorly

Yes, seriously. His mother, Eleanor Young is obsessed with power and prestige. She has been maneuvering the Young life-first watching and planting herself with Nick’s father at time he was ready to be married (who incidentally has since moved to Australia to get away from her)-stealing him from his long-term girlfriend, and taking a backseat in parenting-essentially giving Nick up to his grandmother-so that he could be her sole heir. This girlfriend has thrown a serious gum in the works as his Nick is prime to be thinking of marrying and this California Asian is unacceptable.

Unacceptable

She begins a plan to throw a more suitable woman at him and remove Rachel from the picture. As soon as she had confirmation of her name, PIs have been dispatched.

Edison Cheng is Nick’s cousin, and a very wealthy banker who is always concerned with image and aspiring for more. His brother is dating a more distasteful woman than Rachel-pop star singer Kitty Pong. His family is determined to end their engagement as well for a more “suitable match”.

Her

Nick’s best friend is his cousin, Astrid Teo. Astrid is beautiful, stylish, and envied everywhere-every man wants her and every woman wants to be her. Astrid has her own family melodrama-intervention story. She fell in love with Charlie Wu and the two were engaged, but Astrid gave in to the pressures of her family and how they felt him being a self-made millionaire was not good enough for their daughter. Years later she met and married Michael-handsome, charming, and even more unsuitable. He is in computer technology and trying to create a company. He’s been so busy with it, making excuses to skip family dinners and such. One night Astrid looks at his phone and discovers messages from a woman-an affair?

Nick and Rachel have fun eating food (Singapore’s number one thing), spending time with friends, and then get tied into wedding stuff. Nick heads off to a truly horrible bachelor party-while Rachel is asked to join the bachelorette party. She finds herself mistreated and targeted as every woman wanted Nick and all are doing all they can to get him before the rings get placed on Rachel’s finger.

After the wedding things come to a head. Eleanor reveals the information found out by her private investigator-Rachel’s father is not dead, as she had long believed, but imprisoned in China. She and Nick’s grandma tell him he needs to end the relationship. Rachel is hurt beyond measure with the truth that her mother lied coming out-especially the way it did- and beyond furious at how Nick’s family and friends have treated her. She’s done. She heads to stay with her friend and go to China to meet her father.

Astrid has run into Charlie Wu and run away with him. He comforts her and helps her track down her errant husband as it turns out he isn’t cheating on her.

He wanted her to think so, so she would leave him. He does not want to be known as Astrid’s husband, he wants to be his own man. Charlie feels bad for the woman he loves, yes loves not loved, loves-and begins to do all he can to inflate the stock and make Michael a millionaire. As long as she’s happy he’s happy.

Nick tries to tell Rachel he doesn’t care about his family and loves her, but Rachel is not taking it. It is not enough when his family will treat her like that. Nick heads back to his friend and recent bridegroom-Colin, trying to get advice from him. Colin urges him that if he loves Rachel to fight for her.

Rachel is headed to China when she gets stopped by the surprise of her life. Nick is there, that’s expected, but he brought her MOTHER?! Since Rachel has found out the truth about her father she would not speak to her mother, but now she stops and listens. It turns out that her mother was married off to a wealthy man who ignored her. He did his duty to try and make a child, but otherwise he abused her or ignored her, with his family being even worse. She had an affair with a nice man, Kao Wei. She became pregnant, and fearing for their child’s life-Kao smuggled her out and sent her to America.

Rachel is understanding of her mother-and after all the information Eleanor found out about how awful her mother’s husband was- she is forgiving and willing to give Nick a second chance. They still have the whole Summer and head off to Marina Bay Sands.

It was amazing and the world they live in-it was unthinkable. Reading this I felt like Nick in The Great Gatsby or Dan in Gossip Girl times a 1000.

A great read I could not put down. I was fascinated with this crazy rich world.

So the question on everyone’s mind. Is this Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion? 

Idea!

NO

Yes

I’m serious.

Yes!

Astrid’s story is very Persuasion I will concede that. Charlie is in love with Astrid after she turned him down he continued to love her from afar-never getting over her.

But Rachel and Nick are nothing like Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy.

Elizabeth was from a well-off family, curse you Pride and Prejudice (2005) that makes everyone think they are poor. Mr. Darcy was not as fun and animated as Nick. Yes, Lady Catherine did not want them to marry but their societal classes don’t quite fit. Instead this is Northanger Abbey. 

Northanger Abbey tells the story of a girl from a good family-not rich or gentleman’s family, but one that does well that gets the trip of a lifetime. She goes as a companion to the big city of Bath full of pleasure and parties as such. Rachel Chu is the same. Her mother worked hard and does well for herself, as did Rachel. Like Catherine-we would consider them well off, however people of means: Nick’s family, General Tilney, Blair Waldorf, Tom Buchanan-would not. Catherine finds herself in a world full of sharks-trying to navigate a world she no idea about- just like Rachel.

Nick is wealthy man, but very modest, down to earth, approachable, and fun. Just like Mr. Tilney. Mr. Tilney meets Catherine at Bath and laughs at society’s tradition, going aganist them by speaking to her without be ing introduced, joking around, having fun. Nick is the same way. He even risk disinheritance for her-just like Tilney.

Now there are many factors trying to keep the two characters apart in Northanger Abbey. The first is Jonathan Thorpe. He trumps up how rich and wealthy Catherine is (just like when the rumors abound that Rachel is of the Tawainese plastic Chus)  He tries to drive a wedge between the two as he wants Catherine’s “fortune”. He’s like all the women who are after Nick’s fortune. Also is General Tilney, Eleanor Young and him are a perfect match. Both care about controlling their children’s lives and trying to make sure they choose a path that gives them monetary bliss. Genral Tilney marries his wife for his money and wants his second son and daughter to be wealthily wedded. He steers his son toward Catherine, manipulating and doing all he can to get them together-then when he discovers that the fortune is false-sends her packing. Eleanor works the same way-she tries to get Nick with any number of “suitable women” and does her best to send Rachel packing-succeeding just like the general.

And run fast

Eleanor and Astrid also share some similarities. In the movie (I know what am I saying please forgive me) Eleanor falls in love with an “unsuitable man”-one her father keeps her from marrying. He works hard to create his own business, becoming wealthy enough to please him. With Astrid same story, except the money didn’t matter-it was a class issue.

Pop star Kitty Pong is dating Alistair Cheng. She is a pop star social climber, after him for his money and very low class-just like Isabella Thorpe. Isabella Thorpe hooked onto Catherine and her brother James, becoming engaged like that. Isabella comes from a poor family and is trying her best to poach a wealthy man. When it is revealed that James Morland does not have as much money as she wants-she drops him for Captain Tilney (who ends up leaving her in the cold). Kitty follows the same pattern. When Alistair’s cousin tricks Kitty into thinking the Cheng family has nothing, she dumps Alistair for the very wealthy Bernard Tai.

So what do you think? Are you swayed by my arguments that this is Northanger Abbey? Or do you still think it has more in common with Pride and Prejudice.

Idea!

Either way it is a great story and one that is well worth a read.

For more Northanger Abbey, go to No One Would Have Ever Guessed

For more Persuasion, go to Right Away I Know I Won’t Like You

For more Austen-like reads, go to Non-Austen Reads for Austen Readers: A Change of Fortune

We Will Fandom You

Fangirl

So yes we are back with the fangirl posts! Here we go with another four!

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Alias

Alias  was a show that came out in the ’90s, produced by J.J. Abrams and starring Jennifer Garner. Jennifer Garner played Sydney Bristow, college student getting her masters in literature by day; incredible CIA operative by night.

My interest began not with the show but the prequel novels. I reserved a book in the library thinking it was a part of another series I was reading. Well one book got me hooked, and after reading all about Sydney’s adventures in SD-6, finding out that her dad has secretly been a spy as well, etc.; I decided to watch the TV show.

Now the thing that surprised me was that the novels are radically different than the TV show. So the show starts off with Sydney having just become engaged to her boyfriend Danny. When he starts talking about them having children, Sydney decides to tell him the truth. Danny of course freaks out, but later calls Sydney when she is out on a mission and leaves a message that they will make it work.

SD-6 does not want information out and kill Danny. When a heartbroken Sydney starts thinking about quitting, and is almost killed by SD-6; her father drops the true bomb. SD-6 is not the real CIA. The person in charge left the CIA and started SD-6 to undermine it and achieve their own means.

Sydney decides to become a double agent, working for the real CIA to take down SD-6.

So Sydney has a full plate between studies, being a best friend, and keeping all three (school, SD-6, CIA) lives separate from each other. Things get sticky when one of her best friends, played by Bradley Cooper, who is a journalist, starts investigating and is put on the SD-6 radar. She also has a partner that is growing a bit suspicious, and a man who doesn’t like her and wants to take her down.

Oh Sydney and Michael, I ship those two so hard!

Twocharacterstogettogether

But you spend so much of the series unsatisfied as they can’t date and work together sort of thing.  And then he’s with Laura, but eventually they get back together which makes me very happy.

For more on J.J. Abrams, go to I Feel A Great Disturbance in the Force: Star Wars, The Force Awakens

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Gossip Girl

So this was something that I struggled with whether or not I should include on this list. I liked it, but at the same time I had quite a few problems with it.

So the show is about the upper East side in New York. The p0werful children of the powerful families, whether old or new money. We follow the lives if Serena Van der Woodson, one of the popular girls at the best prep school, She has been gone for a while, but back and finding it hard to get back into the groove of her old life.

Then there is Nate Vanderbilt, dating Queen Bee Blair Waldorf. He is good guy, who wants people to like him. Only problem is, he likes Serena and even though he is dating Blair he is trying to get with her.

Blair Waldorf is the Queen of the school and has huge goals in mind. She’s happy to have her best gal pal back, until the truth comes out about Nate and Serena, and their past indiscretions. She ends up turning to Chuck Bass and sleeping with him, him later being her partner in crime to secure her queendom and take down Serena.

Charles “Chuck” Bass is the son of Charles Bass, part of the new money group. He has grown up alone with a father that would sooner cry marble than ever show his son love. Chuck spends all his time with booze or girls; or being tall, dark, & brooding. Yep, he’s one of those guys who only needs the love of a good woman to make him want to be the best. He falls for Blair but when she dumps him for Nate again, he goes down a tailspin.

And then we have our wild card, Dan Humphrey. He’s from Brooklyn on scholarship. He has been in love with Serena, but always on the outside looking in. Serena and him start dating and he finds himself brought into the in crowd even though his best friend Vanessa wants him out and Serena’s mom, Lily, wants him away from her daughter.

Then we have Gossip Girl, no one knows her identity but she knows everything about everyone and posts it online.

So I really enjoyed the first season of this show until Georgina came, ugh hate that actress. Once she came in I didn’t like how the dynamics changed, how they seemed to find all kinds of reasons (and really stupid ones) to try to keep all the couples you wanted apart, and how everything was all about the drama (with some real outlandish plots). Like the screenwriters were the same people who wrote the spanish soap opera on Psych.

One of my biggest issues I had with the show was Nate dating 17 year-old Sage Spence. Even though in the state of New York that is legal, how could he do it? How could anyone see that as a good idea, especially someone trying to be a professional. I wouldn’t want to work for someone who is one year above rape. That was a horrible story plot.

Now the main reason I continued  watching sporadically because of four people. First I loved Serena’s mom Lily, and Dan’s dad Rufus having an old romance and trying to get back together. Rufus was so hot and adorable! I loved when they got married but hated that the writers broke them up. Really? Lily would go back to Charles Bass when he was a total jerk and horrible to her? Or in the end remarry her ex-husband William Van der Woodson who was trying to make her think she had cancer just so she would get back with him? After she discovered that lie how could she possibly trust him again? It makes no sense! And the fact that Rufus would side with Charlie AKA conwoman Ivy, rather than his own wife Lily?

I don't think this really added to the story.

And of course the real reason I put through the drama, was for one thing:

gossipgirlpowerfulWonderfulwoman

Chuck and Blair! I hated how they got them together and they were so awesome, and then the writers broke them apart. But at least they fixed them in the end married with a cute baby boy.

For more Gossip Girl, go to For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic

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One Tree Hill

I had the same problems with One Tree Hill that I did with Gossip Girl. I liked the first season, but after that my watching became sporadic. Too much drama, relationships that you want together breaking up for the worse reasons, on and on. You know what I’m saying.

No thank youhowaboutno

So the show revolves around the town of Tree Hill, North Carolina. Nathan Scott is the son of the famous basketball player, Dan Scott. He rules the school with his girlfriend Peyton. Meanwhile on the other side of town, Lucas, Dan’s other son, lives with his mom Karen. Dan got Karen, head cheerleader and high school girlfriend, pregnant but left her for higher things. Shortly after, Dan got his rich college girlfriend pregnant and married her.

Lucas best friend is Haley James, a tutor and waitress at Lucas’ mother’s café. The other light in Lucas’ life is his uncle Keith, who takes care of him like his father should.

Everything changes in Lucas’ life when some ballplayers get suspended and Coach Whitey recruits him for the team. All of a sudden everyone is into him, including head cheerleader Brooke Davis.

Nathan starts attacking Lucas and pranking him to get him to quit. Peyton and Nathan break up when Peyton publishes a comic about Nathan in a bad light, it is under a pseudonym; but Nathan recognizes himself.

Nathan is starting to fail some of her classes, and looks to get Haley to help tutor him. It starts out as a way to get to Lucas, but soon Nathan falls for her and she for him. With the pressures from his dad continuing, Nathan leaves home and befriends his older brother, Lucas.

Things get intense as they have to deal with drugs, drunk driving, school shootings, etc.

So there were a few things I did not like about this series. Number one was Peyton Sawyer.

hate her

I thought her character never made sense, how could a punk artist ever desire to be a cheerleader; she isn’t the right type to be super popular, she’s written more as one of the outsiders. I thought her character wasn’t right for Lucas and never bought their relationship as they had no chemistry. I hated how she tried to get with Lucas while he was with Brooke, horrible friend, just horrible.

So who kept me watching? Well Brooke:

OneTreeHillIAmWhoIam

I  loved Brooke and how her character changes to be such a strong woman. I really wanted her with Lucas or Mouth, I thought they were better for each other.

Also Nathan and Haley:

enoetreehillkissrain

I loved how  Haley valued him as a person rather than a ballplayer. I loved how Nathan worked hard to be her dream guy and was willing to wait to have sex with her. I loved how he encouraged and supported her every dream.

I hated when she left with that stupid Chris guy and threw her marriage away. Haley when you married you made a vow that your life wasn’t going to be just about what you wanted but what the both of you wanted. But in the end they stay together!

For more One Tree Hill, go to Move Along

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Queen

queen

Queen is a band that needs no introduction. They were created in the 1970s and had so many amazing songs. I just love them, maybe a little too much.

ThinkLikeBandTooMuchFamilyGuy

The music and lyrics were just amazing, these artists were true geniuses.

bohemianrapsody

It would be hard to choose one song, all are amazing. My top favorites are: A Kind of Magic, Another One Bites the Dust, Bicycle Race, Bohemian Rhapsody, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Don’t Stop Me Now, Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy, I Want It All, Killer Queen, Radio Ga Ga, Somebody to Love, Under Pressure, We Are the Champions, and We Will Rock You

I haven’t reviewed a Queen song yet, but will.

For more on Queen, go to In Rhapsody Over Clint Eastwood

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For the previous post, go to Fan-do or Fan-don’t. There is No Fan-try

And Stay tuned for part 23

For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic

broken-heart-self-Control

 

So this starts off another episode in our heartbreak series. Yep this is:

paramore-riot

11) For a Pessimist, I’m Pretty Optimistic by Paramore

So as I mentioned before Paramore was a band I got into recently and love. This album Riot! has a lot of songs that deal with heartbreak, such as That’s What You Getwhich I did an earlier post on. I just love this song because I feel that it captures how one feels after a disappointing relationship in which the person they trusted, loved, and cared for broke their trust and hurt them deeply.

you broke my heart silverstein

In fact the guitarist and writer of the song, Josh Farro, said that he wrote the song to express what it is like to put “your faith in someone and they blow it.” 

Just talk yourself up and tear yourself down
You’ve hit your one wall, now find a way around
Well, what’s the problem? You got a lot of nerve

So what did you think I would say?
No, you can’t run away, no, you can’t run away
So what did you think I would say?
No, you can’t run away, no, you can’t run away
You wouldn’t

I never wanted to say this
You never wanted to stay
I put my faith in you, so much faith
And then you just threw it away
You threw it away

f_lonelylovParamore

I’m not so naive, my sorry eyes can see
The way you fight shy of almost everything
Well, if you give up, you’ll get what you deserve

So what did you think I would say?
No, you can’t run away, no, you can’t run away
So what did you think I would say?
No, you can’t run away, no, you can’t run away
You wouldn’t

paramore

I never wanted to say this
You never wanted to stay
I put my faith in you, so much faith
And then you just threw it away
You threw it away

You were finished long before
We had even seen the start
Why don’t you stand up? Be a man about it
Fight with your bare hands about it now!

paramore3

break up

I never wanted to say this (say this)
You never wanted to stay, well did you?
I put my faith in you, so much faith
And then you just threw it away

I never wanted to say this
You never wanted to stay
I put my faith in you, so much faith
And then you just threw it away.

But you know what, you will find someone better, who will appreciate who you are. I love this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald:

won'twait

Yep

wantYoutoStay

After all:

Gossip girl destination

And never believe you are anything less.

onceinalifetime

musicnotes

To start the Heartbreak series from the beginning, go to If It Means A Lot to You

To go to the previous post, go to I’ll Be Alright Without You by Journey

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For more on Paramore, go to That’s What You Get

For more of my favorite music, go to Carry On Wayward Son

For more of my favorite quotes, go to The Two Times to Be Over

For more on Emma, go to Part VII: It Was Said One Night

For more on Jane Austen, go to How to Catch a Man

For more on Silverstein, go to The End by Silverstein

For more on trust issues, go to Girl on Fire

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