"China Rich Girlfriend" by Kevin Kwan is the sequel to his Crazy Rich Asians. Again, Mr. Kwan brings readers to the world of the rich and famous (in Asia), and see how they are so different than the American stereotypes of who Asians are.
It will give me a chance to separate the two and see how Mr. Kwan incorporate the two, without disappointing us with a sequel that can't hold its own. In that sense, Mr. Kwan did a great job. Not only can this book stand on its own, his characters are interesting enough that I want to go back and read the first book. I don't have to, since as a book, China Rich Girlfriend works - the plot, the character developments and the conclusion. The key is, I want to. And I'm sure if you have not read Crazy Rich Asians first, you'll want to too.
As to the theme, "crazy rich Asians" has a sense of realism to it, since China is the fastest growing economic country in the world, with more millionaires and billionaires popping up in the Forbes rich list. As an Asian American myself, with exposures to Asia and limited first hand experience with the influential and rich 2nd or 3rd generation, I know how realistic China Rich Girlfriend can be. Of course, there are some level of exaggeration, but overall amongst the inner crowd of the rich and famous in Asia, especially the older generation, there is an hierarchical pyramid that's weighted on. However, I must emphasize, the majority of Asians, even if they are well-to-do and with living experience in America or Europe will have a certain amount of humility that I don't see in China Rich Girlfriend. Of course, I'm not part of that world, and can't vouch for it. It does make for good story telling and Mr. Kwan's writing style in throwing in "gossip" style stories are interesting and very "Asian". Gossip magazines are always a hit in newsstands in the Asia. Gossip amongst older generation Asians are also a norm, no matter the financial standing.
As a book, I like the cover, but there are some editing (grammar) issues and some use of Chinese phrases were not entirely correct. Since I received a proof copy (before the final edits), it's not a big deal.
China Rich Girlfriend or rather the Crazy Rich Asians series reminds me of the Shopaholic series by Sophia Kinsella, in which there can always be more to say. I actually foresee a third book coming. It's about the rich and famous, along with romance and funny moments - what not to love?
Treat China Rich Girlfriend as what it is - a fun, hilarious and entertaining story to read. Now, I'll have to get myself a copy of Crazy Rich Asians.
NOTE: I received a complimentary e-copy proof (before final edits) from the publisher, DoubleDay Books for an honest review.