Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publication Date: June 16th, 2015
Length: 15 hours and 5 minutes
Description from Goodreads:
Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians, is back with a wickedly funny new novel of social climbing, secret e-mails, art-world scandal, lovesick billionaires, and the outrageous story of what happens when Rachel Chu, engaged to marry Asia’s most eligible bachelor, discovers her birthfather.
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.
China Rich Girlfriend picks up two years after the events of Crazy Rich Asians. It follows some of the characters from the first novel, such as Rachel, Nick, and Astrid, but adds in some new ones as well, and brings some side characters from the first novel into the spotlight.
I loved the first novel, but I think I enjoyed this one even more. There’s definitely more of the gossip and the ‘wow look how rich they are’ descriptions, but I think the story was a bit more interesting in this one. The first novel was very much about trying to fit in with this super rich family, and while this one has elements of that, in different ways, that element is more subdued and it’s much more about the characters.
The first book really revolved around Rachel, but in this one each of the focal characters were pretty isolated, so the subplots were more unique.
The plot was still pretty weak, but I feel like the strength of these books is in the characters, and it makes for a fun weekend read when you just want to unwind.
I also feel like the main characters were a lot more likable in this one. In the first one I really hated all the old rich people, but this one was much more focused on younger rich people so there wasn’t as much of an old people being judgy vibe.
I listened to the audiobook for the first two novels, and I’m kind of realizing it’s not the greatest format to enjoy these books in. There are a lot of footnotes, which can be kind of awkward in that medium. I’m debating switching to the physical version next time, but I’m already a few weeks into my nine week library hold on the audiobook for book 3 so maybe I’ll just stick it out for another book. But if you have the choice, physical/digital is probably a better format than audio.
I loved the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians, so I hope that this one gets the movie treatment as well!