The buzz around the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's "Crazy Rich Asians" has reached fever pitch. The movie opens nationwide on Wednesday, August 15 and I am jumping out of my skin with excitement. Back in March, I read the book (revisit my review here) during my tropical getaway to Turks and Caicos. The entire time I was reading it I could easily picture how the story was going to come to the life on the big screen - the grandiose mansions, the high fashion, the luxury beach resort from the bachelorette party and of course, the epic wedding.
Two weeks ago, during my family's trip to Cape Cod, I read the second book in the series which is called "China Rich Girlfriend." In part two, Rachel Chu and Nick Young tie the knot and then travel back to Asia to meet Rachel's biological father.
While there was certainly plenty of family drama, I missed Nick's mother's meddling. In the first book, her dragon lady nature is front and center, and in this book, we barely see her after Nick and Rachel get hitched.
One of my favorite characters from the original book is Nick's cousin Astrid, who plays a major role in "China Rich Girlfriend." This time around, Astrid's marriage to Michael is falling apart rather publicly and she's seeking comfort from her first love, Charlie. I always knew they would reunite; it was only a matter of time.
The book's laugh-out-loud moments come from two larger-than-life characters: Colette Bing and Kitty Pong. Even their names are hysterical! Colette comes from a very successful, wealthy family, but has made a name for herself as a fashion blogger. When Rachel and Nick arrive from California, she makes it her personal mission to show them around (while documenting everything for her Instagram followers, of course). Kitty Pong, a former soap opera star, has weaseled her way into the elite Tai family through her marriage to Bernard. She is larger than life and unapologetic about it.
Toward the end of the book, Colette hosts a fashion show and one of the local gossip columnists, Honey Chai, covers it. Her recap the next morning reads:
"Is everyone sitting down? Because I have so many scoops for you that we might as well make a giant banana split! First scoop, and you heard it here FIRST: Mrs. Bernard Tai, aka Kitty Pong, is the mistress of Jack Bing! Extremely reliable sources tell me that Pong and Bing have been carrying on for quite a while now; they met two years ago at - get this - the funeral of Kitty's father-in-law, Dato Tai Toh Lui! Tai was a great mentor of Bing's, and apparently sparks really flew at the crematorium when Jack met Kitty. Meanwhile, a devastated Mrs. Bing has reportedly checked into the health spa at Brenners Park-Hotel in Baden-Baden, Germany. Colette Bing, who by all accounts is furious with her father, has also left Shanghai and was last seen canoodling with a certain notorious playboy at a club in Ibiza."
I am telling you, reading these books is like devouring a 500 page celebrity gossip magazine.
I mentioned earlier that while I read the first book I could totally see it as a movie the entire time. When I read the second book, I felt like they would need a 12 episode mini series to cover it all! I will be so curious to see if they green light a second movie.
There is one more book in the series, "Rich People Problems," and I already have a copy. I can't wait to see what these crazy families do next!