Overview (No Spoilers):
Happy First Book of 2019! Since first reading Crazy Rich Asians I’d been looking forward to picking up the sequel especially after thoroughly enjoying the subsequent movie. That being said, I was excited to have my name arrive at the top of my library’s holds list for China Rich Girlfriend, which would be my first read of 2019. Immediately diving in I felt as though Kwan had picked up right where he last left off with familiar dialogue and characters in deliberately choreographed exchanges spread liberally with over the top drama. Alas, the story unexpected derailed after the promising beginning, whereupon Kwan focused more on brand name dropping, overly detailing dinners and extensive shopping trips instead of progressing the plot. The overall effect was an intriguing story with so much potential floundering upon becoming bogged down by high end consumer purchases instead of quality interactions. In short, the last three fourths of the book were an insufferable bore. Sure, both in the first book and initially in this one, Kwan successfully balanced doling out the shock factors regarding the insane splurges of money, however the reader soon became immune to such flashes of cash, ruining that specific appeal to the series. Also, Astrid’s experience throughout this book left me fuming as she turned a blind eye over and over and over again to how she was being treated. Overall, after starting out on such a high note, Kwan’s followup to Crazy Rich Asians fell flat as familiar characters were absent or failed to grow in depth, upon getting caught up in the mire of status symbols and designer labels.
Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):
I’m making the conscious choice to forgo my typical additional insight section for Crazy Rich Girlfriend as my level of annoyance regarding this read hasn’t subsided since finishing.