For a while now I’ve been on the hunt for another good book, but nothing has jumped out at me as of late. My threshold for sad things is usually maxed out with movies and TV (I actually cried after the Game of Thrones “the Red Wedding” episode!!), so I tend to gravitate towards books that are lighter and happier in nature. Sadly, I think I’ve finally hit the point where I’ve finished all the must-read chick-lit focused on the younger set and a lot of the genre’s recent offerings sound terribly bland.
I walked into Chapters today for another quick lunch-break browse and walked out feeling like it was Christmas in July (or in this case June)! I found not one, but two books that screamed “READ ME!”, which is great news for the quilted, black Kobo that has been relegated to the bottom of my nightstand drawer.
I grabbed the first book off the shelf solely for the glittery gold cover and shocking pink title—“CRAZY RICH ASIANS” by Kevin Kwan. Even if you weren’t interested in reading it, the book cover is so great that it would be worth purchasing, if only to display on a bookshelf or side table (seriously, it’s fabulous and the picture simply doesn’t do it justice!). Here are a little about it from the publisher and a few reviews I came across:
Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
“Crazy Rich Asians is an unputdownably funny, original, modern novel. An outrageous satire of the Asian squillionaire set, this book is like a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice. The combination of gold homewares, couture, private jets, absurd social rules and snobbery is utterly hilarious. I actually couldn’t put this book down to eat or to watch Downtown Abbey.”—Plum Sykes, bestselling author of Bergdorf Blondes
“Crazy Rich Asians is like Dynasty on steroids with more private jets, bigger houses, and a lot more money. It is the very definition of a beach read. I finished it over a weekend and by the end was longing to see the ridiculously extravagant and over-the-top world that Mr. Kwan had created…. I predict this will be the 50 Shades of Grey of this summer.”—Michael Carl, VanityFair.com
Yes, the title and cover art are what piqued my interest (the book could have seriously been about anything!), but a peek inside to discover that it was a tongue-in-cheek story about the outrageous and über-wealthy Asian set had me completely and 100% sold. And yes, these people really do exist! Think of whatever you consider to be wealthy and multiply it by a billion à la Rich Kids of Instagram—where one learns to drive on a Phantom and buys 6 Birkins because it’s a Tuesday.
Having grown up in North America, I can relate to the culture shock of travelling back to Asia for vacations. While the endless gossip, the obsession with family and reputation and the nonchalant manner in which they publicly point out that you’ve gained weight (despite the fact that you are only a size 2) seem almost normal to me now, I can’t wait to see Kwan’s take on the whole situation. The current Good Reads rating (think of it as IMDB for books), shows an average of 3.88/5 (from 168 ratings) which is very promising, and I tend to trust these types of websites more than I do the never less-than-raving reviews printed on the book cover or website.
The second book needs much less of an introduction. The second I saw it on the shelf, my eyes widened and I grabbed it in the MINE MINE MINE kind of way that is usually reserved only for sample sales. The man to my left in a helmet and bicycle shorts definitely looked perplexed, but I didn’t care because in my hands was the much-anticipated sequel to Lauren Weisberger’s the Devil Wears Prada…Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns. I absolutely loved the first book and the movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway is still possibly my favourite movie of all time. Admittedly, I did read the book eons before watching the movie, so it wasn’t spoiled by the usual disappointment of when a movie doesn’t quite live up to what your imagination has concocted. Here’s a little bit about the book from the publisher:
Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine-a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a highend bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart’s content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy can’t shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing-not her husband, nor her beloved career-is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago-and directly into the path of the devil herself…
I was very disappointed to see that the current Good Reads rating was not nearly as complimentary for this book—it pulled in a measly 2.83/5 (from 731 ratings). Nevertheless, this book will still remain on my reading list, since I liked some of Lauren Weisberger’s other novels and I loved the first one too much to completely ignore its sequel. At least I can go into it with low expectations and the knowledge that this is nothing more than a fun read that I can always put down and come back to later on. Plus, it would be nice to know what eventually happened to Andy Sachs, and maybe Hollywood will make magic happen and create a sequel that is way better than the book! (Yes? Maybe? Probably not, but oh well. Fingers crossed!)
So, those are the two books that I’ll be reading next. Yes, I know I’m such a geek but I’m so, so excited to sink my teeth into both of them! I may also do a quick post once I finish to let you know what I thought.
I’d love to hear what you have to say, so if you’ve read either of them let me know what you think! Or if you have any other recommendations feel free to leave them below!
P.S. Here are some links, if you want to pick a copy up for yourself!
♥ Crazy, Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (released June 11, 2013) | Amazon or Chapters
♥ Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (released June 04, 2013) | Amazon or Chapters (**Originally $29.99, the hardcover is currently on sale at Chapters for $16.99!)