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Posted on August 3, 2018 at 4:16 PM by Lindsey Kult
This week’s Series Saturday is headed to the big screen in a couple of weeks - it’s Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asian series! Both of the Lindseys are huge fans of this series. They enjoy how outrageous the characters are and the exotic settings! Lindsey K. feels like the series only got better after the first book, while Lindsey S. thought they were all great. Much like the “Real Housewives” series, this book shows a world that most people will never experience but of which can’t get enough.
Mostly in Singapore but also Paris, New York, private islands, and mainland China.
Tysersall Park is the ancestral home of the Young family and becomes an important plot point.
This is a LARGE family! We’ll be covering characters in the first book, as we’d be giving away spoilers to tell you about the later characters. To help you keep track here is a photo of the family tree:
The main characters in these books are absolutely Rachel Chu and Nicholas Young. However, like many books, each character carries his or her own plot points which can overlap. But we’ll start from the beginning.
Rachel Chu is a Chinese-American girl who was raised by her single mother. Having grown up in a mainly white community, Rachel is unaware of the dynamics of Asian culture. She has never even dated Asian guys prior to meeting Nick. Both she and Nick are professors in New York City and have been dating for 2 years when he asks her to come back to Singapore with him to attend a wedding. Her first shock comes when they get special treatment on the flight to Singapore. Suddenly she is questioning not only the clothes she packed, but who Nicholas Young is.
Nicholas Young is the only grandson bearing the Young name, giving him the strongest claim to the Young family fortune. He is from one of, if not the, richest families in Singapore. His grandmother, Shang Su Yi, literally lives in a palace. Despite being raised as practical royalty, Nick has no interest in the material goods of his family. This is one of the reasons he hasn’t told Rachel about his family. Nor has he let his family have access to Rachel up until now.
Eleanor Young is Nick’s mother. She married into the Young family, and Su Yi has never let her forget it. Like any mother, she wants the best for her only child - and the best is NOT dating an American girl while living in relative poverty in New York City. So Eleanor takes it upon herself to find out more about this young girl from a disgraced family who has stolen her son from his family. Despite not being in Su Yi’s good graces, Eleanor has a number of wealthy friends who she can turn to for information and support.
Astrid Teo is Nick’s cousin and is the child of two of the richest families in Asia. Astrid’s beauty has made her a fashion icon. Despite both her fame and fortune, Astrid is an extreme private person. Her father has worked hard to keep his family out of the public eye and Astrid has always followed his wishes. This becomes more difficult as her husband, Michael Teo, continues to fall from her family’s graces and his start-up nears financial collapse.
Felicity Leong is Astrid’s mother and eldest child of Su Yi. She tries to stay out of her husband’s way.
Victoria Young is Astrid and Nick’s aunt. She is unmarried and extremely religious. She is the only family member living at Tysersall Park with Su Yi.
Alix Cheng is Nick and Astrid’s other aunt. She is married to world-renowned heart surgeon, Dr. Malcolm Cheng. She and Malcolm have two sons. They attempted to raise them humbly, but their oldest son Eddie has always been frustrated with their apparent refusal to spend their great wealth.
Eddie Cheng is Nick and Astrid’s cousin. He is extremely materialistic and insists on his family being picture perfect at all times. He can become abusive when things do not work out the way he hoped. He is probably one of the most dramatic characters in the series.
Fiona Cheng is Eddie’s wife. She is also from old money, but Hong Kong money. She is almost everything her husband is not. She does not care what people think of her and her family. She often appears embarrassed by Eddie’s antics.
Alistair Cheng is Eddie’s younger brother. He desperately wants to be involved in the Hong Kong movie business. He comes across as very naïve, especially in his relationship with Kitty Pong.
Kitty Pong is a soap opera star who is dating Alistair without fully understanding his family history. She denies the rumors that she was in porn before meeting Alistair. The only thing Kitty wants more than anything is to be accepted in the richest circles.
Goh Peik Lin is Rachel’s best friend and seemingly her only ally in Singapore. Peik Lin thinks her family is rich, until she meets the Young family.
Colin Khoo is Nick’s best friend and is getting married in the first book. He is also Astrid’s cousin on her father’s side, making him one of the richest men in the world. He is marrying fashion icon Araminta Lee. Their wedding is comparable to the royal wedding for East Asia.
Jacqueline Ling is Su Yi’s goddaughter and mother to Nick’s ex-girlfriend. She aides Eleanor’s attempts to undermine their relationship - so her daughter can marry into the Young fortune.
Oliver T’sien is a cousin of Nick’s and is almost like the family fixer. His social game cannot be beat and he is a master manipulator.
Carol Tai is one of Eleanor’s closest friends. She runs prayer groups as a devout Christian. Her husband is a corrupt billionaire, but no one seems to mind. Her son, Bernard Tai, is a young man who has become a spoiled brat thanks to his father.
Charlie Wu is Astrid’s ex-fiancé. He still has feelings for her, especially since it was her parents’ disapproval of his family line that broke up the engagement.
There are three books in this series. They’re all on OverDrive and available in the library. The first book is also on the NOOK.
China Rich Girlfriend
Rich People Problems
These books are like definitely “fluff” reads. They’ve been called the Asian version of Gossip Girl! You’ll be caught up in the drama, humor, and outrageous situations that suddenly make up Rachel’s life. These books definitely use adult language, but they’re not graphic. They introduce you into a world you might not have known exists, but that you’ll be drooling over by the time you get to the last book.