Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
All of Asia's so-called worthies are descending upon Singapore for the wedding of the year, if not the century, in this over-the-top portrait of the ultrarich and their bizarre spending and living habits. Listeners will meet dogs named Astor, Vanderbilt, and Trump and a group of women who eat lavishly and attempt to outdo one another's clothing and jewelry as they meet for Bible study! The name-dropping is shameless as is the outrageously shallow behavior. There are multiple characters and incidents, but Kwan keeps the story flowing beautifully. Flora, fauna, and food descriptions deliver a shot of reality. The book is delightful and hilarious; narrator Lynn Chen makes listeners feel as though they are being told this fantastic story by an old and trusted friend. VERDICT Those who enjoy offbeat humor or exotic settings will love.-Susan G. Baird, formerly with Oak Lawn P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Kwan's debut novel is a fun, over-the-top romp through the unbelievable world of the Asian jet set, where anything from this season is already passe and one's pedigree is everything. When Rachel Chu's boyfriend, Nick Young, invites her home to Singapore for the summer, she doesn't realize how much gossip she's generated among Asian socialites around the world. To Rachel, Nick is a sweet, intelligent history professor-and the first man she's imagined marrying. To the Asian billionaire set, he's the gorgeous heir apparent to one of China's most "staggeringly rich" and well-established families who virtually control the country's commerce with their ancient fortunes. As soon as she steps off the plane, Rachel is ushered into the opulent world of castle-like estates and mind-boggling luxury. As if the shock of realizing the scale of Nick's wealth is not enough, she must also contend with a troupe of cruel socialites who would absolutely die before they let Singapore's most eligible bachelor get snapped up by a no-name "ABC" (American-born Chinese). There is also Nick's family-his imposing mother, Eleanor, who has exact ideas about who Nick should be dating; his beautiful cousin Astrid, who the younger girls dub "the Goddess" for her stunning fashion sense (she was "the first to pair a vintage Saint Laurent Le Smoking jacket with three-dollar batik shorts"); and Nick's cousin, the flamboyant Oliver, who helps Rachel navigate this strange new world. A witty tongue-in-cheek frolic about what it means to be from really old money and what it's like to be crazy rich. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Kwan's debut is a scintillating fictional look into the opulent lives of fabulously wealthy Chinese expats living in Singapore. Economics professor Rachel Chu has no idea what she's in for when her handsome boyfriend, Nicholas Young, invites her to join him at his best friend's wedding in Singapore. Rachel is excited to meet Nick's friends and family, but he fails to warn her about the social minefield she's about to cross. Nick's mother, Eleanor, jets off to Shenzhen to investigate Rachel's background, while friends and family gossip openly about her at a gathering hosted by Nick's grandmother. When Rachel is invited to the bride's bachelorette party which includes a ride on a private jet and a stay at a luxury hotel it becomes clear that these are young women with designs on Nick who will do just about anything to scare Rachel off. From its delightful opening scene onward, this sleek social satire offers up more than a few hilarious moments as it skewers the crafty, rich schemers who populate its pages.--Huntley, Kristine Copyright 2010 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Jane Austen, or maybe Edith Wharton, goes to Singapore, turning in this lively, entertaining novel of manners. You've got to like any novel set in Asia that includes, among many splendid one-liners, this amah's admonition: "Don't you know there are children starving in America?" Of varying ethnicities but resolutely members of the 1 percent or aspiring, one way or another, to be so, Kwan's characters are urban sophisticates par excellence, many of them familiar with the poshest districts of London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong. Many of them are also adrift, with soulless consumerism replacing society: It's Less Than Zero without all the coke. When socialite Astrid, for instance, is in a mood, as she so often is, she goes shopping in boutiques haunted by "the wives of Persian Gulf sheikhs, Malay sultans, and the Indonesian Chinese oligarchs." Not half-bad company, but then Astrid moves in a rarefied circle around the richest of the rich. At its center is 32-year-old Nicholas Young, whose ABC girlfriend--American-born Chinese, that is--Rachel Chu, has come to Singapore to meet the family. To Nick's credit, she is taken aback by just how phenomenally wealthy they are. "It's like any big family," Nick assures her. "I have loudmouth uncles, eccentric aunts, obnoxious cousins, the whole nine yards." Well, and then some. Rachel discovers that the position of being Nick's intended isn't an easy one--not only are there other would-be plutocrats gunning for the spot, but the family also doesn't make things easy, either. A diverse set of characters and a light, unstrained touch move Kwan's story along. Yet, even though one feels for Rachel, there's a point--right about at the spot where one of her new girlfriends is showing off the yoga studio inside daddy's new jet--that one gets the feeling that Ho Chi Minh might have had a point after all. An elegant comedy and an auspicious debut.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.