If You Liked Crazy Rich Asians, You'll Love These Books
August 26, 2018 | BY Emma Heyn
Loved Crazy Rich Asians? With the book finally hitting the big screen, we've missed reading about the antics of Rachel, Nick, and Astrid, so we set out to find the best page turners to tide you over—at least until the sequel arrives in cinemas
Sarong Party Girls by Cheryl Tan
Set in present day Singapore, Cheryl Tan's debut novel has been described as "Emma set in modern Asia". The book follows the adventures of Jazzy— 27 and on the brink of a quarter-life crisis—as she tries to snag a rich husband, before being written off for good by her friends and family.
Sassy, funny, and surprisingly moving, Sarong Party Girls is a subversive take on the trials and tribulations that come with courting the Singaporean elite. Slated for a TV adaptation later this year, we recommend you read the book before the story hits the screen.
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2014, Five Star Billionaire is a startlingly accurate examination of everyday life in modern China.
We trace the lives of five young men and women attempting to establish themselves in Shanghai: Phoebe, a factory girl seeking better employment in the big city; Gary, an aspiring pop star on the rise; Justin, the weary inheritor of his family’s real estate empire; and Yinghui, a free-spirited artist who leaves the creative life behind in favour for a career in finance. Each story reveals a new perspective on the dangers and dreams that come with living in modern Asia. In turns tragic, hopeful, and dark, these stories will leave you breathless as you turn the final pages.
Free Food For Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
We all love to partake in a decadent buffet every now and then, but this really is a feast for the senses. Listed as one of the Times’ top ten books of the year in 2007, Free Food For Millionaires is a classic family saga told in a modern setting.
The novel follows Casey Han, a smart, funny, and bright young woman in the midst of an existential crisis. Read along as she gets kicked out of her parent’s house, maxes out her credit card in extraordinary style at the Carlyle, and starts her own hat-making business. A seamless blend of comedy and drama, this is a page-turner that will keep you reading long past your bedtime.
The Leavers by Lisa Ko
Deming Guo just wants his mom back. On a seemingly normal school day, his mother—an undocumented immigrant living in the US—makes him breakfast, walks out the door to work, and never returns.
A full decade passes before we start to unravel the truth, following Guo as he is adopted, forced to leave behind all he has ever known, while desperately searching for answers of his mother's disappearance.
Everything I Never Told you by Celeste Ng
Set in 1970’s Ohio, Everything I Never Told You is the debut novel of award winning author, Celeste Ng. Before her death, Lydia Lee seemed like the girl who had everything—great grades, friends, and a boyfriend who worshipped the ground she walked on. Or at least, that’s what her parents thought.
When the truth starts to spill out, James and Marylin are forced to confront the fact that their daughter was a stranger in their own home, and as they unravel the circumstances behind Lydia’s premature death, they must confront the secrets which threaten to irrevocably tear them apart.
The Wangs Vs. the World by Jade Chang
A cross-country car trip involving a family on the brink of financial ruin – what could possibly go wrong? Patriarch Charles Wang thinks it’s a great idea, at least.
The Wangs Vs The World is the brilliant comic debut of author Jade Chang, and for fans of Gordon Korman’s No Coins Please or Little Miss Sunshine, you’ve got a treat in store. Brilliantly funny and moving, this title will have you laughing out loud on any road trip this summer.
The Dim Sum Of All Things by Kim Wong Keltner
Lindsay Owyang, receptionist extraordinaire of Vegan Warrior Magazine/ ‘closet meat-eater’, is not happy with the way her life is going. Her dating life is a failure, she’s completely broke, and now her grandmother is forcing her to accompany her family on a trip to China to visit long lost relatives.
Except, this might just be the thing that Lindsay needs to turn her life around. Warm, moving, and hilariously funny, Keltner has seamlessly managed to balance the comedic and the surreal.
The Official Filthy Rich Handbook
While not fiction, strictly speaking, this is essential reading for anyone who enjoyed Crazy Rich Asians, and offers some pretty decent financial advice to boot.
This guide contains advice on everything from dinner party etiquette to the best time to buy a barrel of whiskey, and makes the perfect present for any aspiring Nick or Rachel...
China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan
Okay, so we’re cheating a little, but the obvious choice for anyone craving more Crazy Rich Asians is… Crazy Rich Asians.
Penning the sequel two years after his debut novel, Kevin Kwan delves deeper into the world of the Singaporean elite, with all the wit, charm and drama of the original, so you can enjoy more adventures with your favourite cast of nutty and affluent Asians, while we wait for the movie adaptation to hit the big screen this summer.
This article first appeared on hk.asiatatler.com.
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