Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

This is one of those unusual situations for me – i watched the movie before i read the book. This time around i didn’t read the book first because i heard about the movie before the book and there was such hype about it, we just decided to watch it.

It was a good movie, which showcased some parts of Singapore but we felt that it showed little of what Singapore is really like or how the average Singaporean lives. But of course, the story had little to do with the average Singaporean.

41rujicffol._sx327_bo1204203200_i thought i would read the book to see if there was more to it. While there was not much about normal Singaporean life, it did have more.

It contained, as expected of a book, so many more layers and sub-plots than a movie can present. i also felt that the movie presented a few of the characters in quite a different light than the book did. But again, this was not out of the ordinary for a movie adaption.

i, of course, liked the book better! No surprise there. The book followed not just the story of Nicholas and Rachel but also of Nicholas’ cousin, Astrid. Kwan keeps us on the edge by moving between the storylines, yet maintaining a strong link between the various plots and really showing off how complex family relations can get in a large, wealthy Asian family. It was great to have the family tree at the beginning of the book to guide us through the complicated who’s related to who bits.

i love how the various cousins and aunts are all trying to get a piece of the action by being their super KP (kaypoh = colloquial for busybody) selves and stepping over what most would consider normal family actions/reactions. In this aspect, i feel Kwan has done a good job.

i also enjoyed the ending which doesn’t quite tie all things up in a nice bow, we leave the story sort of in the middle of the action and this gives the reader room to imagine what might happen after. It gives a nice sense that their stories are not at an end, that there is more to come.

If you want to learn some Singaporean slang, dive into the completely upside-down world of the super-rich and a good Romeo/Juliet-type story, then this is the read for you.

Happy Reading!

syc

Book Review: Off the Page by Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer

i love Jodi Picoult’s books. i have a collection. Her stories have such a big heart at the center of them and they usually make me think about the issues they touch on.

offthepage20191009This one, however, i feel, is more light-hearted than usual. This is, of course, aimed at the YA reader rather than her usual adult audience. It still has a ton of heart in it but the issues are different from what she usually tackles and i feel that is what makes it refreshing.

i also wanted to read this book because it is a collaboration between Picoult and her daughter, what an interesting prospect; to be able to work with and create something with your own child.

Off the Page is the sequel to Between the Lines, however, it does well as a stand-alone. i have not read the prequel but now i want to.

Which young person does not dream of a happily-ever-after? Almost everyone does. But this book explores what one might have to give up for that happily-ever-after? Would you still want the happily-ever-after, even if it’s different from your ideal vision of it?

It takes the classic story of The Prince and The Pauper and turns it into a modern fairytale with quite a few unexpected twists and turns. Oliver, a prince from a book, and the love of his life, Delilah, are finally together, in the real world. But strange things happen which seem to indicate that the universe is pulling them apart. Edgar, who agreed to switch places with Oliver and go live in the book-world, is less than happy as the book seems to not want him to dictate how the story goes. Delilah’s best friend is also pulled into the book, literally. To complicate matters, Edgar’s mother, who is the author of the story Oliver is from, needs saving too.

i really love how they wrote the story from different perspectives and show us how different characters felt and wanted. It really built a fuller story. i also like dedication at the end, it talks about how every one of us has a story, whether or not it’s written yet.

So if you are up for an easy read, which has a bit of excitement, a fair bit of romance and lots of emotions, this is one for you.

Happy Reading!

syc

Book Review: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown…

Wow! It has been almost a year since i last posted a book review. i have been reading just not books and…

Confession: i did get stuck reading this Dan Brown book. Stuck as in it didn’t interest me enough to keep going at my normal reading pace. It took me a good few months to finish.

thelostsymbolDanBrown20190828Now, this is not the first Dan Brown book i have read. i have read two others and i quite enjoyed those. So i thought i would enjoy reading another one. i did, eventually, enjoy this one BUT it took a while for the story to get going. i remembered that Brown is usually quite quick to draw you in but for this particular one, at least to me, it seemed as if he took his time in setting up quite a bit of background and i felt it took too long for the action to really kick in. i was a third of the way into the book before it really hooked me. Truth be told, i almost gave up reading it a few times. However, i knew he was a good writer and plowed through to the “i-can’t-wait-to-turn-the-page” stage.

So we meet Dr Robert Langdon again, and he is once again caught up in a dark chase of some myth, which yet again, he does not truly believe in. But this time more is at risk; the life of his dear friend and mentor, Peter Solomon, and Peter’s sister, Katherine, as well as his own life.

i enjoyed how he drew on Masonic legends as well as an obscure branch of science, Noetic Science, entwining the secrets of these with important monuments in Washington D.C. The antagonist was a pretty scary character; a man so focused on his goal that he would do anything to get it. However, it was a goal based on his own interpretation of what this ancient legend claims to bestow upon the one who finds it. Such a single-minded man is frightening yet at the end, i pitied him because he was misled by his own desperate need to be recognised.

As always, the book is also filled with codes to crack and mysterious persons who help Langdon on his quest.

Would i recommend this book? Yes, if you like puzzles and mysteries, and don’t mind a bit more background setup at the start.

Have you read this book? Or maybe another Dan Brown book? Did you enjoy it? Care to share your thoughts?

syc