Rich People Problems-Review

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Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia’s greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance.

 

 

 

 

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Kewin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, returns with a splendid albeit drama-filled and utterly hilarious third installment in his series.Picture this, Nick Young learns that his “beloved” grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed. He along with the rest of his family rush to her bedside, to try to place themselves in line for the family’s fortune. Tyersall’s Park is the grand price, the biggest privately owned land in Sinagapore at this time, totaling around 64 acres.

“At that moment, Professor Oon knew something must have happened to Shang Su Yi. Only the Shangs had the kind of influence to turn around a Singapore Airplane flight with four hundred forty passengers onboard.”

Kwan here does an excellent job at setting up an overview of the family’s influence and power, this sentence alone got me hooked to the entire story. With one well-crafted sentence he has managed to convince me and inform me about what kind of characters I am to expect that I’ll be dealing with. If that’s not masterful writing, than I don’t know what is.

In this sweeping multi-generational and multi-cultural story, the meaning of family and money problems takes on a whole new meaning. Kwan includes drama, scandal, gossip, love, loss, and forgiveness all into this volume.

One of my major problems was with the many multiple POVs. Usually I’m very wary of the execution that comes with this story of varying narrators. For the first pages of almost all the chapters, I felt very disoriented and had to take a hot second to figure out who was narrating. You would think that it would be the best idea to put the character that’s speaking name in big bold letters, but here we’ve instead have the title of each chapter as in the location. \

“You can act all self-righteous in front of me right now, but believe me, when it is all taken away, you won’t know what hit you. Doors that have been open to you all your life will suddenly be closed, because in everyone’s eye you are nothing without Tyersall Park.”

Because of quotes like these, I would have personally preferred if we had more sections with Nick and Rachel, because I felt like they were the only decent and reasonable people in the whole lot of this messy family. Instead the author continues to extend the plotlines of those who have meaningless quarrels (*cough*Kitty*cough*) when I feel like we could have had more substance with focusing on Nick and Rachel.

Kwan has a knack for weaving character and their stories into a rich inter-connected tapestry. Everyone on the family is not only related and connected to one another, but also each of their lives have the potential to profoundly impact others. And that’s what makes this book so powerful.

**Thanks to the publisher.**

Review–It Happens All the Time

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Amber Bryant and Tyler Hicks have been best friends since they were teenagers—trusting and depending on each other through some of the darkest periods of their young lives. And while Amber has always felt that their relationship is strictly platonic, Tyler has long harbored the secret desire that they might one day become more than friends.

Returning home for the summer after her college graduation,Amber begins spending more time with Tyler than she has in years. Despite the fact that Amber is engaged to her college sweetheart, a flirtation begins to grow between them. One night, fueled by alcohol and concerns about whether she’s getting married too young,Amber kisses Tyler.

What happens next will change them forever.

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TW: rape, anorexia 

It Happens All the Time is one of the toughest books that I’ve had to review in a long time, in part due to the subject matter, and in part to the tangled emotions that I felt throughout. We start out with various timelines, but we know that Amber and Tyler are childhood best friends and have spent a significant part of eachother’s lives hanging out. Amber, who is now a training teacher and has her own independent live in Seattle, comes to visit her parents for Christmas. Old feelings stir up again in Tyler, who simply thinks that Amber is the only lover for him out there.

Now, if you don’t read author’s note, I would highly recommend that you take the time and read this one. It makes the intent of the story extremely clear and I appreciate that she brings certain issues directly into the light.

“The world is full of seemingly nice guys who assault women. Guys who don’t have healthy attitudes about women and sex in general, who see sex as something they are entitled to, who hurt women and don’t even know they are doing it because we don’t educate our young men on how not to become rapists.

I think that this is certainly one of the most powerful quotes that I have ever read about this topic, and I sat there sobbing over the truth that’s in it. As a part of society, viewing how other people and the media address consent and assault is often so frustrating. We hear things like “but he was a good guy who would never do that” and “but she was so drunk”, etc. which downgrades the truly traumatic experiences that these victims have gone through. In fact, there is this quote which perfectly addresses the type of toxic attitude that I’m talking about here:

“Our society always seems to blame the victim not the perpetrator, for a sexual crime. It says a woman shouldn’t dress provocatively or drink alcohol or have any kind of flirtation or interaction with a man because that means she is asking for him to do whatever he wants to do to her, even after she tells him no.”

Consent: such a valuable discussion that was handled extremely well by explanations from Amber’s therapy counselor, how hard it is for Amber to talk about how wrong her rape was in specific situations.

“I nodded, but I didn’t know how to tell her how wrong she was. That it’s possible for a man to interpret a woman’s initial permission as license to steamroll any boundary she may set after that. That once a woman says yes, it’s possible a man might not give a shit when she changes her mind.”

This was a timely and needed topic that was highlighted throughout the book’s message. I felt like the author was screaming: “non-consensual sex is never okay.”, which I could really get behind.

I felt like there was a lot of commentary of how parent’s raising can play a role how the characters view a certain situation. Tyler, for a big part of the book was in denial that this ever happened, couldn’t believe it. His father is everyone who I would hate, in a man or women, because he was manipulative, always thought that he should get whatever he wants with women, disrespectful to everyone around him, just an abhorrent human being.

Amber’s parents, on the over hand, were extremely overprotective of their only child who had a close brush with death, being a preemie. She’s sheltered pretty much her whole life, and is always treated like a “fragile” human. Through her teenage years, she suffered from a really horrible case of anorexia and it was almost painful to watch Amber go through that and to what degree she was hurting her body.

The problem was, none of the characters were easy to connect, or at least I wasn’t able to. Throughout any story, I want to feel for the characters, and there were extremely conflicting emotions about who they are and where they stand. Although a majority of this book was extremely hard-hitting, there was a distance/coldness which seemed to indicate a lack of connectivity.

**Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.**

Top 5 Wednesday-Summer Reads

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For the first time ever, I am participating in a tag that I have followed on booktube for a long time. Top 5 Wednesday is currently being hosted by Samantha from @thoughtsandtomes on booktube, and this week sound specifically fit for the season. Without further ado, let’s get right into it!

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Juliet Milagros Palante is leaving the Bronx and headed to Portland, Oregon. She just came out to her family and isn’t sure if her mom will ever speak to her again. But Juliet has a plan, sort of, one that’s going to help her figure out this whole “Puerto Rican lesbian” thing. She’s interning with the author of her favorite book: Harlowe Brisbane, the ultimate authority on feminism, women’s bodies, and other gay-sounding stuff.

5 out of 5 stars, loved, worship, and adore. Here’s my review if you want to know more of all of my thoughts and feels.

 

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So says 104-year-old Ona to the 11-year-old boy who’s been sent to help her out every Saturday morning. As he refills the bird feeders and tidies the garden shed, Ona tells him about her long life, from first love to second chances. Soon she’s confessing secrets she has kept hidden for decades.

So a little backstory to this. I got introduced to this magical story during a Summer Book Club that I was a part of online, and this was the first book selection that Anne Bogel chose. She absolutely blew it out of the ballpark, and the majority, including me completely adored this endearing story.

 

lilac.jpgThe lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.

If you are considering reading this WWII fiction masterpiece, I highly suggest that you do it on audio. There are three alternating narrators who I feel represent the voices of the character so well, with the perfect accent and touch that is needed. I couldn’t put this book down, it’s like a dark bedtime story that you never want to end.

ginny.jpgFor the first time in her life, Ginny Moon has found her “forever home”—a place where she’ll be safe and protected, with a family that will love and nurture her. It’s exactly the kind of home that all foster kids are hoping for. So why is this 14-year-old so desperate to get kidnapped by her abusive, drug-addict birth mother, Gloria, and return to a grim existence of hiding under the kitchen sink to avoid the authorities and her mother’s violent boyfriends?

As the first book that I’ve finished in 2017, this was an extraordinary tale of an autistic child in foster care who is holding on tightly to the past that she has constructed in her mind. It’s both moving, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking. A true gem out there in the literary world.

quietSteffi has been a selective mute for most of her life – she’s been silent for so long that she feels completely invisible. But Rhys, the new boy at school, sees her. He’s deaf, and her knowledge of basic sign language means that she’s assigned to look after him. To Rhys, it doesn’t matter that Steffi doesn’t talk, and as they find ways to communicate, Steffi finds that she does have a voice, and that she’s falling in love with the one person who makes her feel brave enough to use it.

There’s nothing like reading a fluffy romance filled with first love and teenage angst during those lazy summer days. This one is filled with especially adorable awkwardness and gives us a positive portrayal of teens who actually do care and are empathetic to other people. This checks off all  the boxes of a perfect beach read. Here’s my review if you are interested in my further.


What summer reads are on your TBR? Please feel free to share below any suggestions/recommendations below:

3 Mini Reviews For Asian Lit Bingo

As you might know if you follow along on my blog, this month I am participating in the May challenge of Asian Lit Bingo, which I’m so excited to be making progress on. If you haven’t seen it yet, here’s my Asian Lit Bingo TBR. In this post, I will be doing a middle-of-the-month update which will include three mini reviews about which books I read and my thoughts.

But first, a look at the updated bingo board:

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday #2

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Diversity Spotlight Thursday, is a weekly meme, which was created from the lovely Aimal @ Bookshelves and Paperbacks. Each and every week, we share 3 books: one that we’ve read and loved, one that was released that you haven’t yet read, and one that’s not released but you want to read.

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Queens of Geek-Review

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When BFFs Charlie, Taylor and Jamie go to SupaCon, they know it’s going to be a blast. What they don’t expect is for it to change their lives forever. 

Charlie likes to stand out. SupaCon is her chance to show fans she’s over her public breakup with co-star, Reese Ryan. When Alyssa Huntington arrives as a surprise guest, it seems Charlie’s long-time crush on her isn’t as one-sided as she thought.

While Charlie dodges questions about her personal life, Taylor starts asking questions about her own.

Taylor likes to blend in. Her brain is wired differently, making her fear change. And there’s one thing in her life she knows will never change: her friendship with Jamie—no matter how much she may secretly want it to. But when she hears about the Queen Firestone SupaFan Contest, she starts to rethink her rules on playing it safe.

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