Reviews and Other Stuff

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Kevin Kwan’s “Crazy Rich Asians” Book Review

“I have no idea who these people are. But I can tell you one thing— these people are richer than God” – Peik Lin, character from Crazy Rich Asians.

 

Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians Book

 

Here’s a bold satirical book that will surely crack you up. This book is purely entertaining and fun to read. It’s a romantic comedy that will not only make you chuckle but it will also touch your heart, especially towards the end of the book. It’s an interesting fast read with a no-nonsense type of writing. Each character is very well developed, so much so that even if you’re not rich, filthy rich or crazy rich, you will still find this book to be a great summer read.

 

I found out about this book when I read an article that talked about an upcoming romantic comedy film with an all-Asian cast. I thought, now that’s gonna be interesting, and of course, the upcoming film is entitled and based on this Crazy Rich Asians book by Kevin Kwan.

 

In the first few pages of the novel, you’ll find a family tree of The Young Family, The T’sien and The Shang Clan. It’s a great reference as to who the characters are, where they came from, and in which family they belong. You will find yourself constantly coming back to this for reference while reading the book. This means to show that there’s a lot of characters involved. But there’s a few main ones that are the main focus of the story. Don’t worry, I won’t be spoiling the entire story here, but I’ll give you a glimpse of what the story is all about.

 

Kevin Kwan’s "Crazy Rich Asians" Book Review

 

Rachel Chu is a Chinese-born American and an NYU Economics Professor living in NYC with her boyfriend Nick Young who hails from Singapore and is also a History Professor at NYU. Nick’s best friend Collin, is getting married in Singapore and Nick is invited, so is Rachel. She’s never been there and she has no idea about Nick’s family history nor his complete background. Meanwhile, Astrid, Nick’s cousin living in Singapore is a jet-setting lady with troubles of her own. She warns Nick to tell Rachel about who and what their family really is. Also, Eleanor is Nick’s mom who loves him dearly and only wants the best for him. She’s eager to meet her son when he arrives in Singapore but changed her mind when she found out that he’s coming with his Chinese-American girlfriend, whom she’s never met before. Su Yi is Nick’s grandma who also loves him dearly but she has her own mind and sets of standards. Peik Lin is Rachel Chu’s former classmate and best friend from Singapore. Read how their lives will come together in one big funny mess, especially when Rachel finds out who Nick really is, his entire family and relatives’ history and background.

 

Kevin Kwan’s "Crazy Rich Asians" Book

 

This novel depicts the lifestyle of the crazy rich Asians in a larger than life way, It’ll shock you to the bones and you’ll find yourself being transported to their world while laughing at the same time. It’s a lighthearted take on the lives of the people who have too much for their own good and also a tearjerker towards the last few chapters. There’s moral lessons to learn and several insights to ponder.

 

The Crazy Rich Asians Book is a trilogy by the author Kevin Kwan. It is available in amazon.com

 

The Book 2 (China Rich Girlfriend) is also available at amazon.com as well as the Book 3 (Rich People Problems)

 

For more book reviews and sneak peeks, follow on Instagram: @reviewsandotherstuff

 

 

The Handmaid’s Tale (Audio) Book & TV Series Review

“Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum”

 

the handmaid's tale Margaret Atwood

 

In what could be one of the most shocking and unforgettable books I’ve ever read, The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood is classic but at the same time, it’s also timely. It has one of the most terrifying and one of the saddest stories I’ve ever read and it makes you imagine what would happen if the plot in the book would actually come true? This book is a story of women’s struggles in a theocratic military dictatorship called The Republic of Gilead. Written in the first person, we see the mindset of a woman narrating and calling herself Offred, but that is not her real name. She’s just named after her Commander Fred, where she lives with and his wife Serena Joy. She’s some kind of their temporary property, thus calling her “Of Fred”. Offred has a role to fulfill, she’s what their society would call, a Handmaid. Handmaids are women of childbearing age, fertile and had committed gender and social crimes according to Gilead’s law. They’re dressed in almost all red with white-winged hats and they’re assigned to a commander and his wife’s household to bear them a child. That’s because the population of the Republic of Gilead is dwindling and they badly need new births.

 

Offred is constantly having flashbacks of her world “before” and her world “now”. You see, she once lived a normal life, something close to what we have now, and she once had a family and friends. Life is definitely difficult for her new reality, but it’s not just her. The same is true with all the women around her. In the Republic of Gilead, women are classified as wives, aunts, Marthas, handmaids, econowives, etc. Unfortunately, they all don’t seem to get along and that their government is seriously watching their back. It’s a bleak bleak world, one that you’d never want to happen to yourself or even to your enemy. Offred’s ordeal of giving her commander and his wife a child is something that will shock you, will make you contemplate, and will make you sad. The world of Offred is never easy, but hers is a story of survival and hope even in the faintest way possible.

 

the handmaid's tale book review

 

A lot of people sort of equate the book with feminism, however, I think there is actually a very subtle hint of feminism in it, and the main character Offred didn’t seem to be the type to show it much. What she is in the book is a survivalist and she’s shown endurance despite the world she’s in. Her prevailing attitude is what probably made her a feminist of some sort. She’s indeed an interesting character because she shows obedience and submissiveness on the outside while she’s feisty inside. She remained observant of her new environment without being compromised, and while she didn’t show much defiance in the book, she definitely did in the TV series. Yes, this is the book that finally made me sign up to Hulu and let me tell you, I didn’t regret it. I wasn’t really into Hulu before because I already have Netflix, but hey Hulu’s great, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Hulu is even greater. The series is almost true to the book with a few add-ons and Elisabeth Moss fits the bill as Offred. There are more themes of feminism in the series, and the whole plot seems more shocking and scary. The cinematography is great and the acting is perfect. Serena Joy (Commander Fred’s wife) is being portrayed by Yvonne Strahovski which seems quite a bit young for the role, but she did a phenomenal job. Overall, I love the series a lot even though at times it’s kind of hard to watch. The story is never for the faint of heart, I tell you.

 

The audiobook is also great to listen to. it’s narrated by Homeland’s Claire Danes and she sounds very convincing in her narrations, bringing to life Offred’s struggle and personality. Another best part of the book is towards the end where you start to understand the real story behind Gilead and what might have happened to Offred. Hmmm, a cliffhanger eh? The Handmaid’s Tale is a speculative dystopian novel that was once controversial but has been awarded multiple times. The book will make you think and wonder “What would happen if one day you lose your basic right as a woman or even as a human being?” What would you do? Would you conform? Or would you not let the bastards grind you down?

 

The Handmaid’s Tale Book by Margaret Atwood is available in Amazon.com

 

The Audiobook is available in Audible.com

 

While the TV series is available in Hulu.com

 

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Alex Marwood’s “The Killer Next Door” Book Review

Everyone who lives at 23 Beulah Grove has a secret”.

 

Alex Marwood’s “Killer Next Door” Book Review

 

Hi Bookworms! here’s a bone-chilling novel that I recently finished, it’s called “The Killer Next Door” by Alex Marwood. Yes, the title is as intriguing and gruesome as the story. It circles around the lives of the six residents, namely;

 

Cher: A teenage runaway with attitude issues.

Vesta: An elderly woman who seems to have lived in the boarding house for forever and has monetary issues.

Collette: The main character who’s running away from someone or something, and whose real name is Lisa.

Hossein: A middle eastern refugee who just wants to forget.

Gerard: A recluse and a former music teacher.

Thomas. Another oddball who also likes to keep to himself and is currently occupying the attic.

 

Together with their creepy landlord Roy Preece, this is a story of a harrowing life in the city of London, where the residents live in a Victorian-style but dilapidated boarding house. All of them have secrets to hide, and all of them seem to be running away from their sordid past. Preferring to forget and remain incognito. Most of the time, they like to keep to themselves and are always wary.

 

The residents seem to enjoy the anonymity that the building has offered, yet things aren’t always what they seem. There will be a terrible accident that will unite them together, and one of them is hiding a very deep dark secret. Much darker than what each of them already have. This is a tale of life, secrets, friendships, love, reality, wickedness, obsession and murder. This aint’ a tale for the faint of heart, not even for someone with a weak stomach. The details of the story are lurid, grotesque and almost scary.

 

 

killer next door Alex Marwood book review synopsis

 

Even though the story was intriguing and had a pretty satisfying ending with a good twist, this was a slow read for me. I like the whole concept of the story but it transitions from one event to another very slowly. The audiobook was the same, even though I kinda like the reader because she has different voices for each character. Yet still, the book was told in the third person being from the point of view of each character, and I still find that to be kinda hard to connect. Just not a fan of the third person narration, and it was also hard to follow as to who was who in the story. The first half was quite monotonous and the story starts to take hold almost at the end of the book. There’s few twists, but they weren’t so mind-bending. Some arguments were already expected and the overall pace of the book could need a little more push.

 

Overall, the book is riveting enough and the author truly captures the thoughts and struggles of each character while depicting the plot as realistic as can be. A good series adaptation would be great. I heard James Franco might be starring on it. I really hope so.

 

Have you read this book?

 

To purchase this book on paperback, click HERE.

To read via kindle, click HERE.

To listen to this novel via audible, click HERE.

 

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