I read Crazy Rich Asians a few years ago while on a cruise because it seemed like the perfect book for that type of setting. Despite enjoying it, I was in no rush to read the sequel China Rich Girlfriend because it seemed like a good stand alone novel, and I wasn’t sure I saw the need to continue.
While China Rich Girlfriend continues the story of Nick and Rachel, their story isn’t the main plot of this novel. Instead it introduces a few new characters, including Rachel’s long lost father from mainland China, his wife and his son, Carlton, and Carlton’s crowd who make the Singapore and Hong Kong set look tame. Another ongoing story involves Kitty Pong, a soap opera actress married to Hong Kong billionaire, who is trying to make her way into the most elite circles of Hong Kong society.
It also reintroduces characters from the previous novels, and it was far enough since my reading of the first novel that I had hard time placing some of the characters – a family tree would have been a great addition to the novel! My favorite parts involved following Astrid, Nick’s cousin, whose marriage was on the rocks in the first book. In the first book, Astrid’s husband had a hard time dealing with his wife’s family connections and background and let her wealth get to his head, affecting their marriage. Now, Michael has money and success in his own right but while it has changed the marriage dynamic, the book explores whether that change was actually the improvement Astrid tries to tell herself that it is.
Overall, I enjoyed this one a lot as well, but while it has a clear ending point, this one calls for a sequel more than Crazy Rich Asians since I was waiting for some resolution regarding a relationship with a certain grandmother. Fortunately for me, the third novel is already available, one of the benefits of being a few years behind the times when it comes to new releases.