The Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy Box Set
If you haven’t yet read the international bestselling books behind the summer’s box office blockbuster, what are you waiting for? Start with Crazy Rich Asians and read all about Rachel Chu visiting her boyfriend Nick Young’s family in Singapore, then move on to China Rich Girlfriend, where the identity of Rachel’s long-lost father is revealed, and finally, Rich People Problems, which shines a spotlight on other members of the Young family, including enigmatic Astrid. There’s a movie sequel in the works, so read the trilogy before it hits the big screen.
The Joy Luck Club
When The Joy Luck Club was adapted for film in 1993, it was the first Asian American-fronted film from a major studio and was a defining moment for Asian Americans in cinema. If you haven’t read this stunning novel of mothers, daughters, friendship, and the immigrant experience, pick it up immediately. In 1949, four Chinese women, all recent immigrants in San Francisco, gather together to tell stories, eat dim sum, and play mahjong. Throughout their conversations over the years, secrets are untangled, relationships become fraught with friction and are repaired, and their bonds offer an important sense of community in a new country.
If the images of opulent houses, shiny cars, and expensive handbags looked mouthwatering in the Crazy Rich Asians movie, you may want another story of wealth—this time, set in India. When Mr. Jha sells his website for a handsome sum of money, he and his wife can finally move out of their cramped apartment and away from their gossipy neighbors. They move to a super-rich part of Delhi, and Mr. Jha becomes obsessed with keeping up with the Chopras—hired bodyguards, Swarovski-studded couches—anything that helps him feel that he fits in as a man of status. Their change in wealth affects everything—their marriage, their relationship with their son, their friends—and the result is a hysterically funny read.
Fans of Crazy Rich Asians will love this coming-of-age novel about a young woman whose perfect life feels just a little bit…off. She’s studying for a PhD in Chemistry, a degree that will make her parents proud of her, and her successful boyfriend just asked her to marry him. But instead of joy, all she feels is uncertainty and doubt. When she veers off course, she ends up charting new territory that teaches her more about herself and what she’s made of.
The Kiss Quotient
The plucky heroine of this smart romance novel is Stella Lane, a 30-year-old mathematician with Asperger’s, whose algorithms predict customer behavior. Her job has made her plenty of money but hasn’t left her any time for dating—which is fine with her since French kissing grosses her out anyway. So, Stella takes a logical approach to her dating problem: she hires an expert, Michael Phan, to teach her the ins and outs of physical romance. But no amount of data could predict how Stella’s heart will react to their partnership.
The Bride Test
Another charmer from Helen Hoang, this time centering on Khai, an accountant who’s pretty content with the life he’s living. But his mother has other ideas, and she goes to her home country, Vietnam, to find a good match for Khai. Esme is a maid supporting her 5-year-old daughter and extended family, and when given the chance to fly to the U.S. and win over Khai, she jumps at it. But Khai has autism and is convinced that he simply can’t love. Will Esme prove him wrong?
A River of Stars
This debut novel centers on Scarlett Chen, a pregnant woman who moves from China to a home for unwed mothers in Los Angeles to give birth to her baby on American soil. She’s been impregnated by her boss, who’s eager for her to give birth to a boy—the son he’s always wanted. But when a sonogram reveals the unexpected, Scarlett flees the home and heads north to San Francisco, where she will fend for herself and try to grasp a small piece of the American dream.
Isolated in a world few understand, the members of the Van Ness Quartet—Jana, Brit, Daniel, and Henry—need one another, but mixing work and friendship is a tricky business no matter what industry you’re in. Through competitions, performances, solos, and sex, we watch the four musicians weave their ways from youthful ambition to a true profession. This is a book about friendship, chosen family, and the love of something as impossible to describe as the power of music.
A Place for Us
Fatima Farheen Mirza
Hadia wants her brother Amar at her wedding, and she made sure he got the message. Now that he’s here, though, he’s remembering the romance that made him leave in the first place: Amira, daughter of another prominent family, is at the wedding, too. But this gorgeous debut novel isn’t only about the family’s youngest generation: as we move back and forth in time, we learn this family’s history and hardship, their joys and fears as immigrants and first-generation Americans in a country so often hostile to them. We learn about what ripped them apart, and what binds them back together.
The movie adaptation of Kevin Kwan’s bestselling novel Crazy Rich Asians charmed millions— and grossed over $174 million to boot. If you saw the movie or read the books and you’re craving something else to read that will give you similar feels, check out these novels. All penned by Asian American authors, each story gets at the same heart and experience as Crazy Rich Asians does—and will charm and intrigue you in similar ways.
Featured Image: Sanja Bucko © 2017 Warner Bro. Entertainment Inc. and SK Global Entertainment