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Find all of my reviews at I requested this thinking I was a total longshot at getting approved I mean this Kevin guy might have a career in writing, know what I m saying If you know me you know I m not super big on books in a series so I ve been awaiting the day Kwan would break out of the Crazy Rich Asian world and introduce us to some new characters I about pooped myself when I received the approval and couldn t wait to start Especially after coming off a book high with The Heart s Invisible Furies I was 100% interested in something light and fun in order to cure my book hangover This may not have been a Rachel and Nick story, but from the cover alone I knew I was going to get to experience the opulence my real life contains zero of You know what I m talking about What I did not know I was getting A modernization of my favorite book of all time That was like pass the smelling salts please cause momma bout to pass out from excite You might want to take my rating with a grain of salt, because I am absolutely biased here That being said, I read a lot of modernizations usually PP, but I do mix it up with Shakespeare retellings and others occasionally and thought this one was well done and oh so much fun It doesn t come out until July sorry , but that s the perfect time to soak up some sun and read about rich people vacationing in Capri and the Hamptons anyway so add it to the TBR if you need to treat yo self ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Thank you, NetGalley 3.5 stars My first Kwan read was a hit for me I was quickly hooked with all the quirky characters and the location I didn t even like any of the characters and still I enjoyed this read very much, it was hard to put down The visuals were amazing, Mr Kwan writes images so beautifully We star is one of the most stunning places, Capri Italy Lucie and her cousin chaperon are there for a wedding Not a normal wedding, no imagine having an endless budget and a need to wow the world type wedding and you d still to get close It was a jaw dropping experience While there she manages to meet a sexy Chinese man, one her family and friends would not approve of In this world money and status comes trumps love every time Too bad they keep getting thrown together and the feelings are real, even if not welcome.Lucie is half Asian and was raise all her life not to let down her family Avoiding her Asian heritage trying to blend in with her billionaire friends She s nasty, racist, a chameleon, who judges all based on her narrow views I never grew to like her at all. YES YES YES The other day I was thinking about how I miss the Crazy Rich Asians books and now we re getting new Kevin Kwan content Release Date July 14th 2020 ps this book is not part of the Crazy Rich Asians series While this doesn t have the freshness and breezy comedy of Crazy Rich Asians, it s another fun romance Lucie is sweet but lacks the character of Rachel and there s no good reason for her original antagonism to gorgeous George What I like about Kwan is that he sends up snobbery and excess while being fundamentally good natured on Auden I m going to speak about the role of mindfulness in resolving global conflict and even awful Cecil with his weekly appointment with a wealth psychologist is actually a poor little rich boy I haven t read A Room With A View on which this is based but the story stands alone and there s no question where the resolution is going cute and contemporary, a sunny, feel good romance which left me with a smile on my face.Thanks to Random House Cornerstone for an ARC via NetGalley. [ FREE EPUB ] ♸ Sex and Vanity ♕ The Iconic Author Of The Bestselling Phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians Returns With A Glittering Tale Of Love And Longing As A Young Woman Finds Herself Torn Between Two Worlds The WASP Establishment Of Her Father S Family And George Zao, A Man She Is Desperately Trying To Avoid Falling In Love WithOn Her Very First Morning On The Jewel Like Island Of Capri, Lucie Churchill Sets Eyes On George Zao And She Instantly Can T Stand Him She Can T Stand It When He Gallantly Offers To Trade Hotel Rooms With Her So That She Can Have The View Of The Tyrrhenian Sea, She Can T Stand That He Knows About Curzio Malaparte Than She Does, And She Really Can T Stand It When He Kisses Her In The Darkness Of The Ancient Ruins Of A Roman Villa And They Are Caught By Her Snobbish, Disapproving Cousin, Charlotte Your Mother Is Chinese So It S No Surprise You D Be Attracted To Someone Like Him, Charlotte Teases Daughter Of An American Born Chinese Mother And Blue Blooded New York Father, Lucie Has Always Sublimated The Asian Side Of Herself In Favor Of The White Side, And She Adamantly Denies Having Feelings For George But Several Years Later, When George Unexpectedly Appears In East Hampton Where Lucie Is Weekending With Her New Fianc , Lucie Finds Herself Drawn To George Again Soon, Lucy Is Spinning A Web Of Deceit That Involves Her Family, Her Fianc , The Co Op Board Of Her Fifth Avenue Apartment, And Ultimately Herself As She Tries Mightily To Deny George Entry Into Her World And Her Heart Moving Between Summer Playgrounds Of Privilege, Peppered With Decadent Food And Extravagant Fashion, Sex And Vanity Is A Truly Modern Love Story, A Daring Homage To A Room With A View, And A Brilliantly Funny Comedy Of Manners Set Between Two Cultures
THE AUTHOR OF CRAZY RICH ASIANS IS WRITING ANOTHER BOOKI NEED IT 2.5 rounded upKevin Kwan s new novel, Sex and Vanity is a modern retelling of A Room with a View, however this time the story is set in the mid 10s, between 2014 and 2019 as opposed to the early 1900s setting of the original , with Kwan keeping the location in Italy but relocating the story to Capri and the Amalfi Coast as opposed to Florence Fair warning though this novel is also a bit of a hot mess in some ways, but I d venture that if you enjoys Kwan s brand of writing in the Crazy Rich Asians 1 series then you ll find something to enjoy here too.I must admit that I haven t read the original novel, however after a cursory glance at its synopsis and a number of reviews it appears that this adaptation is pretty faithful to the original in terms of characters and plot perhaps a little too faithful The story feels a bit clumsy in some ways, and I think a fair bit of that comes down to this attempt at faithfulness to the original content the characters, particularly Lucie and Charlotte in the earlier sections in Capri, speak like they ve come straight out of an Austen novel on one page and are flustered by certain events which I won t mention for fear of spoilers , then on the next they re using modern day expletives and acting in a totally different manner The same can be said for specifically Lucie s personality she s weirdly conservative and comes across as very naive earlier on, and feels like a half sketched imitation of a character.That said, if you re looking for an easy, breezy, check out your brain kind of read like I was when I picked this up, it ll tick most of the boxes Later sections veered pretty closely to sounding like they were bonus chapters from the Crazy Rich Asians series, with vapid characters competing to sound the most rich and brash, fashionable and cool.A modern retelling which probably won t please fans of the original, but entertained this reader for one sunny afternoon of reading under lockdown and pretending I was in Capri too Thank you Netgalley and Random House UK Cornerstone for the advance copy, which was provided in exchange for an honest review. free review copy Let me be the first to say I adored the CRA series on audio and have such vivid memories of the listening experience And I was super excited for this one And I really did enjoy the first part when they were in Capri 4.5 stars for that Then it fell off a cliff for me, I m sorry to say Oh well, I ll read future works by Kwan and hope for better next time. On her first day on the island of Capri, Lucie Churchill yes, one of those Churchills sets her eyes on George Zao, and finds an instant attraction They spend time together during her vacation, and ultimately she gives him up, torn between how her WASP family would view her relationship with an Asian man Years later, Lucie is engaged and bumps into George Sparks fly, but what does it mean Did Cecil write this Because it completely sounds like something Cecil would write.I feel like Kwan was trying too hard to recreate the success of Crazy Rich Asians while also doing a Jane Austen retelling within the upper stratospheres of rich WASP society, and it didn t quite work It s going to be a pop up on Newtown Lane, right next to James Perse We re going to start small at first and offer an Ayurvedic juice bar, qigong, puppy yoga, breath work meditation, and maybe some sound healing See what the community responds to.I feel that part of the issue was he tried to do too much a scathing expose of WASP racism, a Jane Austen retelling, some mixed media aspects, and recapturing the gossipy and catty tone of CRA, complete with its name dropping of all the Right brands and some gauche riche brands and everything else.While I liked that he did rip into cultural appropriation and racial microaggressions, I felt like it didn t go far enough And that eventually the parody of the way white yogic gurus culturally appropriate, mutate, rebrand and sell back a traditional religion waseventually also kinda adopted as okay in its ridiculousness I also felt that the first half was far too long The summary made it feel like the first part in the past would be a brief prologue, but Capri was nearly half the book The rest felt rushed and boring and artificial.Plus the two leads were bland as mayonnaise.Aside from her final moment, Lucie had absolutely no backbone or personal agenda The lack of a backbone was completely justified based on her upbringing with her racist grandmother, who would dress her up in culturally inappropriate clothing as a child and call her her little China doll, but the lack of personal agenda was alsoI dunno She just went along with the flow the entire book, and did whatever was expected of her She was something to everyone without ever feeling like a real person herself.And George wasI could never get a good read on George He was a self named eco warrior who fought for sustainable housing and eco friendly other shit, but he never seemed to reflect on his own wealth or did anything about his family s environmentally damaging shipping industry He felt like a hypocrite in his own way, wearing the best clothing and jet setting across the world while advocating for environmentally sustainable solutions for the lower classes He was a champion surfer A glorious specimen of man A hippy dude A billionaire focused on the environment while living the high life Obsessed with architecture and the love of one woman Basically, he was Leonardo diCapriominus the love of one woman thing.I did appreciate the subtle shout outs to Crazy Rich Asians though.It did do a fantastic job of capturing the racism and exclusionary practices of the upper, upper crust WASP community, and the name dropping and scrabbling among the lesser wealthy to elevate their own status It did a decent job retelling Persuasion I think this is the one it was retelling , what with Lucie refusing George because of his ethnicity and her interracial identity coupled with her upbringing and not wanting to further sully her family her grandmother and family did a number on her , and a sex scandal that wasn t.And Cecil was an absolute asshat although one that you could kiiiiiiinda root for, since he was trying to break into the upper crust, so Kwan succeeded in that Overall, this wasn t a bad book I appreciate what it was trying to do, although it failed on the execution.There was a lot of vanity, and not a whole lot of sex I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review UPDATE Looking at reviews I m realizing this was intended to be a retelling of A Room With A View Which I have not read, so I can t really comment on how well it was executed As soon as I heard Kevin Kwan was releasing a new book, I wanted to snap it up But while there are some similarities with Crazy Rich Asians, Sex and Vanity is also quite different, for both good and ill This is less fluffy, substantive, but doesn t always come together the way I wanted it to What Sex and Vanity does really well is tackle big issues like racism, internalized racism, and the complexities of being of mixed race The early portion of the book has of the fun and silly tone you see in Crazy Rich Asians, but it becomes much serious and that sometimes meshes less well with the often flippant style of writing Uneven pacing and a plot arc that involves cheating on a somewhat clownish significant other also detracted from the overall story.Lucie Churchill is from elite lineage, but struggles with her biracial identity With a white dad and a Chinese mom, she never feels white enough or Asian enough and deals with a lot of internalized racism, partly due to microagressions from her WASPish family The first half of this book takes place across a few days at a wedding when she is 19, but the rest of the book is spread out and takes place a few years later This pacing feels a little weird and sometimes plodding, especially because we are primarily follow Lucie s story rather than a whole cast of characters We do get other perspectives occasionally, but Lucie is clearly the MC I did really like seeing Lucie s journey toward love and self acceptance, but along the way that includes kind of cheating on her fiancee and I wish that had been handled differently And the fiancee is portrayed as very ridiculous Including a strange scene involving his desire for role playing during sex that I think is intended to be funny, but for me was just awkward and cringe worthy Ultimately, I had mixed feelings on this one I liked what Kwan was trying to do here, but I m not sure it always quite landed I received an advance copy of this book for review from the publisher All opinions are my own.