Book Candy x Crazy Rich Asians + Revenge Wears Prada

For a while now I’ve been on the hunt for another good book, but nothing has jumped out at me as of late.  My threshold for sad things is usually maxed out with movies and TV (I actually cried after the Game of Thrones “the Red Wedding” episode!!), so I tend to gravitate towards books that are lighter and happier in nature.  Sadly, I think I’ve finally hit the point where I’ve finished all the must-read chick-lit focused on the younger set and a lot of the genre’s recent offerings sound terribly bland. 

I walked into Chapters today for another quick lunch-break browse and walked out feeling like it was Christmas in July (or in this case June)!  I found not one, but two books that screamed “READ ME!”, which is great news for the quilted, black Kobo that has been relegated to the bottom of my nightstand drawer. 
I grabbed the first book off the shelf solely for the glittery gold cover and shocking pink title—“CRAZY RICH ASIANS” by Kevin Kwan.  Even if you weren’t interested in reading it, the book cover is so great that it would be worth purchasing, if only to display on a bookshelf or side table (seriously, it’s fabulous and the picture simply doesn’t do it justice!).  Here are a little about it from the publisher and a few reviews I came across:
Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
“Crazy Rich Asians is an unputdownably funny, original, modern novel. An outrageous satire of the Asian squillionaire set, this book is like a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice. The combination of gold homewares, couture, private jets, absurd social rules and snobbery is utterly hilarious. I actually couldn’t put this book down to eat or to watch Downtown Abbey.”
—Plum Sykes, bestselling author of Bergdorf Blondes
“Crazy Rich Asians is like Dynasty on steroids with more private jets, bigger houses, and a lot more money. It is the very definition of a beach read. I finished it over a weekend and by the end was longing to see the ridiculously extravagant and over-the-top world that Mr. Kwan had created…. I predict this will be the 50 Shades of Grey of this summer.”
—Michael Carl,
Yes, the title and cover art are what piqued my interest (the book could have seriously been about anything!), but a peek inside to discover that it was a tongue-in-cheek story about the outrageous and über-wealthy Asian set had me completely and 100% sold.  And yes, these people really do exist!  Think of whatever you consider to be wealthy and multiply it by a billion à la Rich Kids of Instagram—where one learns to drive on a Phantom and buys 6 Birkins because it’s a Tuesday. 
Having grown up in North America, I can relate to the culture shock of travelling back to Asia for vacations.  While the endless gossip, the obsession with family and reputation and the nonchalant manner in which they publicly point out that you’ve gained weight (despite the fact that you are only a size 2) seem almost normal to me now, I can’t wait to see Kwan’s take on the whole situation.  The current Good Reads rating (think of it as IMDB for books), shows an average of 3.88/5 (from 168 ratings) which is very promising, and I tend to trust these types of websites more than I do the never less-than-raving reviews printed on the book cover or website. 
The second book needs much less of an introduction.  The second I saw it on the shelf, my eyes widened and I grabbed it in the MINE MINE MINE kind of way that is usually reserved only for sample sales.  The man to my left in a helmet and bicycle shorts definitely looked perplexed, but I didn’t care because in my hands was the much-anticipated sequel to Lauren Weisberger’s the Devil Wears PradaRevenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns.  I absolutely loved the first book and the movie starring Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway is still possibly my favourite movie of all time.  Admittedly, I did read the book eons before watching the movie, so it wasn’t spoiled by the usual disappointment of when a movie doesn’t quite live up to what your imagination has concocted.  Here’s a little bit about the book from the publisher:      
Almost a decade has passed since Andy Sachs quit the job “a million girls would die for” working for Miranda Priestly at Runway magazine-a dream that turned out to be a nightmare. Andy and Emily, her former nemesis and co-assistant, have since joined forces to start a highend bridal magazine. The Plunge has quickly become required reading for the young and stylish. Now they get to call all the shots: Andy writes and travels to her heart’s content; Emily plans parties and secures advertising like a seasoned pro. Even better, Andy has met the love of her life. Max Harrison, scion of a storied media family, is confident, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. Their wedding will be splashed across all the society pages as their friends and family gather to toast the glowing couple. Andy Sachs is on top of the world. But karma’s a bitch. The morning of her wedding, Andy can’t shake the past. And when she discovers a secret letter with crushing implications, her wedding-day jitters turn to cold dread. Andy realizes that nothing-not her husband, nor her beloved career-is as it seems. She never suspected that her efforts to build a bright new life would lead her back to the darkness she barely escaped ten years ago-and directly into the path of the devil herself…
I was very disappointed to see that the current Good Reads rating was not nearly as complimentary for this book—it pulled in a measly 2.83/5 (from 731 ratings).  Nevertheless, this book will still remain on my reading list, since I liked some of Lauren Weisberger’s other novels and I loved the first one too much to completely ignore its sequel.  At least I can go into it with low expectations and the knowledge that this is nothing more than a fun read that I can always put down and come back to later on.  Plus, it would be nice to know what eventually happened to Andy Sachs, and maybe Hollywood will make magic happen and create a sequel that is way better than the book! (Yes? Maybe? Probably not, but oh well.  Fingers crossed!)
So, those are the two books that I’ll be reading next.  Yes, I know I’m such a geek but I’m so, so excited to sink my teeth into both of them!  I may also do a quick post once I finish to let you know what I thought. 
I’d love to hear what you have to say, so if you’ve read either of them let me know what you think!  Or if you have any other recommendations feel free to leave them below! 
With love,
Veronique ♥
P.S.  Here are some links, if you want to pick a copy up for yourself!
♥ Crazy, Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (released June 11, 2013) | Amazon or Chapters
♥ Revenge Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger (released June 04, 2013) | Amazon or Chapters (**Originally $29.99, the hardcover is currently on sale at Chapters for $16.99!)
[Disclaimer:  This is not a sponsored post.  These opinions are my own and are in no way indicative of the opinions or positions of any of the companies mentioned.]

Hot Summer Read x Gameboard of the Gods

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title  x  Gameboard of the Gods (Age of X #1)
author  x  Richelle Mead
genre  x  Adult Fiction
release date  x  June 4, 2013 – TODAY!!

my thoughts  x  Gameboard of the Gods is one of those light summer reads I simply couldn’t put down!  The exciting first installment of the Age of X series by #1 New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Richelle Mead, this is the perfect book to toss into your beach bag or curl up with on a lazy day!

a little bit about the book  x  From Richelle Mead’s website:

“In a futuristic world nearly destroyed by religious extremists, Justin March lives in exile after failing in his job as an investigator of religious groups and supernatural claims. But Justin is given a second chance when Mae Koskinen comes to bring him back to the Republic of United North America (RUNA). Raised in an aristocratic caste, Mae is now a member of the military’s most elite and terrifying tier, a soldier with enhanced reflexes and skills.

When Justin and Mae are assigned to work together to solve a string of ritualistic murders, they soon realize that their discoveries have exposed them to terrible danger. As their investigation races forward, unknown enemies and powers greater than they can imagine are gathering in the shadows, ready to reclaim the world in which humans are merely game pieces on their board.

Gameboard of the Gods, the first installment of Richelle Mead’s Age of X series, will have all the elements that have made her YA Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series such mega successes: sexy, irresistible characters; romantic and mythological intrigue; and relentless action and suspense.”

my review  x  Gameboard of the Gods caught my attention because I loved Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series (despite the name, I thought they were less Twilight and more Harry Potter-type)—they were both so addicting in that guilty pleasure kind of way where you want to ignore everything else and read the entire thing from cover to cover.  Chick-lit and YA fiction are definitely some of my guilty pleasures and what I often refer to as “book candy”, but since I generally tend to find the whole dystopian society thing rather depressing, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her new Age of X series.  However, in spite of my ambivalence towards the subject matter, Gameboard of the Gods did not disappoint and immediately left me wanting to know what happened next. 

I really liked how dynamic and complex both Justin and Mae’s characters were and thoroughly enjoyed the book’s unique take on ancient Greek gods and goddesses—a subject that I admittedly am very partial to.  It also contained all the signature elements—alluring characters and a gripping plot packed full of intrigue and suspense—that have made Richelle Mead’s other books so wildly popular.  Although it wasn’t my all-time favourite of her novels, I would definitely still recommend it to anyone looking for an exciting new read this summer because as soon as I picked it up, I had a hard time putting it down!  The only downside, since the book was only released to the public today, we probably have another year or so to wait before we can get our hands on the already much anticipated sequel!

my overall rating   4/5 stars

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price  x  $28.50 CAD from Chapters or $26.95 USD from Amazon
  052595368X / 9780525953685 

With love,
Veronique ♥

p.s. For all you fellow Vancouverites, it was a nice little surprise to see that the book mostly takes place in Vancouver, the future capital of the Republic of the United North America!

What were your thoughts on Gameboard of the Gods?  How do you think it compared to some of Mead’s other novels?

[Disclaimer: An advance reader copy of this book was sent to me for an honest review.  These opinions are my own and are in no way indicative of the opinions of the authors or companies mentioned.]