Cover Image: Sex and Vanity

Sex and Vanity

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Member Reviews

Loved, loved, loved! Such a fun summer read with interesting characters that keeps you interested and wanting to keep reading. Pulls you in from the start and takes you into a whole other world!
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Like all of Kevin Kwan's "Crazy Rich Asians" collection, this book is incredibly fun to read and very quick. He explores the world of the very wealthy and the problems that evolve as a result. This is a great recommendation for right now, when folks are looking for an escape.
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Thanks NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.  OMG, is anyone else now bff's with Kevin Kwan?!?! Because after reading 4 of his books, it certainly feels like that.  It's like sitting down and listening to someone completely unfold their family drama, and you just soak in the magic of the catastrophe that it is.  I loved it, Kwan paints such a vivid picture of the locations, and what you can't imagine, you can Google.   Getting you completely immersed in the well-being of all the characters involved is something like a specialty for him.  And that ending, simply spectacular scene, I could only imagine how beautifully it would play out on  the big screen.  Magic!!!!!
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I made it to the 20% mark (page 63), and I unfortunately did not enjoy this. I had to DNF it. 

This seemed like such a fun and easy book to fly through, and it probably is for a lot of people. I know everyone loves this author. 

However, the writing style and the characters were too much for me. I don't think I enjoy reading about so many posh people in one book. Therefore, putting it down was really my only option.

I really wanted to love this!
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I missed that this was a homage to A Room With a View, but I caught on pretty quickly!  Many of the names are the same, and while the settings are different, the plots are very similar. Kwan't wry observations and asides are amusing - character are introduced by the schooling and we "hear" the inner thoughts of society women as they size each other up and engage in the dance of words and social dominance.. There was lots of buzz about this titles and I maybe expected too much. Since I knew the plot I was hoping for more scenery along the ride, but it was still fun drive around the world of the rich and Instagram famous.
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If you loved the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, you will love this book. It’s filled with lots of glitz and glamour. Thank you NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.
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I was so excited for a new Kevin Kwan book, even one that is not really part of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. However, I really had a hard time getting through this book. The characters felt flat, and the plot and setting revolve around name-dropping and superficial description. This one I can’t really recommend, but I’ll still read the next one he writes.
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A fun addition to the CRAZY RICH ASIANS series. Kevin Kwan’s arch wit, descriptive powers and deep knowledge of the world he describes — the peculiarly insular universe of the Pacific Rim’s mega-rich clans — make the narrative fun, even if you’re perhaps a bit less invested in these characters than you were in the protagonists of the first two Kwan books.
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I wanted to love this book, but I had a really hard time getting into it. I couldn’t connect with the characters and it just felt off to me.
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Lots of name dropping in a girl meets boy, girl avoids boy, girl meets the wrong boy, and love triumphs over all story. Perfect summer read for when the days of corona have you down.
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I had such high hopes for this novel as I am a huge fan of the Crazy Rich Asian series. Unfortunately, this one fell flat for me. It seemed like a cheap rip off of CRA, sans the extravagance and charm that Kwan created in his earlier novels. Cecil and Lucie's relationship was quite unrealistic, there were no redeeming qualities about him. George's relationship with Lucie was just as unrealistic. 2/5.
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As always, a copy of this book was provided by the author or publisher in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.    

We all know how much I love writing that reminds me of my beloved, dishy, dripping with pearls and scandal, reading origin story. In so many ways, Kevin Kwan is kind of like Cecily von Ziegesar for the modern age. Except, with every book he releases, he's kind of like, to translate it into meme speak (that's now a thing, okay?), "I am you but stronger."

Crazy Rich Asians was truly that book. It fed into all my luxurious, romantic, delectable and gossipy desires. Which ultimately made me want to grab a drink, sit out by the pool (well, okay, fine I don't have one) and plan my next power move. So, Sex and Vanity had a lot to live up to. Of course Kwan delivered. He made this spin on A Room with a View all the more indulgent, witty, and completely enjoyable.

Of course, it's important to note that this is not Crazy Rich Asians nor should you expect it to be. I really shouldn't have to say that, but it needed to be done anyways. Kwan's delightful tone is ever-present and it's easy to see hints of A Room with a View throughout the narrative as it mixes with a new, romantic feeling. Sex and Vanity encompasses all the qualities a good retelling should: it stays firm in its familiarity, but it updates it in a way that feels equally nostalgic and new.

As always, there's this smooth and sharp quality to Kwan's prose. It always goes down easy and makes you immediately want to ring up your best friend and say, "Oh my God, did you--" But, there is this underlying sharpness to it that makes you want to nod your head. You're not always going to like every single character, but that's part of Sex and Vanity's charm: I love them and sometimes, I love to hate them.

Ultimately, I had a lot of fun with Sex and Vanity. It was romantic, fun, and as welcoming as a cool breeze on a summer's day. Sex and Vanity should be at the top of any reader's beach reads list this year and is perfect for fans of Cecily von Ziegesar, Katharine McGee, and the iconic author himself: Kevin Kwan.
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I loved Crazy Rich Asians and I was so looking forward to Sex and Vanity. However, I had a tough time embracing this story. The story was a tale leading up to and about a big lavish wedding like the one in Crazy Rich Asians. Sex and Vanity is Kwan’s retelling of the 1908 E.M. Foster novel. And as such, it is a very good story. However, I must admit, as far as style, it just felt way too similar to Crazy Rich Asians.
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Kevin Kwan's Sex and Vanity attempts to tackle highly complex issues within the context of a few hundred pages rather not deftly. Where in Kwan's previous series we were given a glimpse in a layered and loving way a complex society foreign to many of us Sex and Vanity struggles to hit the perfect mix of social message and summer beach read. The main character, Lucy, was lightly developed and more could have been done to round out the characters of her mother and brother. I wanted so badly to love this book but found myself frowning and wanting more character development and a more words put to describing the WASPS of the Eastern seaboard and less on the designer name drops that came almost every third phrase. If this is meant to be another series I hope that the sequel provides even more depth to the world of Lucy, Freddy, and George.
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Kevin Kwan is always a pleasure. He evokes such a sense of place with all his descriptions. I know nothing about the designers and people he's talk about but you definitely know that it is always over the top. Such a crazy thing to think he based it on a wedding he actually attended. Love him.
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I was having high expectations due to the fact that i adored a previous trilogy by the author. I domt think enough words can describe how disappointed i am
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Actual rating: 2.5 stars

I had huge expectations for this one after falling head over heels in love with the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. It was the perfect combo of over the top rich person lifestyle and love story plot. I expected the same out of this story, but I felt like there was way more rich person lifestyle than plot. I would say the first half plus some was just name dropping - whether it be rich person, designer label, etc. It became hard for me to concentrate and get through it. I did enjoy the last 30% or so of the book and flew through it in an hour and a half (the rest of the book I've been trying to read for almost a month). But the last bit of good story didn't make up for the rest of the book and it wasn't strong enough to make the story amazing. The only character I really enjoyed in this novel was Rosemary Zao. Overall, really bummed out that this didn't live up to the magic that was CRA.
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Loved this setting! Loved these characters!    While not as uproariously funny as CRA there were some parts I laughed at.   So
Excited ethics is a trilogy!!
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Thanks to the publisher for an advance reader's copy.

If you've spent five minutes with me talking about books, you've heard me rattle on about how much I want tons of frothy diverse fiction in publishing. Kevin Kwan is the basically epitome of that. His ultra-light writing style isn't always my favorite, but I read an interview with him about all of the brand dropping he uses as filler and it explained a lot of his choices and made appreciate what he's doing. I really enjoyed the book's commentary on subconscious racism outside the expected class dynamics, and it's an E.M. Forster retelling! I don't know that the ending really sticks for modern characters, but I didn't care. This was perfect reading for summer 2020.
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I have not read any other books by this author, but did see the movie Crazy Rich Asians, not sure if this was supposed to tie-in or not.
Fun read with a twist and lots of "Man, I wish I could go there!" and "I wish I had friends like that!" You really feel for the main character.
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