Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan



Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan was a book that I had anticipated reading during this summer. While I hadn’t read the highly successful book Crazy Rich Asians, I had seen the movie and really enjoyed it.

Lucie Churchill is a teenager when first introduced to the reader. Having been born to a WASP father and a Chinese mother, she doesn’t really identify in either culture. While attending a multi-million dollar wedding on the island of Capri, she meets George Zao a Chinese man who she initially can’t stand, and later makes out with. Indeed, their moment of intimacy is caught on camera via a drone. Lucie’s cousin Charlotte knows this will ruin Lucie’s reputation and bring shame to the family. In this case, money does buy anything and the video is destroyed.

Several years later, Lucie becomes engaged to another man who is extremely rich and one of the most eligible, sought-after men in the world. Her life is back on course and she has everything she wants in life. But then George re-enters her life and all of a sudden everything looks a little different.

While I was entertained by the book, I really didn’t find it to be a story I enjoyed. On a positive note, I did like that the author included the messaging that biracial individuals may be exposed to racism within their own extended families as I see evidence of this in today's reality.  However, the story was extremely predictable. I didn’t like several of the characters and the educational background articulated for each of the characters was a little too obnoxious for this reader. Indeed, I found several of the characters to be so over the top pretentious that I almost did not finish this book.

I listened to the audiobook edition of this book and this was narrated by Lydia Look. She brings an articulate, believable and multilingual performance to this book, and I was happy I had chosen the audiobook format for this reason.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️💫/5 stars.

17 comments:

  1. Excellent review 😇
    Thank you for sharing this post 😇

    JENISH | https://knowafactfromj.blogspot.com

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  2. It sounds like it could've been an excellent story if some of the characters were toned down a bit. It's a great reminder to writers to make sure that even your bad guys are somewhat relatable/realistic. And also interesting to note that a great audio book performance can almost make up for story flaws. Thanks for sharing this, Happy Reader!

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    1. You've definitely hit the nail on the head with your comment! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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  3. I loved the movie Crazy Rich Asians but didn't even realize it was based on a book. May have to pick it up.

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    1. I'm curious as to whether or not this one will be made into a movie. I'd love to see a movie set partially in Capri.

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  4. Interesting review! I appreciate your honesty and ability to pick out the parts you did like.

    I see that you have read 61/65 books for your 2020 reading goal! And it's only the end of July! Congrats! I look forward to reading your other reviews.

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    1. Thank you Rebecca! Yes I think I need to revise my reading goal LOL!

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  5. Great review! I’d be interested in reading Crazy Rich Asians, I’ve heard good things about that one. Thanks for sharing your thoughts 🙂

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  6. Oooh! I really liked watching Crazy Rich Asians. Haven't read the books yet though. I keep hearing great things, and always nice to see Asian-oriented books! Wow, of course old entanglements would come back haha. Glad you enjoyed it overall!

    Nancy ✨ exquisitely.me

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    1. Thanks Nancy! I'd love to see this as a movie - I love Capri!

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  7. A very honest review! Crazy Rich Asians is one of my favourite films. I haven't read the book yet but I own it. The description of this books sounds good and something that I would like, but I do hate over the top characters and predictable books, I have done a little Google to see how many pages this book has (as I am a slow reader) and there isn't too many so I think I will put it on my to-read list. I also really like your style of writing, some book reviews are boring and not enjoyable to read, but this is a great review x
    https://lifeofshar.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you for your kind words! I'm hoping this too will be made into a movie - I love Capri as a location! Have a great weekend!

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    2. A movie would be fab! You have a great weekend too.

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  8. That's something that really gets it for me is characters and character development. And if the plot is too predictable, I lose all interest. Thanks for sharing your review of this book!

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