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Sex and Vanity

de Kevin Kwan

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6942932,952 (3.24)19
Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ? A Good Morning America Book Club Pick
 
The author of the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians takes you from Capri to NYC, where Lucie Tang Churchill finds herself torn between two men??and two very different cultures.

On 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 a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Casa 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.
The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a 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 fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, 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
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Es mostren 1-5 de 29 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Digital audiobook read by Lydia Look

From the book jacket: 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 with.

My reactions
Boring. Vain, shallow characters more concerned with who is wearing what, or how to upstage someone else with their over-the-top events. Whether it’s their residence, car, jewels, vacations or clothing, they are obsessed with appearances.

There were a few over-the-top scenes that tickled my funny bone, and I gave it two stars for those. I realize that Kwan means these works to be satires of “crazy rich Asians” but I just find them tedious.

Lydia Look does a good job of narrating the audiobook. Too bad she didn’t have better material to work with. ( )
  BookConcierge | Feb 27, 2024 |
None of the magic and likability of the other series. The Hamptons and NYC settings are a dime a dozen in the genre. ( )
  hellokirsti | Jan 3, 2024 |
3.5 stars rounded down. Entertaining but not fantastic. ( )
  Fatula | Oct 2, 2023 |
This was the perfect book to take along on a little staycation. In some ways it reminds me of all those Jackie Collins potboilers I read back when I was a teenager, filled with the rich and beautiful people, flaunting their jewels and homes and cars and exotic vacations. Of course, this is Kwan’s signature as well, with probably an average of 50 luxury brand name drops per page. That part started to feel like a lot of eye rolling filler in this one. The basic story: rich mixed-race girl who has always felt like an outsider meets a boy who (she keeps saying) is the total opposite of the boys she usually falls for—and falls for him. After narrowly avoiding a scandal she leaves his presence and (somehow) doesn’t encounter him again for 5 years, when she has become engaged to the most obnoxious “billenial” (billionaire millennial) attention whore imaginable. She makes a series of blunders on the way to realizing she has always been in love with the original boy. And in between she wears tons of designer clothes, attends lots of glamorous parties, and wears lots of glitzy jewels. So, like those Jackie Collins novels way back then, this is pretty much all filler and no thriller. I carried on reading because I was sort of curious how the star-crossed lovers would pull it off, but there wasn’t a lot of substance here. I learned long ago not to expect anything more from Kwan’s novels. ( )
  karenchase | Jun 14, 2023 |
Sex and Vanity bears a lot of similarities to Crazy Rich Asians but it mostly takes place in fabulous Capri and New York. Lucie Tang Churchill, the daughter of an American Born Chinese mother and white father, is invited to the wedding of her friend Isabel Chiu to Dolfi De Vecchi in Capri. It’s a multi-day affair with ultra–rich people from all over the world, not just Asia. Old money is forced to associate with new money, which can lead to some humorous interactions.

Lucie comes to Capri with her older cousin Charlotte as her chaperone. When they arrive they are put in the wrong hotel room – Charlotte had requested one with an ocean view. Rosemary Zao, an extremely wealthy woman from Hong Kong, overhears Charlotte complaining and offers to switch rooms with her, saying:

“…we come from Hong Kong, where our flat overlooks the harbor. And we have a house in Sydney, in Watsons Bay, where we can see whales do backflips, and another beach-front house in Hawaii, in Lanikai. We get to see the ocean till we’re sick of it, so this is nothing to us.”

Charlotte and most of the other wedding guests find Rosemary to be extremely gauche and are put off by her. To make matters worse, her son George is on the strange side and hardly speaks to anyone. Because of this, he seems mysterious to Lucie and she finds herself simultaneously repulsed by him and attracted to him. After an embarrassing incident, they part ways and don’t see each other again until several years later.

When George and Lucie meet again, Lucie is engaged to Cecil Pike, a world-class snob and social climber. Somehow Lucie can’t see it. I had trouble believing that Lucie, who is down to earth and not materialistic could love Cecil. And their sex life was weird. It seemed more like an arranged engagement to me. As you can probably guess, Lucie begins to have doubts about Cecil once George shows up in her life again.

Sex and Vanity has Kwan’s trademark snarky footnotes throughout, which I loved. It also has some serious things to say about race, which surprised me. Since Lucie is mixed race, she feels like she never quite fits in anywhere – she’s either too Chinese for white society or too white for Asian society. She experiences hurtful microaggressions because of that too.

I didn’t realize until after I read Sex and Vanity that it’s a tribute to A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. I’ve never read that book but now I want to. Once again, I thoroughly enjoyed the escapism in to the lives of crazy rich people that Kwan offers. Highly recommended. ( )
  mcelhra | May 25, 2023 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Kevin Kwanautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Dezelus, ClementAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Fontana, JohnDissenyador de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Knighton, Anna B.Dissenyadorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Look, LydiaNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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For Capri, the island that feeds my soul, and for New York, the city that took me in, nurtured me, and changed me forever
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The trail was lit by tall flickering torches, but Charlotte Barclay still felt like she could have fallen a thousand times on the pathway.
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Fiction. Literature. Humor (Fiction.) HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ? A Good Morning America Book Club Pick
 
The author of the New York Times bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians takes you from Capri to NYC, where Lucie Tang Churchill finds herself torn between two men??and two very different cultures.

On 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 a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Casa 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.
The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a 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 fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, 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

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