Sex and Vanity

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan Book Summary


"Kevin Kwan's new book is his most decadent yet." --Entertainment Weekly

The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASPY fiancé of her family's dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.

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. "Your mother is Chinese so it's no surprise you'd be attracted to someone like him," Charlotte teases. 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 two cultures.

Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan Book Reviews

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- Fun, fun, but different3 star

It was super fun, but not quite Crazy Rich Asians fun. Just seemed to try a little too hard. Lucie was also a little boring, just saying.

- He does it again!4 star

I am never disappointed by his stories! The way he writes and ties so many lives together is amazing!

- Great Read5 star

Great romance full of drama, adventure, grief, and of course a great ending!

- Fun read!4 star

Enjoyed this latest book—a modern take on Pride and Prejudice.

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- Meh...3 star

Understandably anything following the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy would be a hard act to follow, but I have to admit I’m disappointed in with Sex and Vanity. It’s SO similar to A Room With A View; it doesn’t feel like a new or remotely original work of fiction... merely just a 21st century update. I love Kevin Kwan but this book left a lot to be desired.

- Bland2 star

Was not up to par with previous works. Lucie was annoying as she could not make up her mind about the simplest of things. Really disappointed after the other books. Before I buy another, I’ll pre-read for free.

- Wait for the movie3 star

I wanted to love this book but it focused so much more on the setting than character and relationship development. It was frustrating.

- Summer hit!5 star

This is definitely an easy summer read for sitting on the beach. The plot is interesting and I loved how Kevin Kwan added some allusions Crazy Rich Asians. Would recommend!!

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- Underwhelming3 star


- E.M. Forester Rip-Off2 star

I was very disappointed in this book. Although it’s supposedly an update to Room with a View, it’s very original. Even the characters names are the same. It’s so close to the plot of the original, that there are no surprises. The book is full of detailed and boring descriptions of conspicuous consumption at its most vulgar. For one who is a true fan of the original Room with a View, this is a sad and tawdry little rip-off of a charming and beautifully written classic. I won’t be reading anymore of Kevin Kwan’s silly novels until he learns to create plots and characters of his own, instead of cannabalizing the work of true artists.

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Kevin Kwan - Sex and Vanity Comments

About Kevin Kwan Wiki

Kevin Kwan (born 1973/1974) is an American novelist and writer of satirical novels Crazy Rich Asians, China Rich Girlfriend, and Rich People Problems. His latest book, Sex and Vanity, was released in June 2020.In 2014, Kwan was named as one of the "Five Writers to Watch" on the list of Hollywood's Most Powerful Authors published by The Hollywood Reporter. In 2018, Kwan made Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people and was inducted into The Asian Hall of Fame. Early life Kevin Kwan was born in Singapore as the youngest of three boys, into an established Chinese Singaporean family. His great-grandfather, Oh Sian Guan, was a founding director of Singapore's oldest bank, the Ove...

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