The Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan is a lot of fun.
Through most of the first book, my reaction was, “Wait, how rich can they actually be?”
The answer: profoundly, profoundly rich. The trilogy features million-dollar shopping sprees and impromptu trips across continents just to get a fine cup of coffee.
Crazy Rich Asians
Published June 2013
China Rich Girlfriend
Published June 2015
Rich People Problems
Published May 2017
Crazy Rich Asians will soon be released as a movie starring Constance Wu and Henry Golding. I’m very much looking forward to it and hoping it lives up to the books. It ‘s a series I enjoyed quite a lot, though the second one was a bit less enjoyable.
It ‘s the curse of the trilogy.
The first book or movie of a trilogy is great fun. We get to know and love the characters and engage in the world building.
The second in the series can be kind of a drag. The world is already built. We ‘ve already done the character studies and gotten through the initial hurdle that sets up the story. There’s no final resolution yet. All we can do in the second of a series is exist inside the conflict.
Books and movies that prove the second in a trilogy are just not that fun:
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Speaking specifically to the movie adaptation, the second of the Divergent series was just terrible. So bad that I ‘m surprised they kept going. And why do movies often turn book trilogies into four parts on screen?
50 Shades Darker by EL James
I mean, one could argue that the entire 50 Shades trilogy is bad. But the second one proves my point – no setup, no resolution. Just a series of dramas and so much sex that it becomes almost boring and repetitive.
Dirty Red by Tarryn Fisher
The Love Me with Lies trilogy is brilliant. Every book is wonderful in its own right. The second book of the series, Dirty Red, exists squarely inside the conflict and features a conniving, unlikable character.
Thor: The Dark World
They did away with Jane. I really liked Jane. She added a real-world, human element to the overdone mythical superhero franchise.
And here are some trilogies that completely disprove my theory. Sometimes the second of a trilogy can be the most delightful of all. Characters rise to new heights. Conflicts deepen into something much more rich and important.
Books and movies in which the second of the trilogy is the best:
The Empire Strikes Back (Star Wars)
This is arguably the gold star of all Star Wars movies, right? Luke finds his power and Han Solo tells Leia, “I know” in the most meaningful way possible. It also has those important quiet moments that make the action so much more poignant.
The Godfather Part II
Michael didn’t start off as the main character of the Godfather series. But sometimes we have greatness thrust upon us. Whether he rises to greater highs or descends to the lowest lows is wonderfully debatable.
Batman: The Dark Knight
Speaking specifically of the Dark Knight trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan, this Batman trilogy is all enjoyable, but the second of the series, The Dark Knight, is so good it ‘s poetic.
Linda Hunt, man. She’s such a badass in Terminator 2, but still holds the vulnerability and mother’s tenacity that gives her character so much more life. The music, casting, chases, action – all of it blends to a perfect movie.