So you fell in love with the lavish, over-the-top Cinderella story set in Singapore—portrayed in the popular movie Crazy Rich Asians and in the audiobooks of the series.
If you’re looking to recreate some part of the joyful film experience, we’ve picked some superb audiobooks that just might fit the bill. They’re loosely categorized by thematic similarity so that you can easily find the perfect audiobook to suit your mood.
A Modern Jane Austen Retelling
I’m not the first person to have noticed there’s a certain similarity between Austen’s Lady Catherine de Bourgh and Nick Young’s mother, Eleanor. Add in the difference in wealth between Elizabeth and Darcy, Nick and Rachel, and you might be ready for a Jane Austen retelling with a modern-day twist. I can highly recommend AUSTENLAND by Shannon Hale, read by Katherine Kellgren, in which an over-the-top Austen fan tries an immersive Austen experience at an English country house. As in Crazy Rich Asians, nothing goes according to plan.
Exploring Culture Through Romance
Part of the magic of Crazy Rich Asians is the intricate whirl through high-society Singapore. Want a romance that relies on setting and/or an exploration of different cultures? Try A DISTANT HEART by Sonali Dev, read by Soneela Nankani and Neil Shah. Kimi and Rahul grew up together in a wealthy suburb of Mumbai, India, but their life similarities end there. Kimi is the daughter of a wealthy man who owes his life to Rahul’s father’s last courageous act. Details of life in Mumbai and the wealth disparity between the couple make this a good match for some of the film’s themes. And #ownvoice narrators make it even more vivid for listeners.
Rags to Riches/Opulent Wealth
One of the main sticking points between Rachel and Nick is the vast difference in their wealth and status. In the ROYALLY series by Emma Chase, read by Andi Arndt and Shane East, the romance centers around that theme with royal characters who have unlimited wealth and power. Fun, steamy contemporaries where one character is royal and one is an average person. Perennial question — how will they make it work? I love the narrators, and it’s great to have a series to extend the premise over numerous books.
If you’re looking to match Crazy Rich Asians in both its phenomenal displays of wealth and its incredibly sweet romance, try EVERYTHING FOR HER by Alexa Riley, the first in a trilogy narrated by Summer Morton and Jay Crow. Mallory, a recent college graduate, starts working for the Osborn Corporation, not knowing her crush is the head honcho of the company. The narration is genuine, highly romantic, and steamy, and I can honestly say the two narrators improve their chemistry so that each book in the trilogy is better than the next.
I bet you noticed how subtle insults zing back and forth in Crazy Rich Asians, making comedic delivery an art form. Try BET ME, another zany romance with hilarious conversations, written by Jennifer Crusie and read by Deanna Hurst. This situation-driven romance is bursting with oddball humor and memorable motifs. While this title follows the traditional rom-com track, some elements are nontraditional, and its drama plays very well on audio.
For more audiobooks to satisfy your Crazy Rich Asians cravings, see our post on Happy Ever After.