Genres: Chick Lit
Format Read: ARC
Published by Doubleday on May 23rd 2017
Kevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia's greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance.
When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside--but he's not alone. It seems the entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe, ostensibly to care for their matriarch but truly to stake claim on the massive fortune that Su Yi controls.
With each family member secretly fantasizing about getting the keys to Tyersall Park--a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore--the place becomes a hotbed of intrigue and Nicholas finds himself blocked from entering the premises. As relatives claw over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by his ex-wife — a woman hell bent on destroying Astrid's reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to billionaire Jack Bing, finds a formidable opponent in his fashionista daughter, Colette. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a schoolyard kidnapping to a gold-leaf dancefloor spattered with blood, Kevin Kwan's gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets and rich people problems of Asia's most privileged families.
First off, I just have to say how annoyed I am that the publishers changed the cover of the LAST book in the series. Now my collection of one of the best chick lits I’ve ever read doesn’t match. Why?!
Aside from the little nitpick with the cover, Rich People Problems was everything I wanted and more. Its predecessor — China Rich Girlfriend — fell a little short (still really good though!), but Kwan manages to bring the sparkle of this series back with the conclusion to the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy.
In the concluding book, we have flashed forward a few years in time following the events from the previous novel. This was unexpected, and we find out that Nick and his grandma Su Yi have been on bad terms in those years. I’ll have to admit that I did manage to forget about most events that happened in the previous book, but Kwan does a great job in subtly weaving previous plot points into the current story without it being too obvious.
In Rich People Problems, Nick and Rachel are finally living the life they’ve always wanted in New York. Everything comes spiralling out of control again when they find out that Nick’s grandma, and the matriarch to the Young / Shang family, has had a sudden heart attack.
Shenanigans ensue as the whole extended family flies back to Tyersall Park to be by Su Yi’s side — it’s never a dull moment when it comes to Nick’s family at all. What’s really great about this entire series is that it doesn’t focus on one particular person in Nick’s or Rachel’s family. While the series starts off with Rachel as the main protagonist, as the story progresses, so does the characterisation of the whole entire gang — from the inner Young / Shang circle, to smaller characters like the head of Su Yi’s maids. Everyone’s stories — while disjointed sometimes — all come together beautifully, and I’m truly sad to say goodbye to characters that I’ve grown to love over the last three years.
Thank god there’s a movie coming out soon!
Once again Kwan has managed to bring the glitz and glamour of Asia’s elite to life. I laughed, I gasped and I clung to every word in this book. I’ve grown super fond of all the characters (yes even Eddie and Kitty), and it’s nice to see that while we have a content ending, not all storylines were tied up for the sake of being the final book in the series. It’s just like life in a sense, and these characters truly felt real to me.
Safe to say, I absolutely adored this book. I’m definitely looking forward to the movie. And here’s to hoping that Kwan’s next book is just as fabulous as this series.
Thank you to Doubleday for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.