Published by Doubleday on May 23rd 2017
Genres: Fiction, Diversity, Own Voices, Chick Lit
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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.
What do you do when you’re outrageously rich and you’re part of the most powerful, influential families in Asia? You spend it of course, in the wildest and craziest ways.
From plastering oneself with the next season’s designer labels, to being named a Countess and having everyone bow to them, to getting plastic surgery for a prized pet fish, there is no going too far for these people. Only not going far enough which is ridiculously entertaining.
With the revered grandmother Su Yi’s health on the line and her inheritance as the talk of the town, the Shang-Young clan make preparations for her legacy.
I am not just anyone. I am her mother-in-law. I have a right to know when she’s ovulating!
Nicholas Young, the prodigal grandson living in New York, debates whether to return and make peace with his grandmother. Astrid, the good daughter who has never disappointed her parents, is in the midst of divorce and reuniting with an old flame. The outlandish Edison is set out to mourn by his grandmother’s bedside in the showiest of manners, and it’s also not the last we’ve seen of the tacky Kitty Pong in her rise to fame.
I loved all the vivid descriptions of the French inspired grandeur of the Tyersall Park home, and the stunning locations from the designer boutiques in France, to the sandy beaches of Asia, the buzzing food stalls of Singapore and everything in between. With the name dropping of expensive watches, designer labels and even pop culture references, Rich People Problems shows us a world unattainable to most. I particularly loved the minute descriptions of the delicious Asian delicacies, from dim sum, to fried noodles with gravy, and of course, multiple course degustations.
My favourite part of Rich People Problems is that it felt very much like a direct sequel of the first book, as we see what becomes of each and every character. I loved Nick Young and the loyalty he feels towards his family and preserving Tyersall Park, even though his grandma banished him several years ago. I loved Rachel and how she tries to do what’s best for Nick and his family, despite their ill treatment to her. I also loved seeing all the family members reunite under one roof over their grandmother’s health and also a breathtaking and oestentatious proposal that could only be orchestrated by the filthy rich.
While I loved the conclusion of the book and seeing what becomes of our favourite characters, I felt that the ending was a bit rushed. The epilogue references some scenes that I wish we got to experience firsthand. Aside from this, everything was wrapped up beautifully and you couldn’t ask for a better ending to this wild and crazy whirlwind of a book.
“So get me a title! What’s higher ranking than a countess? A duchess? A princess? An empress? I don’t care if you need to bribe Prince Bibambap of Korea, I just want Coette to have to cursty to me the next time I encounter her. I want to wipe the floor with her face!”
As the last book in the trilogy, Rich People Problems reminded me of everything I loved about the first book – fame, fortune and the wacky antics of Asia’s finest. This excessive, over the top world was entertaining, fast paced, hilarious and ridiculously addictive. I can’t wait for the Crazy Rich Asians movie to come out, especially with it’s all Asian cast. If you’re looking for a hilariously entertaining insight to the filthy rich from a different perspective, you can’t go wrong with this series.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
I received a review copy from the publisher via Edelweiss.
Rich People Problems is the third in the Crazy Rich Asians series but can be read as a standalone.