⇒“The problem is that they all have too much money, and it’s come so easily to them that they think they’re bloody geniuses and so they are always right..” -Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan ⇐
Author: Kevin Kwan
(3.94 stars – Goodreads rating)
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary Romance / Women’s Lit
Publication Date: May 1, 2018, by Anchor Books
Pages: 541 (Paperback)
He knows he did absolutely nothing to deserve his fortune, and so the only thing he can do is disparage others who have the audacity to make their own money.
Spend just ten minutes on any mainstream social media site and you’ll see them… The Beautiful People.
I logged into Instagram this morning and saw Chrissy Teigen making glittery mermaid tail chocolates after taking selfies in her robe closet. Joanna Gaines is flawless in a beachy floral dress overlooking the ocean. And countless other celebrities are baking banana bread in designer kitchens or enjoying a “quaran-tini” next to their lavish backyard pools.
Why are we so obsessed with wealth and the people who have it? This is not rant, oh no! I love following celebrities on social media. I talk to them, sometimes they talk back. It makes them more real to me. And anything that puts me only a comment away from Jason Momoa is nothing I’m going to argue against!
But what is it about gawking at the riches of others that is so enticing? Oh, were you waiting on me to answer? Sorry to disappoint because I really haven’t got the foggiest clue, but everything about the staggeringly rich characters in Kevin Kwan’s Rich People Problems draws me into their decadent luxury and their bountiful misfortunes as well. Let’s look at the blurb…
Nicholas Young’s grandmother Su Yi is on her deathbed. While he rushes to be by her side he’s not the only one. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on the matriarch’s massive fortune. With all parties vying to inherit a trophy estate in the heart of Singapore, Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of sabotage and scandal. Taking us from elegantly appointed mansions in Manila to secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, Kevin Kwan’s final installment in this irresistible trilogy reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia’s most privileged families and their rich people problems.
Tourists should have to take a style exam before being allowed to set foot on the island!
If you’ve followed all these crazy-rich Asians up to this point (or is it crazy, rich Asians?), you probably already have picked out your favorites. Golden couple, Nick and Rachel, monopolized much of the ink in books 1 & 2, but the love gets spread around a lot more in the final installment of Kwan’s trilogy.
Su Yi (Nick’s overbearing grandmother) becomes a true character here, with more backstory and a more present… presence. Nick’s aunts also add to the family shenanigans – each with their own unique brand of crazy.
And if you thought you’d seen the last of the much put-upon Kitty Pong, well… surprise! Kitty’s making big moves in Book #3, and she is determined to conquer Singaporean society, one way or another.
Peel away the veneer of wealth and sophistication and you’ll find extremely provincial, narrow-minded people.
From servants to sultans, readers not only experience these audaciously colorful characters, but we also get to experience one of the most treasured tools in a writer’s arsenal: backstory!
No spoilers here, but I will say that Kwan’s treatment of his characters and their lives only makes them more beloved. So, if I loved it – and I did – why not rate it 5 stars?
You’ve heard me harp on this before in other reviews, and I’m not gonna let it go yet… denouement.
Yeah yeah, I know. It’s just a fancy word for how everything wraps up in a novel. Is it drawn out? Is it vague? Is it a tantalizing cliffhanger, or a predictable love match? Book endings are SO important! Especially so in a series where readers fall in love with characters, families, and all their quirky antics.
I spent 1,423 pages getting to know these people, so please don’t think that I’m going to be OK with you “summing up” how everyone’s drama resolves into one short epilogic chapter, Mr. Kwan. I am not!
So, minus one whole star for that. Other than that frustrating feature, Rich People Problems has a lot to offer: scandalous drama, touching reunions, salacious secrets, raucous humor, and (of course) a poop-ton of crazy rich Asians!
P.S.: In the CRA universe, the Tattler magazine is tops in gossip media. But guess what? It’s based on a real mag! Wait… did you know that already? Ugh, I’m so late! Let’s just pretend you didn’t already know and just indulge in this website with me where I spent almost 2 hours yesterday reading about people I’ll never meet! 🙂
Kevin Kwan is the author of “Crazy Rich Asians,” the international bestseller now being adapted as a major motion picture. The sequel, “China Rich Girlfriend,” will be released on June 16, 2015. Born and raised in Singapore, Kwan has called Manhattan home for the past two decades but still craves pineapple tarts and a decent plate of Hokkien mee. -Bio from Goodreads