Book Review: Rich People Problems – Kevin Kwan

໒( •́ ∧ •̀ )७ it’s the last book in the series and I’d rather the series not end of it was honestly the most PERFECT ending I could ever ask for ( ≧Д≦)


Image result for rich people problems paperback

Name: Rich People Problems
Author: Kevin Kwan

Publisher: Anchor Books
Release Date: May 1, 2018 (1st pub May 23, 2017)

Synopsis

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. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park–a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore–Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage. As her relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by her ex-husband–a man hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, billionaire Jack Bing, still feels second best next to her new step-daughter, famous fashionista Colette Bing.

A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace, caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi, Kevin Kwan’s hilarious, gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia’s most privileged families and their rich people problems.


Book Cover Comments

To be hoenst I’m still dying to know who the hell is on the cover this time. But that green and yellow colour scheme with that beautiful red lipstick? YES.


The Actual Review

Yes. I feel very settled right now. The Crazy Rich Asians trilogy has ended properly and officially, and right now, oddly enough, I have a feeling that I’m ready to move on from it. Sounds weird, right?

Kevin Kwan definitely outdid himself in this final installment. Rich People Problems definitely set itself SO. APART. from its predecessors. The first two books had a higher focus on culture and world-building, with book two having a higher focus on plot; but this book was so much more: this was Kwan’s most epic novel in terms of character building, when everything, the glamour, the outside is peeled back and you are left with the pure, raw character and personality of all the characters in the series so far.

This was a fantastic page-turner that kept me wanting for more: what exactly is happening to the Young/Shan clan when Nick’s grandma is on her death bed? I mean, the result is pretty predictable considering the fact that Kevin Kwan, for sure, was not exaggerating; these types of feuds over wills and what the dead person leaves behind is such a big deal for Chinese people, you don’t even know.

Seeing everyone’s different perspective on how they take in what is given to them in the will, and how the will’s existence drives people mad and wanting crazy. Of course, this is already added on to previous problematic mindsets of certain characters to make it way worse. This is, in fact, one serious heck of a rich people problem: how are we going to split what’s left behind? Cue the family feud where everyone fights for the money.

You might have had a different outlook on Su Yi from the movie and the first book, but since Su Yi is technically the center of the world in this book, all attention turns to her as you learn more about Su Yi growing up: she turns out to be a spectacular and brave woman who came out of war unscathed. I totally love her so much and I was so happy I got to learn more about her past.

Interesting side characters include all of Su Yi’s children, from Philip to Alix, Victoria and Felicity: all of them have such different outlooks and opinions on their mother’s death, and what it means to them. It does get really heavy from time to time; as much as the fact that Su Yi is Nick’s brave grandmother, to the Young children, Su Yi was a fairly controlling, traditional, Chinese mother.

Eddie gets a lot of highlight in this book. Oh you’ll see.

We must not forget the great emphasis constantly put on Kitty Pong and her partner, Oliver Tsien (yes that Oliver). Kitty started from ground zero and worked her way up the social ladder, attempting and attempting to put a foot amongst all the rich people and those with high class, clawing after and after again for more than what she used to be, but will she get lost among all this chaos she is dragging herself into, and with her constant attempt to not let her new husband’s daughter outshine her? Kitty’s ending was pretty epic, honestly. I’m really glad how it turned out for her.

Oliver is someone pretty mysterious, and his background is all revealed in this final installment, which was pretty stunning; you’d think he’d be fine being born into a rich family, but his situation is not as simple as you think it to be…

Astrid. Oh, Astrid. My dear baby and lovable character who simply went through so much torture in this book. The perfect girl raised up by her controlling parents finally began to break as one event after another happens to her, and the outcomes were nowhere near good. Something positive only led to something negative as her life turns into epic chaos; will Astrid be able to keep her love for her new fiance, Charlie, going, and will Astrid be able to find herself within all of this in the very end? Stay tuned for Rich People Problems.

And finally, Nick and Rachel. We did get some hilarious and ridiculous scenes of some random outrageous things that happened to Rachel, i.e. Chinese parents obsession with getting you pregnant and getting a grandchild; but what I’m really glad to see is that Nick matured even more. Among all the wills and testimonials and taking all the money or taking the property, Nick, too, is trying to find himself and what his grandmother and her near-death meant to Nick. I couldn’t be more happy of what happened at the very end, and I am indeed very happy for Nick.


As the synopsis says, Kevin Kwan did an absolutely fantastic job in creating both a humorous and sarcastic book surrounding the richest families in Asia, as we get behind the glamour and reputation to the traditional mindsets of the parents’ generation, and all the Rich People Problems of the family.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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