Book Review: Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

Rich People Problems (Crazy Rich Asians, #3)Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
Publisher: Doubleday
May 23, 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*****This review will contain spoilers for the first two books in the series, Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend.*****

Publisher’s Description:

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.

Rich People Problems is the final book in Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. I highly recommend reading the first two books, Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend before reading Rich People Problems. I don’t think it will make much sense if you aren’t already familiar with the characters.

Rich People Problems takes place about two years after China Rich Girlfriend left off. Nick’s grandmother is sick and probably close to dying. Nick was the heir apparent to Tyersall Park but he has been estranged from his grandmother since he married Rachel against her wishes. If Su Yi dies who will inherit Tyersall Park now? Nick’s conniving cousin Eddie thinks it should be him. He hasn’t changed a bit over the past two years – he’s still a pretentious snob. Some of what he does and how he acts is funny but sometimes I just wanted to punch him in the face.

Meanwhile, Nick’s mother is after Nick and Rachel to give her a grandchild. If you thought the lengths she went to try and keep them from getting married were over the top, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

We also check in with the Michael/Astrid/Charlie situation. Since getting rich, Michael has continued to become more and more of an asshole. He and Astrid are in the middle of an acrimonious divorce. We learn more about Charlie’s wife Isabelle, who has major problems of her own.

And then there’s Kitty, who has either forgotten or rejected everything her consultant Corrina taught her about fitting in with the old money Asians. Now that she’s married to Jack Bing, one of the richest men in Asia, she can and will behave however she wants.

The life-styles of most everyone in this book are even more outrageously lavish than in the two previous books. But Kwan, who grew up in Singapore has said that the way his characters live is totally based in reality. Regardless, it’s fun living vicariously through these people. I was mostly satisfied with the way Kwan wrapped up this series. My only problems were that Astrid’s ending seemed a little of character for her and Peik Lin’s ending felt rushed.

The book starts off a bit slow but soon returns to the level of humor that China Rich Girlfriend had. (I don’t think Kwan will be able to top Crazy Rich Asians.), including his droll and informative foot-notes. If you’re looking for a light, funny summer read, this is it.

(I received a complimentary copy of this book for review.)

P.S. The cast list for the Crazy Rich Asians movie is out! (No release date yet.) What do you think? I think they pretty much nailed it. It says that it’s not known what role Ken Jeong will play. He is 100% Eddie! I’ll be disappointed if that’s not who he is. Everyone else looks perfect to me except Awkwafina as Goh Peik Lin. Maybe she’ll look more like what I pictured in costume and without the glasses. I can’t wait for this movie!


  • bermudaonion(Kathy)

    My mom is reading this now and enjoying it – she says it’s funny. Maybe she’ll let me borrow her copy. 😉

  • S.G. Wright

    I think I need to start with Book 1 before the movie comes out. I’ve heard they’re all very funny. which you’ve confirmed.