Release Date: May 23, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Genre: Contemporary | Asian Literature
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.
Shout-out to Joy of Joyousreads for putting Kevin Kwan on my radar. Happy to meet an Asian author who tells it like it is.
RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS is the third in the Crazy Rich Asians book series. I haven't read the first two so I don't know if there's an overarching plot arc, I do know based on the blurbs of the books that the series has a permanent cast of characters and RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS is a continuation of the Young family saga. Despite jumping into the series late not to mention the dizzying cast of characters and their connections, I managed to follow the story well because KKwan provided back stories and updates on long standing feuds and relationships.
I honestly didn't know what to make of RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS. Going in, I expected (here we go! Expectations are the root of disappointments. I should really just start books blind and with a clean slate.) it to be some sort of a satirical comedy. I kept waiting for a punchline and after reaching the halfway mark, that's when I realized that though the tone is light, RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS is straightforward in its intent and depiction of these insanely rich Asians. I even think "rich" isn't the right word as these folks are billionaires and they drop money like it's nothing.
Ostentatious, extravagant, lush, and at times vulgar, RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS is exactly what the title suggests. Money is certainly not an object for this group of people and their lifestyles are so excessive and privileged it's almost fantastical. Except that it's not. These people may be fictional but I promise you, THEY EXIST!
I give RICH PEOPLE PROBLEMS an A+ for entertainment. I'm one of those folks whose one of my many guilty pleasures include moseying about how "the other half" lives and KKwan gave me a huge dose of that. And what makes (I'm guessing) this series a hit is its accessibility. The price tag differs but we fundamentally deal with the same problems as they do: death, rivalries, exes, gossip, etc. it's all here so even if I'm nothing but a commoner compared to these people, I managed to relate to some of their anxieties.
RICH PEOPLE PROBLEM is pure delight! It's scandalous, brass, unapologetically luxe, it's what tabloids are made of! So if you're like me and is a fan of The Real Housewives, Gossip Girl, or crazy family sagas, then this series should be on your TBR.