Fiction Review: Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan Book Review
Highly praised author Kevin Kwan returns with his third installment in the satirical Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend series with Rich People Problems.
When super rich matriarch Su Yi falls ill on her deathbed, her grandson, Nicholas Young, rushes to her side. He’s not the only one. Family from all over the globe rushes to Tyersall Park – a grand estate in the heart of Singapore – all vying for a spot in her highly-anticipated final will and testament. Some members of the family will do anything for an inheritance, including sabotaging one another.
Astrid Leong is having her own problems. Madly in love with her old sweetheart, Charlie Wu, she dodges torment from her soon-to-be ex-husband who isn’t quite ready to let her go. Charlie and Astrid have a relationship strife with rich people problems, including paparazzi barging in on their elaborate marriage proposal and threats to their social standing with less than innocent footage of the pair in bed together.
Kitty Pong, reformed soap opera star, is married to the second richest man in China, billionaire Jack Bing. But she can’t help feeling constantly outdone by her new stepdaughter, successful socialite Colette Bing. They are only a few years apart in age and it seems everywhere Kitty goes she is outshone by Colette. Kitty can’t help but see this as a competition. She’ll do everything in her power to better Colette Bing.
Told in hilarious satirical fashion, Kevin Kwan offers a window into the world of the super, super rich. Rich People Problems is like reading a soap opera. The characters are hilariously over-dramatic, constantly sabotaging one another, and they’re all worried about one thing: money.
For the first time, the humble middle class can steal a glimpse into Asia’s most privileged families and have a good laugh at what constitutes as “rich people problems.” This cast of characters are most concerned with having the most expensive dress, the least obvious plastic surgery, and jetting off to their private islands on a whim. Did a magazine publish an unflattering article about you? Don’t worry. Buy the magazine. Delete the article. Rich People Problem solved. The so-called issues these super-rich socialites are most concerned with can only be described as hilarious for the average reader. I, for one, have never been worried about plastic surgery for my pet fish (yes, it’s real). That’s one #richpeopleproblem I’m more than happy not to have.
There are so many characters in this novel! I had the disadvantage of not reading Kwan’s first two books and therefore didn’t have the best background to keep track of all these rich people, never mind their problems. Most are connected by a complex family tree or long-harbored dramas. It could be hard to keep track. By the end of this 416-page novel I had finally gotten it all straight. Cosmopolitan has a very helpful article (flowchart included!) that helped me establish a good baseline of who’s who and who’s done what.
It is interesting to see how fortune affects the multitude of different personalities portrayed in this fiction novel. Most are overly concerned with status and outer appearances, but some seem to shy away from the spotlight that their excessive monetary gain includes. Instead, they seem to understand the more important things in life. The interaction of those personalities is what makes the story interesting!
Would you recommend this?
I would recommend Kevin Kwan’s series to anyone who enjoys family sagas with a flair for the dramatic. This was an incredibly fun book to read. I imagine the first two books are just as entertaining. In fact, Crazy Rich Asians is slated to be a major motion picture. You can bet I’ll be grabbing some popcorn and a theatre ticket. Read the books before the movie comes out! Click the cover below to get your copy.
The Bottom Line:
Reading this book is like binge watching your favorite Netflix series. It’s ridiculous, outlandish, and impossible to put down. The drama! This was an incredibly fun book to read. Picture yourself reading this book on a beach somewhere, laughing it up, enjoying the sunshine – your only #richpeopleproblems fictional.
VERDICT: Buy It
Page Length: 416
Publisher: Random House (May 23, 2017)
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan book review. Keep scrolling for a rating breakdown and pro/con list.
- Sweeping saga narrative
- Engaging satire
- Enviable extravagance
- None! Go read it!