★★★★★ for Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan

To my own amazement, I was able to finish Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan just three days after I had finished its prequel, China Rich Girlfriend. I was drawn to this character-driven trilogy as a result of its clever narration and though I admit I laughed a lot during the last installment's drama, I also happened to shed some tears much to my surprise. It captured the sense of sorrow brilliantly without weighing too much on it, so all in all, this book was still entertaining as a whole.

Disclaimer: The review below will contain spoilers of both the first and second book. Make sure you've finished your first two copies before deciding to scroll down and read the rest or if you haven't already, go read my review of Crazy Rich Asians here and China Rich Girlfriend here.

Still following the story of the Young, T'sien, and Shang clans just like the previous two books, an unexpected reunion happens when the entire family members decide to go to Tyersall Park and pay Shang Su Yi a visit on her deathbed. While Su Yi is very sick, some of them, without shame, have started calculating their very moves in order to get Su Yi's attention and thereby gaining her also massive fortune, especially the one and only Tyersall Park whose soon-to-be owner is still debatable.

Unlike everyone else, Nick still can't get over Su Yi's dislike of Rachel and is hesitant about whether he should be there after years of ignoring her grandmother. Rachel doesn't want to push this topic on him but unfortunately Eleanor Young is no Rachel Chu. While an internal debate is still going on inside Nick's head, Eleanor can't seem to stop pushing his only son to play his cards right in order to get the big house for himself.

On the other hand, Astrid is facing her own problem regarding her divorce in addition to being head over heels in love with her ex-boyfriend Charlie Wu. The divorce may have been taken care of quietly but Michael seems so determined to make it hard for both Astrid and Charlie, starting with taking down his ex-wife's super private family reputation.

While the two most favored grandchildren are occupied, Eddie Cheng has his own agenda which involves being in his grandmother's good grace, though his effort comes out as a little pathetic. Meanwhile, the former Mrs. Tai who is now widely known as Kitty Bing, is now marrying the second wealthiest man in China. Besides acting like a socialite, her only purpose is to take her stepdaughter Colette Bing and her new beau down from the social ladder.

Unsurprisingly, the last 75% of this book was finished in a day and therefore it's safe to say that Rich People Problems was entertaining as well as it was a page-turner. For me, the characters were still the ultimate highlight of this book and while I still adored Nick, Rachel, and Astrid so much, I had just recently welcomed Charlie Wu to the club. He's a man of action and our dearest Astrid deserved to be with someone like him.

Needless to say, the character progression was an aspect I would love to talk about all day. Should it be hard to differ too many characters at once, this book easily dodged this stigma and instead turned it into something memorable. Every character stood out strongly that I didn't have to face any difficulty in terms of the shifting POVs, though the ones who stood out the strongest were naturally the worst ones like Eddie and Michael. But honestly, if you had told me before what Michael was about to do in this book, I probably wouldn't believe it myself. He acted like the whole I-don't-want-your-family-money thing had only been a charade but I suppose hatred changed a person so it's possible.

Even if I didn't root for Collete or Kitty, I have to admit that their characters were equally engaging. I was actually hoping for Collete's to be dug more as we only saw a brief of her true self in such a small portion and even it had caused quite a bit of damage. Unfortunately, they didn't get to deal with each other face to face or else it would be quite a show.

The third part of this book, which was where the reminiscing took place, was quite heartbreaking to say the least. Each was written deeply and close to our hearts. I would even go as far as to say that Kevin Kwan was very brilliant for including the thoughts of some who weren't that close to Su Yi also. Though to be honest, I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to hear Nick's speech. After all, I was hoping that something unexpected would happen and Nick would see it as a chance to say goodbye to his grandmother with the speech he had spent the whole night writing. But regardless, I certainly couldn't think of a better ending than the one this book suggested. Rich People Problem was certainly a satisfying conclusion to a very charming trilogy.

However, an unanswered question is still a question no matter how much you love the ending. Please skip this part if you haven't read the book yet. Nick was determined to save Tyersall Park from Jack Bing who wanted to buy it for 10 billion dollars. He told his aunts that he would buy it the same amount offered and they gave him one month to gather the money. In the end, Nick failed, though I recall hearing Oliver T'sien telling Kitty about Nick's plan and that he was still lacking 4 billion in total.


Tyersall Park new owners based on Su Yi's will:
- Philip Young (30%)
- Felicity Young (12,5%)
- Catherine Young (12,5%)
- Victoria Young (12,5%)
- Alix Young (12,5%)
- Nick Young (10%)
- Alistair Cheng (10%)

Philip had given Nick all of his shares and by logic it made Nick the biggest shareholder of Tyersall Park with a total of 40%. Assuming that Nick had successfully gathered 6 billion dollars even before he met Jirasit, shouldn't he be able to buy Tyersall Park by paying the other shareholders based on their proportion? I mean, even if he finally got the 4 billion he was lacking, wouldn't the money be allocated to him considering he owned the 40%, and 40% of 10 billion is 4?

Even so, I still found this book very enjoyable and great. Though I may not be in a major hangover right now, I'm sort of frustrated as my mood to start a new book has slightly decreased. If Kevin Kwan ever decides to write a spin-off of this trilogy one day, I would be more than happy to pick it up.