The short, short review: YESSSSSSS!
The short review: the Youngs of Tyersall Park are back in fine form in the last entry in the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. If you enjoyed either of the first two books, you’re going to want to read this one.
The long review: from the end of Crazy Rich Asians, readers had to know this book was coming. With Nick, the long-presumed heir of Tyersall Park, disinherited, who was going to get the estate and all that fabulous wealth? Ethereal goddess Astrid? Venal Eddie? One of the innumerable other Young cousins? It could go any number of ways, but one thing was certain: it was going to be an ugly battle.
As in the previous two books, Rich People Problems revels in the conspicuous consumption of the main characters. It’s gleeful and voyeuristic. However, Rich People Problems takes the necessary and important step of moving beyond just the bananas spending. Kwan digs deeper emotionally with the characters than before, and it works.
How well did it work? Well enough that, despite my dance of joy when I received the notice that I’d been approved for the ARC of the book back in March, I actually put the book away for two months at the 30% mark. Not to spoil it, but Eddie was being Eddie, and it was stressing me out.
When I returned to the book, I raced right through to the end. Spoiler: I breathed a deep sigh of relief. The ending is a fairy tale. The characters you like end well. And for those you don’t, most uppances come right on time.
My primary complaint about the book is one that Kwan surprised me with tidbits of Su Yi’s backstory, and it’s unsatisfying. The anecdotes are doled out at irregular intervals, and aren’t tied together very well at all. Because most of the characters in this series are not complex people, it was a pleasant change to get hints at a more colorful life for Su Yi than that of a pampered daughter and wife (which she certainly was). If Kwan wanted to write a short story about Shang Su Yi, I would absolutely be here for it.
I loved Crazy Rich Asians. I thought China Rich Girlfriend lacked a lot of the energy of the first one (especially with that awful recycled Rachel plot). Rich People Problems returns to early promise of the series with a more mature outlook on the characters. This is a worthy end to an enjoyable series, and is absolutely one of my favorite reads of the year.
I received an advance copy of this book (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.