Set about two years after China Rich Girlfriend, Rich People Problems starts with an event to bring the whole family together – Su Yi, the matriarch of the Young family, has a heart attack and is not expected to live long, prompting Nick to finally return home in an attempt to reconcile with his beloved grandmother.
The family shenanigans are as fun and gossip filled as the rest of the books in the series, and Eddie, the clueless Hong Kong cousin, adds a lot of levity in his attempts to show himself as the most devoted (and fashionable) grandson. Seeing the family dynamics was so entertaining, that I was actually a bit disappointed how much of the novel was spent on side journeys and other characters. I liked Kitty Pong in the last novels, but I didn’t care that much about her story line in this one (though I liked her final resolution a lot). I think the other reason I didn’t have as much fun with this one was Astrid’s treatment. Astrid was my favorite character in the previous novels as the effortlessly stylish cousin who was intelligent, sophisticated but also struggling with her marriage. So much of the novel involved her dealing with scandal and disapproval that it was hard to enjoy the novel as a whole even if it all came out alright by the end.
That isn’t to say it wasn’t a generally optimistic and easy read – I enjoyed finally hearing more about Sun Yi’s past, going deeper into the relationships between the Young siblings, and many characters got a well deserved comeuppance by the end. In some cases, I just wish they had been put in their place much earlier and in a more public way rather than a few paragraphs only pages from the end of the novel.