Rich People Problems: A Novel, by Kevin Kwan

There were a lot of dramatic moments inside the Shang-Young clan. So much so, I felt like I had first-row access inside every nook and cranny of the gossip mill. I’d metamorphosed into the popcorn eating meme, kicking back and allowing myself to become engrossed within an intricate web of secret, lies, and layer upon layer of deceitful behavior, that only made Rich People Problems that much more enjoyable!

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Here’s what I appreciated the most: The characters are completely out there, bright lights emblazoned on the page. There was much to be said that made me cringe, or turn crimson. But that was part of the beauty of it all. Human nature at times can be downright ugly, particularly when jealousy plays a role. Band-aids were never applied here- I was privy to each and every wound left open by words said, or actions that were mistaken or taken for granted. Then, gossip would stir up inside the minds of various characters, only adding fuel to the fire, or as my grandfather used to call it, “stirring the pot”. There are plenty of pot stirrers in the mix here, lending into each and every sordid scene.

My only snag with Rich People were the additional footnotes added to the story. I understood the need for them. There were certain scenes or particular words that probably needed further explanation, but I felt as though while reading the story, the footnotes took me out of the scenery. After several pages of reading the story, then shifting to the footnotes, I decided to do away with them and stopped reading any additional explanations listed at the bottom of the page, making for a smoother experience for me, personally.

I understand Rich People is the third installment to a trilogy, with China Rich Girlfriend and Crazy Rich Asians before it. I can honestly tell you that I didn’t at all feel lost by not reading the first two, which is a testament to how well this story was written. I picked up right where the story started, with no troubles. However, with that being said, I have every intention of reading the first two installments, primarily for the entertainment value and because I need to know the backstory going on for several of the characters that were so vividly brought to life. They’re so well-written and very likable, you can’t help but want to get to know them all better.

Originally reviewed for Chick Lit Central

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