Book Review: China Rich Girlfriend & Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
“People are messy. Life gets messy. Things are not always going to work out perfectly just because you want them to.”
I read Crazy Rich Asians last summer and really enjoyed it. We also went to see the movie in theaters, which we never do, and it was delightful. Hello, Henry Golding. I have wanted to wrap up the trilogy and finally got on the library waiting list for the ebooks. China Rich Girlfriend was on my Summer TBR list. The second book in the series focuses at first on Rachel and Nick’s wedding in California; they are still dealing with the fallout from his family’s dismissal of Rachel, especially his grandmother and mother. Yet Eleanor “saves” the day when she finally tracks down Rachel’s birth father. It turns out he is one of China’s richest men, but his wife and son have no idea about her. Rachel and Nick spend the summer in Shanghai in order to meet the Bao family, but really only ever see her half-brother, Carlton. Carlton introduces Nick and Rachel to his friend/girlfriend, Colette Bing, one of China’s richest social media influencers. What ensues is crazy antic after crazy antic. We also check in on Astrid; she and Michael are not doing well, and she seeks out her old boyfriend, Charlie Wu, for friendship.
“The quality of the stone isn’t perfect, but when I wore it, it always reminded me of how life can surprise you. Sometimes, the thing that at first appears flawed can end up being the most perfect thing in the world for you.”
Rich People Problems picks up two years after China Rich Girlfriend, and somehow the stakes are even higher and crazier for these characters. Su Yi, Nick and Astrid’s grandmother, has a heart attack, and even though Nick hasn’t seen her in five years, he feels the need to go back to Singapore and make peace with Ah Ma. Everyone else in the family feels that since Nick and the rest of the family is estranged that they now have a better chance of inheriting Tyersall Park and more of Su Yi’s fortune. Astrid and Michael are in the middle of a divorce, and Charlie and his wife are divorcing as well, and Charlie and Astrid have fallen back in love and are continuing their relationship. I also enjoyed the peeks that we got of Su Yi’s past during World War II and prior to her starting her own family. The whole family comes back to Singapore to be with Su Yi in her last few weeks and be there for the reading of her will. Rich People Problems was the perfect way to wrap up the series.
If you’re looking for a fun and enjoyable series for the beach or pool this summer, I cannot recommend these books enough. All three novels were just a lot of fun. Reading Kevin Kwan’s series makes me want to travel to Singapore, Hong Kong, and Shanghai, China. But until then, I’ll have to settle for the movies. I did have some issues with China Rich Girlfriend and thus gave it 3.5 stars, but I still enjoyed it. I really liked Rich People Problems and gave it 4 stars.
What other fun series would make great summer reads?