I never really understood Elmore Leonard’s writing advice: Try to leave out the parts people will skip. As a reader, I don’t skip parts of books; sometimes they’re slow and maybe I’ll skim some, but fully skipping has always seemed like a recipe for misunderstanding.
But Rich People Problems has skippable parts. The bits with Eddie. The bits with Kitty. They’re two characters who are so venal – they just grate on me. They’re funny in small doses, but a little bit goes a long way. There is FAR too much of them in this book. I ran an eye over those parts as I turned the page, so I didn’t miss any major plot points.
Otherwise, I think this is a fun, fine book. It’s made me want to visit Singapore and eat all the food there. It even explores many different types of infidelity, without doing it in an in-your-face, overly intellectual kind of way. (Does that make it trashy? Maybe.)
Recommended, if you liked the first two.
What’s it about?
Did you read Crazy Rich Asians? China Rich Girlfriend is its sequel. We met Nick’s family in the first book, and this time we meet Rachel’s. She discovers her birth father (she was raised by a single mother in Cupertino – just down the street!), and it turns out that he’s one of the new Chinese billionaires. Which allows our author to explore Shanghai society in this book like he explored Singapore society in the last one.
I should note that Rachel is not the China Rich Girlfriend. She discovers she has a half-brother; his girlfriend is the titular character.
Why should you read it?
You should read it because you read and enjoyed the first book. It’s not as good, but it is still fun. Kevin Kwan – the author – was raised in Singapore and clearly has first-hand experience of a lot of that city; he researched Shanghai.
But overall China Rich Girlfriend is a relaxing beach/vacation/holiday read. (I’m not saying much, but there’s not a huge amount to say – which isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes an entertaining fun read is all you want.)