Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Posted May 26, 2021 by WendyW in Book Review, bookblogger / 7 Comments

Malibu Rising
One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication Date June 1, 2021
Published by Random House Publishing Group
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Sagas, Women
Pages: 384

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo . . . Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.
“One of the most anticipated [books] of the year—and rightfully so. . . . It’s a must-read.”—Parade
Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.
The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.
Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.
And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.
By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.
Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

My five-star review:

Oh boy! This is an emotional, and intriguing story that will stay with me for quite a while. I just loved it. The setting is Malibu, California, and it’s stunning.

This story mainly revolves around the Riva family. The timeline flips between the late ’50s and early ’60s, to the early ‘80s, and involved two generations of the Riva family. Starting with Mick Riva and his love for June, their eventual marriage, and children. Mick Riva rises to fame as a singer and icon, which as you can imagine, brings chaos to his family in Malibu. Mick’s children, Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit, grow up in a tumultuous home, and the book tells their story as they become adults. This is one story told in a 24-hour time frame, with flashbacks to the early years of Mick and June and back to his children as they grow into adults in the early 80s,

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented and amazing writer. The characters are well developed and their motivations are clear and understandable. The alternating timelines and the flashbacks, give this book a fast pace, making this book a real page-turner!

I don’t usually enjoy stories about famous people and rock stars, but that is really just a side story here. The main story is about the children, and how they cope with having a famous parent, and the struggles they face growing up with a single mom, and their absent father. The children are smart, fairly well-adjusted new adults who, thanks to their mother, are grounded, but have their own worries and insecurities.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an emotional, family drama.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

7 responses to “Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. Thanks for following me on Pinterest because now I can follow you here as well! I agree with you about this book (I reviewed it recently myself), but I still like Daisy Jones better!

  2. Glad you loved this one Wendy. I felt like I had my toes buried in the sand while I was reading it! The author does a great job of putting you right there with the characters!

    • Thanks Kaycee, Yes, I grew up near Malibu in the 80s too! So, it was so much fun for me. So glad you enjoyed it too.