Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is the fastest turnaround I’ve had from read to review in a long time! I was just bursting to share my thoughts with you. I loved this next book and am sure you will too.

Goodreads Blurb

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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.

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 bubbling 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.

Malibu Rising Book Cover

Review

Despite my initial excitement of getting my hands on Malibu Rising, after reading the first chapter, I was afraid this book wasn’t for me after all. For one, I realised it was a family drama, a genre that more often than not gets a 3-star review from me. I also groaned at the combination of the location, surfers, and celebrity. However, it didn’t take long until I was completely sucked in.

The characters were what elevated me from like to love of Malibu Rising. I was gobsmacked by how enthralled I became with characters I have absolutely nothing in common with. Naturally, my attention was drawn to two of the characters: mother and daughter, June and Nina.

June and Nina didn’t just bring out my empathetic side, they dove right into my heart and dragged it out. Both are hard done by throughout the book and I felt my heart sink every time they were hurt. Of course, that also produced a flip side in that I had two characters I was rooting for every step (or should I say page) of the way. My emotions were at an ultimate high as the back story of June and Mick unravelled. Their story could have been a book of its own and I would have been completely satisfied!

That’s not to say I didn’t like the rest of the characters. I loved each and every member of the Riva family, how they are all so different yet make a strong, admirable family unit. Based on the blurb, the reader gets a certain impression of the Riva kids: spoilt, rich brats possibly? Yet, I’m grateful the author didn’t go down this route and did something different with this often stereotypical character type.

And the story itself… I loved it! It doesn’t include the gasps and shocks I usually look for in a book but it has emotion and a beautiful reflection on family, which also makes for a wonderful book.

Malibu Rising will be released on June 1st, 2021.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley.

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