Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Featured photo by Lauren Richmond | Retrieved from Unsplash

WARNING: this review contains mild spoilers. Read at your own risk!

The first book I read by Taylor Jenkins Reid was actually The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and it was the first time in a long time that I suffered a heartbreak at the figurative hands of a paperback book.

Naturally, as I was opening Malibu Rising, I was also preparing myself for the inevitable heartbreak that I was sure awaited me at the end of the book.

As always, however, TJR shocks her readers in one way or another… and my heart was broken before the book even neared its end.

This post contains a link to the Book of the Month subscription box at the bottom. This is not sponsored by BOTM nor do I receive payment from them if you sign up. Just a free book 🙂

The Synopsis:

“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.”

My Review

Alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Domestic issues. Surf. Stardom.

Malibu Rising has all of the southern-California-in-the-80s vibes and as a Northern California girl, it surprisingly didn’t make me want to vomit (other NorCal people will know what I mean).

I just love the superstar world that TJR has built in all of her books, especially in Malibu Rising. The story here is told in a non chronological timeline and it is still seamless. It gives the reader a more in-depth look at why the Riva siblings are the way that they are, especially Nina Riva.

I especially love how TJR demonstrates through her characters how our past shapes us, sometimes “makes or breaks” us, and how it is never too late to start again.

Malibu Rising gets five out of five paws (stars, but on this blog, I’ll be using paws as my rating system because why not?) from me because of the complex, emotional, and raw characters TJR has created. In addition to that, the plot is so addictive that I could NOT put this book down. When I wasn’t reading it, I found myself wanting to read it more than anything else. I was so invested in what would happen to Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit by the end of the famous Riva party.

Read This If You Love…

  • SoCal vibes
  • the 1980s
  • Lifestyle of the rich and the famous
  • Marital issues

This book makes for a great read, no matter where you are. It definitely pairs best with the beach and/or summertime weather. I received this book in my Book of the Month subscription box. BOTM is the best subscription for a bookworm who struggles to decide what to read next. Click here to subscribe! (For the record, I do not get any money if you sign up… just a free book!)

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