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  • Writer's pictureBecca

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. Over the course of the epic bash, things will change for each of the siblings in unexpected ways.

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. As things change for the Riva siblings, their world will never be the same.

Malibu Rising was easily one of the most anticipated reads of the year for many a #bookstagrammer. Reid, best known for her outstanding books Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, moves through the decades seamlessly with this fun summer read.

The transitioning timelines mostly flip between the story of June Costas as she falls in love with up and coming singer, Mick Riva, and Nina Riva amidst the aftermath of her failed marriage as she plans the famous annual Riva end of summer blowout. It's nearly impossible to not make some comparisons to the Kardashians as you read this book, if only the Kardashians appeared in the 1980s versus the 2000s.

It's always interesting when you read a book by an author when you have loved their previous works, it's impossible not to compare them. I enjoyed Malibu Rising but it lacked a really stellar cast of characters like TJR's previous reads. Nina is interesting, but her siblings felt one note and the pacing of the novel felt really off. The book is sold as all taking place over 24 hours at a party, but really only about a 1/4 of the novel is that. The ending, in particular, felt rushed and didn't totally align with the characters in the rest of the novel .

“Our family histories are simply stories. They are myths we create about the people who came before us, in order to make sense of ourselves.” -Malibu Rising

I think that it would have been more successful to either have a book all about the siblings and the events of the party or the story of June and Mick, but having both took away from both parts of the story. I still really enjoyed this as the great summer read that it is, it just doesn't live up to previous TJR reads for me.

If you want a light read, then grab this one next!

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