Book Gush: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A lifetime holding it together.
One party will bring it crashing down.

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 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.


I fell head over heels for Daisy Jones and Evelyn Hugo (proof here!), and they cemented Taylor Jenkins Reid as an autobuy author for me. So there was no way I wasn’t jumping on Malibu Risingor jumping in headfirst, as this is, after all, an ocean-y beach read. (Sorry.)


N.B: this is not intended as a fair or balanced review, but a totally biased and unabashedly enthusiastic squeal on all the things I loved about the book. This is pure, unrestrained fangirling! 


❗️Mild spoilers ahead!❗️


❤️ I’ve never been to Malibu, but the setting was so well-rendered, I now feel like I’ve lived there. (I’ve also never had any interest in surfing, but now I feel like a pro. Which could be quite dangerous, if I didn’t live two hours away from any beach, and hate the water.)
❤️ I loved the dual timeframe. It was a great way of melding the multiple POVs, and giving backstory without lagging the plot–in fact, it furthered the plot, as well as providing a deeper understanding of the characters (and keeping me wanting more. I could not decide which time frame I’d rather be in, and had to keep reading until I’d finished the next one. This was not a slow book).
❤️ The blurb gives away that Malibu will be burning by the end of the book, and there’s a clever countdown to it through the chapter headings. That kept me guessing–incorrectly–who started the fire from the first page, and when I finally found out, I was so surprised I actually burst out laughing. And once I could form a coherent thought, it was: That fits. Genius.


💖 These characters feel things, and go through one hell of a lot. And even though so many of these situations are things I can’t relate to at all, Taylor Jenkins Reid has a magic way of making them so understandable and realistic, my heart aches empathizing with the characters suffering through them (looking at you, June Riva).



🌟Favourite character: Nina. All day every day. She deserves the world. (I also adore Tarine. Not only was she a wild curveball to the stereotype her character might have been in other hands, I agreed with basically every word she said, and I was glad SOMEONE was saying it. We all need a friend like Tarine in our lives.)
🌟Favourite quote: “There’s no room for you in my life anymore. And I don’t owe it to you to make any space.”
🌟Favourite moment: The moment when the above quote was said. (FINALLY.)


This book is:
A standalone🔶Part of a duology🔶Part of a trilogy🔶Part of a series

It’s also:

Middle Grade🔶YA🔶Adult

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