Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six . . . 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.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

Malibu Rising publishes June 1, 2021.

It’s been awhile since I read a Taylor Jenkins Reid book. While I have really enjoyed some of her titles, the last couple weren’t for me (I DNF-ed one and had no interest in reading the other). There was something about Malibu Rising, though, that made me want to pick it up.

The heart of the story are the 4 Riva siblings – Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit – and this is where it really excelled. Pretty much any scene that involved sibling interaction, I enjoyed. On their own, I could take or leave, but I loved seeing them together, how much they cared about each other and were there for each other. They’ve been through a lot in their young lives and I was glad to see them stick together.

What I didn’t like, however, was pretty much everything else. I did not like the backstory of their parents, June and Mick. I can’t stand cheating and there was a lot of it in this book. I also get extremely frustrated with women who just continually take back cheaters and abusers. In addition to those characters, there are a lot of minor characters introduced as guests of the big party and I did not care about any of them. I’m not always a big fan of books about the rich and famous and there was a lot of time spent on these awful people. It was a lot of getting drunk and high and trashing the place and it just annoyed me.

Overall, Malibu Rising was just ok for me. I loved the sibling interaction and there’s no denying that TJR is a talented writer. However, I didn’t care for the drunken, drugged up party goers or the awful Mick Riva, and thought the story ended up being a lot less anti-climactic than the synopsis made it sound like.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 3 Stars

10 thoughts on “Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. Great review! So far this author has not worked for me. I was thinking about trying this book but after reading your review I am definitely going to pass. Maybe I will try one of her backlist books or I may just throw in the towel and move on.

    • Thanks! The books I liked by her before are Maybe in Another Life and One True Loves. I think I had some issues with both of them, but my overall enjoyment definitely outweighed those. I’m not what you will think of them, though.

      • I may give one of those a try. The books I didn’t like are Daisy Jones and Evelyn Hugo. Everyone seems to love them and I just feel meh.

      • Oh I agree with you! I DNF-ed Evelyn Hugo. I disliked it so, so much! And I have absolutely zero interest in Daisy Jones. It just doesn’t look the least bit interesting to me. I think her books about average people are more my speed than her books about the rich and famous.

      • I am jealous you DNf’d Evelyn Hugo lol! I chose it for book club so I felt like I had to read it.

  2. Pingback: May 2021 Recap | Stephanie's Book Reviews

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