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Malibu Rising

Thank you Ballantine and Net Galley for a digital copy of Malibu Rising, in exchange for an honest review. #partner

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is the ultimate summer beach read of 2021. The fact it is set in 1980's Malibu makes it even more perfect. (This picture is about as close to a beachside pick as I can get in Wisconsin...scummy lake where my kids are bass fishing and I'm sitting on the wooded shore! But hey, a girl can dream.)


In 1983, one unforgettable night will change the Riva siblings forever. On the night of the annual Riva party, oldest sibling Nina is still grappling with her husband leaving her, brothers Jay and Hud are keeping secrets from each other and themselves, and the youngest, Kit, is coming to terms with who she truly is. The night of their annual party, they cozy up with Hollywood's rich and famous at Nina's cliffside Malibu mansion and an culmination of events occurs that changes the course of each of their lives.

Mel's Thoughts:

Ever since reading Daisy Jones & the Six, TJR has been an auto-buy author for me. She has a way of crafting characters that creep into your heart and storylines that keep you turning the pages. I love her books when I am in the mood for something that is a mix of character and plot driven, but isn't heavy lit fic that will put me in a depressed state.

What I loved about Malibu Rising is the combination of each sibling's story and the concept that the entire plot takes place in 24 hours. That synopsis immediately gripped me and I enjoyed seeing how each character's story played out. While Malibu Rising takes place over one evening, the chapters alternate with flashbacks from the Riva siblings youth days and how their parents originally met. It is a story that represents that we carry our parents trauma and how we choose to deal with it. It is also a strong story about sibling love and forgiveness-which I absolutely loved. The Riva siblings reminded me of myself and my brothers. We were thick as thieves as children and I was the "caretaker," much like Nina was, therefore I connected deeply with her character.

When I compare Malibu Rising to the other TJR novels I read, I still think that Daisy Jones reigns supreme, but Malibu Rising and Evelyn Jones are a close tie for second. When I say I could not put this one down, I am not exaggerating. The only complaint I have is there were quite a few characters thrown at the reader and, at times, I wasn't sure who exactly the chapter was talking about. Besides the Riva siblings, there were other famous actors and actresses, athletes, musicians, and locals that wanted to be part of the party who had side stories. These got a bit confusing and distracted from the story of the siblings, but again, only complaint.

Conclusion? Malibu Rising is the perfect summer beach read. Take this one with you if you are going on a summer vacation or just need something easy, breezy to read on your patio or deck.


4 - 4.5 stars

Favorite Quotes:

"Maybe our parents' lives are imprinted within us, maybe the only fate there is is the temptation of reliving their mistakes. Maybe, try as we might, we will never be able to outrun the blood that runs through our veins. Or. Or maybe we are free the moment we're born. Maybe everything we've ever done is by our own hands."

"That's what it means to be a family. Staying."

Other Books by Taylor Jenkins Reid:

Daisy Jones & the Six

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

*Click the title links to read my full review*

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