Saturday, February 6, 2021

Book Review: Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In the blindingly bright mornings before his first glass of bourbon ... 

Mick thought of his children. Nina, Jay, and Hud.

They would be fine, he figured. He had chosen a good mother for them. He had done that right. And he was paying the bills for all of them. He was keeping that roof over their head, sending child support payments that were sky high. They would be fine. After all, he'd been fine with far less than they had. He gave no thought to the idea that he might break his children just as someone had broken him. 

I'm a HUGE fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid's books, except I was really disappointed by Daisy Jones & the Sixher last novel—I'm not sure why I disliked it, but I actually didn't even finish it. I'm happy to report that Malibu Rising is more in the format of her older books, and I really enjoyed it. 

Official synopsis:
Book Review: Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
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 rising 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.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fantastic writer (for Daisy Jones & the Six, I think I just didn't like the format of the book), and Malibu Rising was a great book. In her previous books, the author sometimes focused on romantic relationships; although this book did have some romance in it, it focused more on the relationship between Nina Riva and her three siblings, as well as their tumultuous relationship with their rockstar dad, Mick Riva, who left them—and then came back, at one point—when they were children. 

Most of TJR's books are heartbreaking, in some form or another, and this one was no exception; however, I always really enjoy them nonetheless. This novel bounced back and forth between the 1950s and 1960s, when June (their mother) meets Mick Riva, and the 1970's and 1980s, when Nina is helping to raise her brothers and sister. The end focuses on the Riva's annual end-of-summer-party, and the craziness that happens there.

4.5 stars out of 5.

{click HERE to pre-order; it will be online/in stores on June 1, 2021}

*Disclosure: I received a NetGalley copy of this book for reviewing purposes. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.


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