BOOK REVIEW: Malibu Rising
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):
Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, the family drama that ensues will change 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.
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I read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo a few months ago. I didn’t even realize Malibu Rising was written by the same author until I started reading it, but it becomes immediately obvious. The tone is the same and she references some things that are in the other book. I enjoyed The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I didn’t LOVE it like many of the reviewers I’ve seen online. That may have affected my take on Malibu Rising slightly.
Similar to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I didn’t think Malibu Rising lived up to the hype I’d seen online. It was good. It was entertaining. And it’s extremely well-written. Taylor Jenkins Reid is an amazing writer. However, something just fell flat for me. There is a lot of drama and interesting story lines, but for some reason it just didn’t capture my attention and make me look forward to reading more.
I think part of it for me is that there was SO much going on in this book. I tend to prefer books with a more limited scope where we really get to know a particular character. We kind of get that with Nina, but not exactly.
Ultimately, it’s a good book. I think I’ve just learned that Taylor Jenkins Reid is probably not the author for me.