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  • Writer's pictureChrissy's Books

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: 10/10

This has to be one of the most heavily talked about books of summer 2021. I kid you not. This book has been legitimately everywhere. I even keep seeing people reading it irl (in real life). It’s a definite beach read. Also, in case you didn’t know, Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of two huge bestseller reads, Daisy Jones & the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Which I’ve yet to read but I'll definitely be adding them to my list after this. This book is also being turned into a TV series soon on Hulu. I want to give a huge thanks to Ballantine Books for sending me this book. I actually won it on instagram! So happy that I did :)


The setting for this beachy read is Malibu, California. (What a setting!)

It’s August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever high. Anyone who is anyone who wants to be near 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 they are the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person who’s not too keen on the party is Nina Riva. She hated being the center of attention, plus, she’s just been very publicly abandoned by her pro-tennis player husband. Hud as well, isn’t looking forward to this party because he has a big secret that he needs to confess to his brother from whom he’s been inseparable with since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting down the minutes to the party since the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised to be at the party, And Kit, has secrets of her own, including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight, the party will be out of control, but before all of the craziness, 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.

My Review:

When I picked this book up, I have to say, I had no expectations for it. Yes, it’s the book that everyone is reading this summer, and yes, the author has a huge reputation given her huge past bestsellers, but given that this is my first book by TJR, I mostly just wanted to read it because, you know, summer. Lol It gave me summer vibes solely based on the book cover so my expectations were like, meh… let’s see how this goes.

Well well well, Taylor Jenkins Reid, guuurl, you blew me away with this book!! I honestly was like shook by how much I loved this book! It totally hit me out of left field, or whatever the baseball term is. Haha What an absolute pleasant surprise!

This book is an absolute summer must read! Like seriously, it’s pretty damn good.

Let’s start off with the writing, because that’s the first thing I noticed about this book. It was just so damn readable, effortless, and really cool! This is a cool book! Ha I loved her writing in it. You can tell that she’s definitely a fantastic writer because the words just flowed so easily, but also I really appreciated the way it was written. Quite a clever writer indeed. Respect.

The 2nd feature that I loved was the absolutely delicious anticipation to this epic party to end all parties. Mate. I was LIVING for this party! Haha I love books that take place over the course of one day. It makes the anticipation so damn sweet. The book begins in a countdown format which was so much fun to read. I loved how short and precise the chapters were too. It was one of those books that I found myself really looking forward to picking up each night! Gearing myself up to get into the world of the Riva family, haha I loved it!

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a writer to watch out for. The way she described each scene during the party section of the book was absolutely stellar. You literally felt like you were right there, livin it up at the Riva party! It was seriously so epic.

The 3rd feature that I was absolutely living for was the sheer drama! Oh yesssss I love me some drama child. This book is filled with all the glitz, and glamor of a good ol California party! I loved the setting of this book so much! She really captured the essence of the whole Malibu, unattainable, dreamy, easy going yet glam vibe that Malibu offers to us mere mortals. I loved it. If you love gossip and drama, and glitz and glam, Hollywood, all of that jazz, then you’ll really love this book. I was living for the drama haha

I also really loved the time period that she chose for this book, 80s glam vibe. It was fantastic.

I of course have to also talk about character development. We follow one famous family, the Rivas, what a cool name too btw. They all have their own shit or drama going on, and I loved how the author developed each character’s personalities. It was fascinating to read. Nina is most definitely the star of the show though. I loved her character a lot. She felt quite relatable and I was rooting for her the entire time.

I honestly just want everyone to read this book. It’s a perfect summer read. I felt so satisfied after reading it. It was everything that I wanted from a summer beach read and more. It ticked all of my boxes. I’ll definitely be reading more from this author and I have to definitely start off with her most famous one, Daisy Jones and the Six. This was a story about sibling and family relationships, heartbreak, making sacrifices for people you love, and living your truth. I loved it! Also it really made me want to learn how to surf even more. Highly recommend it for lovers of drama, glitz and glam type of reads.

Song Pick:

I wanted a song that felt like you could hear at a Hollywood, Cali party, something a little reckless, fun, and a song that captured that dreamy unattainable Malibu, sunny, surfy vibe. I wanted it to be a cool song too just like the characters in this book! So I had to choose this song because firstly, I love this band, and secondly, this album rocks, so my song pick is appropriately titled, ‘Malibu’ by Hole. Love this album - Celebrity Skin. A must listen.

Genre: Historical Fiction | Domestic Fiction | LGBTQ+

Pages: 384 Pages

Publication Date: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Ballantine Books


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