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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by Julia Whelan

Publisher: Random House Audio
Publish Date: June 1, 2021
11 hrs 5 min
Genres: Contemporary, Historical Fiction

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.

My Review:

My third Taylor Jenkins Reid book. My favorite is still The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo followed closely by Daisy Jones and the Six.  Malibu Rising just reconfirms how talented this author is as she takes us from the 1960s to the 1980s centering around a family that appear to be falling apart.  While there's no mistaking that TJR tells a story with so much feeling that even her unlikable characters somehow become likable, this one fell just a little flat for me.  

I enjoyed learning of these siblings, their mother, the crazy relationships - TJR tackles family problems well and there's certainly a lot of quotes from it that I could pull.  For me, it just felt like I was listening to a story about them (btw the narrator is AMAZING on audio) and then the story just ended.  Which is fine in itself but I never got fully drawn in.

Note to self: never date a legendary singer. ✔🤣


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