Review: Malibu Rising (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

Malibu Rising
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publication Date: June 1, 2021
Publisher: Ballentine Books
Genre: Historical, Fiction, Romance
Note: This review is for an ARC and is my unbiased opinion.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


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 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.

Not going to lie. I was curious as to how Taylor Jenkins Reid was going to follow up the masterpiece that was Daisy Jones and The Six. That book was so unique and cool and well done. What could possibly be as good? Malibu Rising. That’s what.

Every year, Nina Riva throws the biggest party of the summer. Anyone who is anyone attends. Major things always happen at the summer party and are gossiped about for years to come. 1983’s party is sure to be the most epic of them all, and we, the readers, are invited to the fun.

How I just described Malibu Rising was pretty simple. An epic party. It was more than a party, though. Malibu Rising was a family saga. The story alternates between that day of the party in August 1983 and the past. The past began with Mick and June Rivas falling in love. Their story was a hot mess. Mick’s fame brought many problems along with it. Both of their decisions shaped their kids, and it wasn’t always done pleasantly. The past continues right up until the day of the party. On the day of the party in 1983, we get what the Riva kids are up to as adults on the day of the party that will shape their future. I was fascinated by both timelines. There wasn’t one I liked more than the other. I didn’t want to set the book down. The writing was soooo good. I could easily imagine this book as a television show — like Dallas or Dynasty with a Southern California flare.

Another thing that made this book so good were the characters. They felt real. Malibu Rising almost felt like a tell all memoir from the Riva family.  Just like I did while Daisy Jones and The Six, I found myself wanting to Google the Rivas family and find out more about them. I loved the close knit feeling from the kids and how they helped each other through their struggles.

I’m not sure what else to say about Malibu Rising. This review already feels rambling. I loved just it so much I want to read it all over again. And I want everyone to read it. It will definitely be on my list of top books for 2021.

22 thoughts on “Review: Malibu Rising (Taylor Jenkins Reid)”

  1. Ooooh, I didn’t know Taylor Jenkins Reid had a new book coming up! I am so behind on her fantastic work, but I plan to read it aaaaall (especially with the upcoming Daisy Jones and the Six adaptation)

  2. Ahhh! I am jumping up and down! I have been on the fence about reading this one because her other book was so epic and I did not think that she could top it. I am going to have to make sure that I read this before the year’s out. Maybe the audiobook is just as good, too?! You have me so excited, Deanna!! 🙂

    1. I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did! I bet the audiobook will be amazing. I might listen to it when it comes out.

    1. Thanks! I was wondering how you would feel about some of it. I know you don’t like to read about a certain topic and it was prevalent in this one.

  3. Mick Rivas! I had no idea this one included a character from a previous book. I remember Mick from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Too cool.

    1. I forgot he was in that one! I guess he was also in a party scene in DJ & The 6.

  4. Now that I finished the book, I can read reviews! Ha! I had the same feeling while I was reading it: it’s so reminiscent of Dynasty, Dallas, and Knots Landing. It would be fun to see it adapted!

    1. Woohoo! I agree! I just saw her One True Loves is being adapted. I need to read that one.

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