Holy shit was this intense! Taylor Jenkins Reid blew it out of the water again, as per usual. I fully expected all of the usual TJR magic with Malibu Rising and not only did she deliver, but it was way more magical than anticipated- the characters, the storyline, the family dynamics, the Malibu landscape, the history… everything.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: “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.”
I couldn’t get enough of the characters in this book. Specifically, the Riva siblings: Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. They are truly badass and I was blown away by everything that they endured through out this book. I don’t want to give anything away, but these siblings experienced truly heartbreaking hardships and loss over the course of their young lives and their resilience is absolutely inspiring. Nina Riva is the most incredible of all and the roles that she assumed/decisions she had to make as a young girl because of these hardships are things that absolutely NO child should have to do but SHE 👏🏻 FUCKING 👏🏻 KILLED 👏🏻 IT.
I really enjoyed the deep dive into Mick Riva’s life and background. Readers get to familiarize themselves with his childhood, his relationship with June (his first wife and the true love of his life), his skyrocketing career and even the other marriages along the way. I LOVED how this story still connected (very briefly)in some ways to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo with a few quick mentions of some beloved characters.
Taylor Jenkins Reid is a fantastic storyteller and the queen of inventing dynamic characters who feel so realistic and make you become instantly attached to. I love how she addresses forgiveness, resilience, child neglect, spousal neglect, infidelity, acceptance, self love, and much more, in such a mature and thought provoking manner. One downside to this book is that there are A LOT of secondary characters that get introduced throughout the book and it can feel a little overwhelming at times not knowing who you should be focusing on.
If you’re a fan of TJR, or are looking for an engrossing, gut wrenching and heart exploding family drama that will suck you in from the very beginning, I can’t recommend Malibu Rising enough. This story will be released June 1st 💛 thank you so much NetGalley and Random House for this gifted eARC in exchange for my honest review.
BEER RECOMMENDATION: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is best paired with Lil’ BB’s Brekkie Tastee by The Veil Brewing Co. This delicious smoothie-style sour ale is brewed with milk sugar, oats, maple syrup, strawberry, banana, and blueberry purée 🍻