Review: Malibu Rising

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

I had fun with Malibu Rising. It was the first of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books that I read and is probably still my favorite (the other two I’ve read being The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & The Six). Maybe it’s because I read this on a whirlwind trip to Panama City Beach over the summer, and it was the absolute perfect setting for such a beachy read, but this book felt magically perfect to me. There was so much character development entangled with juicy family drama that I couldn’t look away – not like as if it were a train wreck. More as if it were a parade of beautiful people. And with the Rivas, it basically was.

Malibu Rising follows Nina Riva, a supermodel, and her siblings, who all have a tumultuous relationship with their father, famous singer Mick Riva. Drama ensues when the estranged Mick Riva shows up at Nina’s annual blowout party attended by A-list celebs from across the globe. I don’t want to give away any of the fun, so that’s as much as I’ll say about the plot.

Mick Riva shows up in some of Jenkins Reid’s other books, so those familiar with his character’s appearances in Daisy Jones and Evelyn Hugo will be excited for his reprise in this book, with his dysfunctional life and family as the focus of the novel’s plot. Fans of Jenkins Reid will appreciate how much her writing style seems to grow with each book she writes. As I state in my review, I wasn’t a big fan of Daisy Jones & The Six, but I did really warm to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It seems like, with each book her voice strengthens and matures, and I am here for it.

I thought this book was incredibly charming. I do have to admit that I have this bias of remembering reading it, the pages contrasting against the turquoise waters of the Gulf Coast, in the best setting ever, so perhaps my review is tainted by that. In which case I say – on your next beach trip, this is the book to pack. And for those of you looking for a tantalizing escape to a world of glittering fame, treacherous secrets, and a promise of redemption, look no further than Malibu Rising.

Dates read: August 5-7, 2021

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