ARC Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Malibu Rising

Title: Malibu Rising

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Published: June 1, 2021

Pages: 384

Format: e-ARC through Netgalley- Thank you, Ballantine Books!

Small Blurb from Goodreads:

“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.

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:

If you have read any of the other books written by Taylor Jenkins Reid, pick this one up. I had high expectations for this one and it mostly delivered. You know when you are extremely busy but you pick up a book and get sucked in? Then you have to put it down for the busy reasons and all you can do is think about it? I had this problem. I couldn’t wait to get back to it because I just needed to know what happened next!

One of my favorite things about Reid is her brilliant writing style. She handles a dual timeline so well. I can sometimes struggle with them because I fall in love with one story over the other. I don’t have this problem with her writing because she keeps both stories so engaging. In this book, we jump back and forth between the past and present of our current characters. We have four siblings that have had a rocky life and we get to know how that happens. They may look like they have it all but it’s so far from the truth.

The Riva siblings (Nina, Jay, Hud, & Kit) seem to have it all and get away with a lot because their dad is Mick Riva. He’s a super famous singer and absent in their lives. He’s pretty much the worst too. We get the story of how Mick and June met and how their love story unfolded. There’s a lot of cheating in this book, which can be a trigger. It was so hard to read at times. I know that I’ve read some people couldn’t understand how a woman can keep taking the same man back. I get it, it’s rough. Although, it’s not really the point of this book. The point is much greater and how we learn from those mistakes. How her children adapted, learned, and grew (if they got it at all). The siblings are absolutely the best part of this book. I loved reading about them in the past and present. They would do anything for each other and that’s inspiring.

Now, I docked this a whole star for a couple of reasons. The first is that this book keeps building to what will be a huge climax but I’m not quite satisfied with where it went. I don’t want to spoil anything but I just felt “meh” after I finished. There’s a lot of things that tidying up too prettily if that makes any sense. I also didn’t enjoy the fact that we get a ton of minor characters in the last like 30% of the book. We get to know all these rich and famous people between the Rivas chapters and I didn’t care. The partying and destroying things was a bit much. I get that it happens a lot and how money and fame can just get you out of anything. I just didn’t care for all the additional minor characters that had nothing to do with the overall plot. It was a bit jarring and took me out of the story a bit. Those are my two biggest issues with this book.

Overall, I did really enjoy this book. It was fast-paced and kept me engaged. I did think she lost me a bit with the last bit of the book and the ending. I still would recommend it if you are a fan of her work! Evelyn Hugo is still my absolute favorite by her!


Have you read this one yet? Is it on your TBR?? Let me know!!

8 thoughts on “ARC Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. Thanks for the great review. I am not sure I will read this one, though, as the issues you had would be mine, too! I don’t enjoy a lot of “irrelevant” characters and I like feeling good when the story ends. So…I might just pass on this one.

    Liked by 1 person

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