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Book Review: Malibu Rising By Taylor Jenkins Reid


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 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.


Just when you thought you know when the fire is going to happen, you really don’t!

This novel was so detailed in a good way. The only downfall I will say was there was a bit too much unnecessary extra sided characters although for a film this would be amazing to watch! As always with Taylor’s novels I WANT TO SEE THEM ALL AS MOVIES!

The Riva family in this book are fascinating. Iconic singer Mick can’t keep it in his pants, despite his marriage and later remarriage to kind-hearted June, but one good thing that does come out of the marriage is their children: Nina, Jay and later Kit. Added to the mix is Mick’s illegitimate son, Hud, who June lovingly raises as her own. The Riva children, now grown, have never known a life in which Mick was physically present and involved, and by circumstance, now find themselves completely dependent on each other to navigate life. In this situation, they’ve each found ways to survive and thrive.

Nina, the oldest, is the responsible one. The caretaker. The comforter. The one who will sacrifice her own desires and dreams to hold her family together. If that means working as a well-paid model in the public eye when she’d really rather have a quiet life surfing, she’ll put everyone else’s needs first.

Jay and Hud are brothers from different mothers and are almost like twins, both in age and in their inseparable nature, often traveling together as adventurous Jay pursues surfing professionally and sensitive-natured Hud photographs him for magazines.

Kit is the youngest, a no-nonsense girl in the shadow of her beautiful and talented older siblings, but possibly the most talented surfer of the bunch.

I love these four. They are dysfunctional and wounded in their own ways, but wholly committed to one another, and you just always get the sense that no matter what happens in life, they’ll have each others’ backs.

I felt terrible for the children once things happened with June however she needed more self-love and respect for herself. As for Mick – KEEP IT IN YOUR PANTS AND STOP WITH EXCUSES UPON ANY WOMAN!

I still do not 100% love hud as much as I do with the other siblings. He was kind of like his father. Why would you purposely do that against someone you supposedly love? He’s kind of like his biological mum when you look at it that way in terms of how he was created.

Oh yes, the elements of the novel that mentioned Celia from Evelyn Hugo novel I really enjoyed those parts.

I felt so invested in each of them and their well-being. When the story culminates in the infamous Riva party that Nina holds at her place each year getting wildly out of control, those bonds get put to the test as all chaos ensues.

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