Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Famous siblings ✅ Beautiful setting ✅ Glamorous end of summer party ✅ Plenty of secrets and drama ✅


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.

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.


A story told throughout the decades, set in the glorious Malibu, we follow the lives of the Riva family, beginning when childhood sweethearts June and Mick met.

Malibu Rising is a love story that soon turns sour and painful, and frankly a little repetitive as we see June juggle four children, a job and the home, while Mick is off living his life-long dream of becoming a singer. June deserved so much more in the story, her love for Mick seemed to be her only personality trait and her hopeless romantic tendencies created an overwhelming feeling of sadness. The repetitiveness of their story created a predictable and slightly bland narrative, that only became to get more interesting when the four Riva children had grown up.

Nina, Hud, Jay and Kit were charming, relatable and so much fun to read about. I would have been more than happy for more time with them as I couldn’t wait for the end of summer party that every character and famous faces seemed to be excited for. Set over 24 hours, you see the Riva children getting themselves prepared for the biggest Summer event, set in Nina’s Malibu home. Again, I was desperate for more time at the party, but there was plenty of drama to make up for the wait time.

Lots of secrets would be revealed and certain lives will not be the same again. It’s a compelling story that flawlessly comes together in the end with all the storylines weaving together. Nothing is particularly shocking or twisty and it has a slightly slower pace, but it has drama that a celebrity drug-fuelled party would expect.

There was a lot of heartbreak, funny moments, moments where I just wanted to shout ‘get a grip’, and moments that shocked me. It was a totally addicting story, and the writing style made it so easy for me to become gripped. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo is next on my list.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buy Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid from £9.69

One thought on “Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. Nice review! I also enjoyed this book. I lived near Malibu in the Late 70s and early 80s so it was nice to “visit” Malibu again! LOL.


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