featured photo taken by Jenna Day \ Retrieved from Unsplash
The first book I read by Taylor Jenkins Reid was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and it was the first time in a long time that I experienced heartbreak at the figurative hands of a paperback book.
Naturally, as I was coming to the end of Malibu Rising, I was preparing myself for the inevitable heartbreak that I was sure awaited me.
Instead, I felt… relief.
Not because I was done with the book. I was truly sad about that.
Relief because I felt like Nina Riva also felt relief at the symbology of her Malibu house burning to the ground as she left the country in search of a new life. A rough chapter of her life had finally closed and at the encouragement of her younger siblings, she was starting a new chapter elsewhere.
Malibu in the 1980s.
This book has all of the southern-California-in-the-80s vibes and as a northern California girl, I’m happy to say that it didn’t make me want to vomit (other NorCal people will know what I mean).
The Riva siblings all surf and that is where they find their clarity- in the ocean, on a board.
Malibu Rising has a timeline that goes back and forth between past and present. It works wonderfully for this story and isn’t confusing. It is quite seamless and gives the reader a more in-depth look at why the Riva siblings are the way that they are. It demonstrates how our past shapes us and oftentimes can “make or break” us.
Nina Riva has a traditional end-of-summer party at her house in Malibu. It is the party of the summer and is wild, but I wouldn’t expect anything less when you live in a huge house on the edge of a cliff and everyone knows who you are.
It’s one of those parties that they don’t hand out invitations for. If you know about it and have the address, then you are going.
The party that took place in 1983 changed the trajectory of all of the Riva siblings’ lives in one way or another.
There’s alcohol. Drugs. Sex. Scandal. Marital problems. Parental problems.
They all come to a head at the Riva party in 1983.
What could go wrong?
And keep in mind… California is known for a lot of things but one of the biggest things it is known for, especially at the end of summer…
My rating for Malibu Rising
Malibu Rising gets five stars from me because as always, Taylor Jenkins Reid creates complex, emotional, and raw characters plus an addictive storyline that made me NOT want to put this book down. If I wasn’t reading it, I found myself wanting to read it more than anything else- and wondering what exactly would happen to Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit.
I received this book in my Book of the Month subscription box. I love BOTM because it is perfect for someone like me who has a hard time deciding exactly what to read next. BOTM narrows down the choices to five or so books and lets subscribers choose. If one book isn’t enough, there are add-ons as well!
(For the record, I don’t get any money if you sign up… just a free book. No biggie ;))