I've read one other Taylor Jenkins Reid book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, and really enjoyed it. However, I've heard so many wonderful things about her other books which is why I was so excited to be able to read her latest, "Malibu Rising" before it was published.

"Malibu Rising" was released yesterday, June 1st, but I read it a number of months ago and have been waiting for the day everyone else could experience what I did.

I read "Malibu Rising" in a few hours; once I started I could not get enough. It was super addicting and so well written and just a beautiful, yet heartbreaking story. It is definitely going to be in my top favorite books of 2021.

Publisher's Summary

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 for him 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 rising 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.

My Thoughts

I loved the entire book so much; there wasn't much that I didn't enjoy! I don't know if I remember my thoughts when it was first starting out but I don't think I expected to love it as much as I did. I think that is probably because I wasn't sure of where the book was going or what it was about.

At its core, "Malibu Rising" is about family. It's about how a family comes together after tragedy, how they never let each other slip and how your family will always have your back. The bond between the Riva siblings is unlike anything I've seen and I love it so much. 

The way Reid wrote the book, you can feel the movement in every character, in the waves, in the way the book moved from past and present. Everything seamlessly blended together but not in a confusing way, in a way that felt very natural and easy.

The characters in the book, all the Riva siblings and their parents each had their own heartbreaking story. I could read a book about each person. They all stood on their own but when they were together, it was perfect. Nina is a true warrior, and as the oldest sibling myself, I related her to so hard. That natural protector, the acceptance that things were sitting on her shoulders, it was captured perfectly. I think a lot of eldest siblings can relate to that.

June's story was so sad, it hurt my soul. It was a story of heartbreak, of sadness, of depression and she truly deserved so much more. 

The 1980s setting of the novel was really exciting; I could picture everything Reid was talking about even though I never lived through the decade. It didn't sound cliche, it sounded realistic. 

Also, the fact that the present day centered around Nina's outrageous party was an interesting plot trope. It was filled with such chaotic energy, it reminded me of the party scene in Breakfast at Tiffany's. One thing about the party scene and those outside characters was that they didn't add much to the story and it became confusing at one point because so much was happening but nonetheless, it was the one negative to the book. 

Probably one of my favorite parts of the novel is when Reid talked about Malibu burning... it tied the story together so nicely that I didn't even realize it was happening. It was so beautiful. 

I didn't cry while reading this book but with every word, I felt like my soul was changed. It sounds so insane but I can't properly explain it... it was just such a moving story in all ways. 

"Malibu Rising" is one of the best written books I have ever read. I cannot stress that enough and I cannot say how much everyone needs to read this book, like now! It's the must-read of the summer in my opinion. 

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