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ARC 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.

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.


Malibu Rising is a fabulous story in a beautiful setting which transports the reader back to the wild times of 1980s Malibu.  The writing is beautiful and the author manages to capture the atmosphere and feel of this period in time as well as the flashbacks to Mick and June’s romance in the 1950s and latterly the Riva children’s childhood and upbringing.  I was completely mesmerised. A compelling and fast paced book with which I eagerly devoured the pages.  

The story only spans 24 hours, however there is so much packed into it and the attention to detail is exquisite.  It builds up to the notorious party and each chapter very cleverly counts down to it, this is the infamous party in which everything comes to an explosive conclusion.  It was such a joy following this family saga, the flashbacks to how Mick and June met, their love story and Mick’s rise to success as a pop star.  The character development of the Riva siblings as they grew into adult was utterly absorbing and the tender and heartwarming scenes really tugged at the heartstrings.

The cast of characters are phenomenal and the author pulls you straight into their lives and at times it was difficult to forget they were fictional people.  Each character played an important role, even the side characters, and there were new characters being introduced all the time.  Even the party guests all had a story to tell no matter how small and I don’t think any character was left out. I adored them and all of their complexities.

I loved the portrayal of Riva siblings’ relationship and their close and their supportive bond and the fact they were wholly committed to one another.  Nina, the eldest sibling, sacrifices everything to look after her sister and brothers.  They certainly didn’t have a privileged upbringing and scrapped together what little they had and I was rooting for them all the way. It tortured me that their rockstar father was living the life of luxury and didn’t give them any financial backing.  

Malibu Rising is a powerful novel full of fantastic characters and in particular strong women.  The writing is excellent, it’s atmospheric and truly captivating.  I really enjoyed the whole structure of the book, this author is an amazing storyteller and I adore the unusual format at of her books.  Taylor Jenkins Reid has quickly become one of my favourite authors and I will definitely be reaching for any future novels.  

Publisher: Hutchinson Books
Publication Date (UK): 27 May 2021
Format:  Hardback
Page Count: 384
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Fiction
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted proof in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog


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