Malibu Rising, Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest novel, is a summer hit
I didn’t have a moment when I wasn’t wholly into Malibu Rising while reading it. And even when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it. If you liked Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo or Daisy Jones and the Six, you will LOVE Malibu Rising.
The story follows the four Riva siblings on the day of their epic end-of-summer annual party. Nina, the oldest, is grieving the loss of a relationship. Jay and Hud, the twins, are both planning for their next big adventure. And Kit, the youngest, is trying to break out of her role as the baby of the family. The Riva family’s tragic past has caused some deep-seated wounds, but they have found strength in sticking together.
Even though the close-knit siblings are jointly looking forward to the evening celebration, they all have expectations and plans for it that the others don’t know; some of them might even threaten their bond forever.
Alternating timelines build the perfect momentum
In the present, we are going through each hour of the Riva kids’ day ahead of the party. Throughout it, we look back to the story of their parents, the circumstances around each of their births, and the most defining moments of their childhood.
The buildup to this story’s unraveling is nothing short of perfection. I’m fascinated with how, in Malibu Rising, Reid gives us just enough information to feel like we know these characters intimately, but not more than exactly what we need to stay focused on the story. Every conversation, every thought, every memory links back to the plot she is building for us.
While the story is focused and patient during the day leading up to the party, the evening is precisely the chaos and rush we come to expect. As the evening progresses, we meet a flurry of new characters with their own motivations and expectations. We are at the party with each of them, witnessing their thoughts, feelings, and actions from our omnipresent perspective. We follow each of them closely and their effect on the Riva kids. The ending wasn’t quite what I expected, but it didn’t change how much I loved this book.
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is an emotional rollercoaster with beautiful characters, just like I like it. This book is a perfect beach read.