Sunday, January 16, 2022

I Finally Read a Taylor Jenkins Reid Novel: Malibu Rising


To order from Amazon click here
  I'll admit sometimes I stubbornly refuse to read an author right out of the gate--mostly because there's so much praise about the novels that I have to take a step back and not rush to jump on the bandwagon. I don't want to read something just because everyone else is--I'd rather come around in my own time. 

So, I ordered Malibu Rising from BOTM and decided to give it whirl. I was looking to read something very different after reading my Christmas novels in December. This fit the bill!

Yeah, I loved it. I don't know if it was the setting: Malibu in the early 1980's; or the characters, or reading a novel set by the Pacific Ocean in the warm California sun. All of it combined to create a read that I simply couldn't put down. 

So, the Riva family: Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit. Children of singer Mick Riva (I kept picturing Dean Martin), who was a famous crooner in the 1950's, all the way up to the early 1980's. He had married their mother June before he hit it big, and left her after only a few years of marriage--but was never completely out of her life. Their mother became an alcoholic, and did her best to raise her children in Malibu when it was a sleepy beach community. 

Now the kids are all grown up: Nina is a famous model and surfer; Jay is a famous surfer competing for world titles; Hud is the photographer who keeps Jay in magazines. Kit is the youngest-an amazing surfer, but her talent hasn't been noticed by her siblings just yet. It's the day of their famous once a year party at Nina's malibu mansion. A party that started out small years ago, and now has reached epic proportions: only those who are in the know attend-famous people and hangers on. 

Leading up to the party, we learn about the Riva family history, and how all of the kids came to be in this spot at this certain time. The sacrifices Nina has made to  raise her siblings; the unhappiness they experienced growing up without a father present, and where they plan to go in life and love. 

I loved the setting, all of the siblings, and the back story of June and Mick Riva. I definitely felt myself back in the early 1980's, too. It's a character driven novel, but enough happens that you're never bored. Once the party kicks into gear, so much is happening all over the place you don't want to stop reading. 

So yeah, now I'm going to read another of Taylor Jenkin Reid's novels. She's definitely talented, and writes a darn good story. I don't think I would have been able to stick to this novel if I'd tried to read it before now, so I'm glad I waited and read it when I wanted to, and not because I felt I had to join the crowd. 

Rating: 5/6 for a novel that transports you to 1980's Malibu-the surfing, the beaches, the sun. All of the characters were well defined and each had a compelling story. Loved it!

Available in hardcover, ebook, and audio. 

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