Malibu Rising|Review

Malibu Rising – Releasing May 2021

“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 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.” – Goodreads


HOLY COW. This book destroyed me. I started it one night and woke up thinking about it the next day. TJR’s books become instant favorites. I’ve officially read all of her books, and while she continues to get better and better, I continue to be blown away and surprised every time. I would rate this book below Daisy but above Evelyn, and honestly – this might even be number one, but I just love the interview format of Daisy.

I loved the characters and their development, their traumatic pasts and messy lives. I rooted for them all the entire time, even when they were lying, cheating, and messing up time and again. And most of all? I was rooting for Mick. He’s an awful husband, and an even worse father, but somehow I wanted him to keep coming back and invading their lives. I kept waiting for him to step up, and even when he didn’t, I kept trying to convince the characters in my mind to forgive him.

While this takes place in the 24 hours leading up to the famous Riva party, it’s also told in flashbacks of everything that leads up to where the Rivas are now (now is in the 80s, which adds another interesting element). It’s the story of how June and Mick fell in and out of love time and again, the story of how the number of Riva siblings grew in complicated ways, the story of their financial struggles, alcohol abuse, and what happens when a child is forced to be a parent to her siblings. It is heartbreaking, addictive, so well-written, and an overall phenomenal read.

This is a book that will give you a book hangover and make you wish you could go back and experience it for the first time all over again. All of the stars.


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