Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid book review

Malibu Rising is my first Taylor Jenkins Reid book. I’ve heard a lot about TJR and so was excited to pick this up. When I saw it pop up in my local ASDA on the 2 for £8 deal, I knew I had to pick up Malibu Rising. It’s a book that takes you on two separate life journies whilst also telling you a twelve-hour story of one of the most famous (fictional) parties in Malibu.

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Malibu Rising is a book that tells the tale of loss, abandonment, fame and so much more. It’s a book that starts off fantastically, telling a brutally honest and enjoyable love story, slows down in the middle with some fairly useless pages and then continues on with a great ending to round it all off.

Malibu Rising plot – 4/5

Malibu Rising tells the tale of Mick Riva and his children and the lives they all live. The book is focused on one party that Nina Riva holds every year, but this year things are going to be far worse than in previous years. The story focuses on this party and the events that led up to it, right with their mother’s love story, falling in love with their father.

Malibu Rising will shock you at moments. Reid’s delivery of some of the plot points was brilliant and really kept my interest. Her writing in general was really approachable and the whole plot gave me really positive vibes. With this being my first TJR, it has given me a lot of hope that I’ll definitely enjoy any of her other books I read, she’s definitely got a talent for storytelling.

As I mentioned earlier, the story starts off brilliant. It tells a heart-wrenching and gripping story of the lives of Nina’s parents as they grow up and attempt to raise the Riva children. The middle section where the party is happening is actually fairly dull and felt like filler. It didn’t add to any of the characters or the plot in any way other than a couple of revelations which we knew would come anyway.

Malibu Rising characters – 4.5/5

Taylor Jenkins Reid clearly has a talent for building full-bodied characters. Nina is probably the best character in Malibu Rising – she’s a young woman who has had to take care of her younger siblings whilst painting a financial body for them and building her own career. There’s a lot of back story for each of the characters and they each have their own stories.

One of the key ways you can understand if the characters have been written well in a book is by how much emotion you feel towards them. If something bad happens to them, you feel sad for them or if they’re not very nice, you feel glad that they’ve had their comeuppance. Malibu Rising had me feeling both of those for multiple characters (if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean).

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid overall rating – 4/5

Malibu Rising had so much potential. It started off wonderfully, gripping me and making me fall in love with the characters. However, with a really boring middle section that added absolutely nothing to the story, if it hadn’t been for the final encounter and grand finale, it may well have been quite a dull book. It has me hyped for TJR’s story-telling abilities and makes me want to explore a lot more of her books.

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