Malibu Rising

Photo of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid ebook on iPad

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
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Book Review

Set in the summer of 1983 in Malibu, California, Malibu Rising follows the four Riva children. Oldest Nina, a surfer, and supermodel hosts the party year after year. Brothers Jay and Hud are best friends, one is a surfer, the others a surf photographer, but they both have secrets that threaten to destroy their relationship. Youngest sister Kit, also a gifted surfer wants to be a part of the family, including getting to know their famous father, superstar Mick Riva. Set over the course of the night and a lifetime, Malibu Rising sharply examines one family: what keeps them together, and what threatens to tear them apart.

In true Taylor Jenkins Reid fashion, this book was truly spectacular. Told in the third person through two main timelines, the hours leading up to the famous Riva party, and the many years before it, it follows the four Riva children from their tumultuous childhood to their fabulous twenties. Malibu Rising paints a portrait of the strength of family, and the dichotomy of fame.

I loved meeting the four distinct personalities of the Riva children. Nina was my favorite. She is such a strong character, having taken on a more maternal role in her family after the death of the Riva’s mother.

Malibu Rising is truly not to be missed. It is perfect for fans of multi-generational family dramas.

Thank you to Ballantine Books and Netgalley for the review copy. All opinions are my own.


Synopsis from Goodreads

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

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. 


About the Author

Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of Daisy Jones & The Six, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, One True Loves, and three other novels. She lives in Los Angeles. You can follow her on Instagram @tjenkinsreid.

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