Reviews tagging Adult/minor relationship

Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

9 reviews

miagw962's review against another edition

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hopeful sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5

Destruction. And renewal, rising from the ashes. The story of fire.

*SPOILERS AHEAD*:
I'm going to preface this review by saying that I listened to the audiobook for Daisy Jones and the Six and I really enjoyed myself because it wasn't trying to be anything it wasn't. What I found almost immediately with Malibu Rising was that we were supposed to feel for the main family and their respective circumstances. I'll be honest, I did not care initially. I had a deep dislike for pretty much all the male characters (except maybe Ricky??) - I guess some of them (ahem, MICK) were written as unlikeable characters but I was genuinely getting angry at what they were doing. Also some of the female characters weren't as fleshed out as they should've been. They seemed a little one-dimensional which was disappointing.

Anyway, characters aside, the story was easy to get through and it was fun for the most part. Reid's writing is very easy to get through and I appreciated that. There's nothing particularly profound or interesting in the story but that's ok because I wasn't really looking for that. I did have some problems with the overall development of the family (you're telling me that children of a very rich and famous singer don't receive any money from him before or after their mother dies?? There would be legal obligations on Mick's end, I just know it. He was such a scumbag but he wouldn't be able to fight the law). Also (on characters again) I was kind of over the whole 'everybody is the greatest at what they do' thing. Nina is THE MOST FAMOUS MODEL or whatever she is, Jay is such an incredible and famous surfer, Hud is such an excellent photographer, Mick is the greatest singer of all time (yeah right), even Brandon, Nina's ex had to be the greatest tennis player in the world. It just got boring. I think that's why I liked Kit the most because she was just living her life. Everyone else was out there over achieving too much, yikes.

The party scenes were fun except I was not too fond of when the point of view changed to random people at the party. Also, I had a deep dislike for a lot of the party-goers. I also could not tell if the people they were referencing were actual 80s celebrities or someone just made up for the book. Some people I knew but others...I guess that's ok, you don't need to think too hard about it. I really like how the book ended. I was worried they were going to try to redeem Mick and the kids were all going to be like 'it's ok dad, we forgive you' and I'M SO GLAD THEY DIDN'T. There was a lot of powerful dialogue between Mick and Nina which genuinely saved the book for me. Like bumped it up maybe a whole star. That ending was necessary for the characters and I ended up liking the family as a group of people a lot more by that point (except Mick of course, he can still choke).

I've kind of gone on about what I didn't like and touched on a little of what I did but overall, I liked it. There are some little things that I maybe somewhat noticed in Daisy Jones but more so in Malibu Rising that I just do not gel with. Maybe it was less noticeable in Daisy Jones because the story revolved around musicians and music, something I am passionate about, or it could even be the interview format. As to whether I'll read another Taylor Jenkins Reid, I'm not too sure. I'm starting to think maybe I don't feel the need to read anything else from her. I feel like she does write interesting things but maybe sometimes doesn't know how to express the message of the story. But hey, look, I'm taking Malibu Rising as the silly, melodramatic fun read that it was and leaving it at that for now! (yeah, after writing an essay about it haha)

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racheldeng's review against another edition

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adventurous funny hopeful lighthearted sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

4.0

so fun and summery. i loved the vibes and it’s a good beach read and the family was so fun and idk it was just good vibes and taylor jenkins reid delivered as per usual

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merakiomia's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful inspiring reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

I absolutly loved how this was set in Cali in the early 80s, although I’m not incredibly familiar with this era, it wasn’t hard to imagine what it was like. I think having watched moonbeam city beforehand really helped set the vibe for me. The characters were interesting enough for me, although sometimes I did feel like they only existed to say a specific line or play a specific role in a scene, it didnt always feel real or genuine if that makes sense. I hated the flashbacks a lot because in all honestly I did not give a fuck about the upcoming of these siblings, but I did like reading about the rise and fall of June and Mick’s relationship. I thought it was really cool how it all took place in the duration of 24 hours. Then the ending just beautifully wrapped up this chaotic overwhelmingly complicated story of interpersonal family relationships. I would definitely go through the hell of rereading those flashbacks again just to experience that ending again for the first time. It was very cinematic. Hope I didn’t deter anyone from reading this because it was all worth it, the flashbacks aren’t as bad as I’m making them out to be. All in all this was great, I know I will be thinking and reflecting on this book for a very long time! 

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grizzlysnack's review against another edition

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emotional reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Amazing writing and every plot/subplot was wrapped up swimmingly! Great read

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markedwithanm's review against another edition

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dark emotional hopeful reflective sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

5.0


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silverhastings13's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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outsidestar's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

"Malibu catches fire. It is simply what Malibu does from time to time."

I loved this book, but I don't think it fully made it to 5 stars for me.

Before I get into what it's about, let me say that I am now hopelessly in love with TJR's writing. That's how I want to write someday. The whole book is written flawlessly, but that beginning? She had me at the prologue. I knew I was going to love it right then and there.

Now, back to the topic at hand. Malibu Rising tells the story of the four Riva children, the story of their parents, the story of family bonds and, in some way, the story of fire. The book takes place over one single day of August 1983 but, as the day unfolds, we get flashback chapters on everything that came before, starting in 1956 when June Costas met Mick Riva.

 "Our family histories are simply stories. They are myths we create about the people who came before us, in order to make sense of ourselves." 

This is a story of childhood and growing up, sometimes faster than you should; a story about the struggles of being a single parent, especially when the money is tight; a story about realizing you don't owe anything to people who hurt you or betray your trust, whoever that may be; a story about healthy relationships and toxic ones; and ultimately it's a story about Nina Riva, a strong as hell female character who will do whatever it takes because that's just how fiercely loyal she is.

I don't want to say much more because this is one of those books you're better off reading without knowing much about it to begin with. Just know that you will love Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit in every possible way and that I cried.

"I love you just for being, whoever that is."

A massive thank you to NetGalley and Cornerstone (Random House UK) for the e-ARC in exchange of an honest and voluntary review.

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adoras's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

This was my third TJR novel, and I flew through it, but ultimately didn't enjoy it quite as much as the first two.

Like Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones, Malibu Rising deals with the lives of the rich and famous. Mick Riva (who I believe was mentioned briefly in both those novels) fathered four children, who grew up without him and to an extent raised themselves. The oldest three, Nina, Jay, and Hud, found varying degrees of fame and acclaim, and this book covers the span of a day, centered around a huge party that the family hosts on a yearly basis. There are also a lot of flashbacks to Mick and June's story and the siblings' younger years.

For the most part, the multiple POVs just heightened my need to keep reading instead of becoming distracting or annoying. The exception was when we actually get to the party and start to get a ton of briefer, fragmented sections from random partygoers. I understand what this was meant to achieve, but it didn't quite work for me. Also, although I enjoyed the main characters, I felt somewhat removed from all of them. This was done in a purposeful, more successful way in Daisy Jones or even Evelyn Hugo because we're hearing the characters tell us a story. But I didn't feel as immersed here.

My favorite of the siblings was Nina, who has a pleasing people problem. As the oldest sibling, she took care of the other three and in many ways became a mother to them. She was always the responsible one who would offer to do more than was asked and take awful treatment without speaking up. In general, the family dynamic here is fantastic. TJR is so good at making you believe in character bonds, whether they're romantic or platonic or familial, and this is no exception. I really loved the message that family is what you choose, whether or not you're also related to them by blood, and that you have to choose being there for them.

Writing-wise, I've always been aware that I'm being manipulated by TJR, and I can see why that turns people off. Personally, it doesn't bother me, because on me it's usually very successful. This one didn't hit me as hard, but I've always been interested in stories that involve absent parents and adoption/familial bonds that aren't biological. For the most part, I like her writing style--maybe not the most gorgeous prose, but a lot of specific moments that get right to the heart of something. But sometimes, it's just cheesy. For example: That broke his already malfunctioning heart. Come on.

Another thing I enjoy about her work is how they talk about the way that women move in the world. This is heightened by the fact that she writes a lot of historical fiction (and/or books with a lot of flashbacks) and talks a lot about Hollywood and fame, which really heightens issues like misogyny. What I didn't really like were some of the flashbacks to June and Mick's love story (which should probably appear in quotes). It wasn't enjoyable to read a character be treated like shit by a man and be broken by that with nothing else to her character. I get that it happens, and what the ultimate point of everything was, but I think in this case it could've simply been a backstory for the siblings without actual flashbacks, at least from her or Mick's POV. Everything that needed to be accomplished was accomplished better by the present day story.

I feel torn on the ending. I think it was an appropriate and satisfying ending on a character level, but not narratively. It felt like it was building to something that never paid off. 

Despite my issues, I really enjoyed this book. I've been picking up and putting down a couple books in the last week, and I knew reading this ARC a few months early would be an almost sure winner. It's only while writing this review that I was able to unpack some of my issues with that. It's a 3.5 rounded up to 4 based on pure enjoyment while reading, but an even 3 thinking about it after the fact.

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juliettesroma's review against another edition

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emotional funny hopeful reflective sad tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

 “Throughout it all, this grace had always saved her.”

Thank you to Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine Books for providing an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Another astonishing work by Taylor Jenkins Reid, the focus on family and its meaningful themes were beautifully done and hard hitting emotionally. Malibu Rising centers around the Riva siblings, children of Mick Riva (who had his own chapter in Evelyn Hugo!), each of their individual lives and how it all spiraled in the span of twenty-four hours. Nina and Kit Riva were my favorites by the end. I related the most to Kit and adored her fiery spirit as well as her process of figuring herself out and who she wants to be. Nina on the other hand, her full story was the most devastating, the way she feels obligated to carry so much on her shoulders after everything that’s happened to her family but also admired how much truly she cares for her loved ones to a huge extent. It was Nina’s overall character arc that genuinely breathtaking and intriguing to see from beginning to end especially the development of her inner thoughts and mindset on life.

“Capable is a question I never had the luxury of asking. Because my family needed me. And unlike you, I understand how important that is.”

I enjoyed Jay and Hud’s arcs and their close brother bond as well but I definitely did not resonate with them on the emotional sense as I did with Nina and Kit. I did wish the second half of the book still focused around the siblings instead of veering off a bit all over the place with numerous different perspectives changing every few pages with the people who were at the party. I guess it did add a bit of that flair, interesting drama, and comedy to the story, but it felt detached lacking that depth that the first half of the book had with telling each of the siblings’ stories, feelings, their childhoods and along with their parents’ backstories. It was part one and about the last 5 percent of the book that really hit and had me a sobbing mess with the stunning dialogue between the siblings and the completion of character arcs. Overall, I loved this book truly and reading a book set in Socal was captivating to me. Fans of TJR will find Malibu Rising a quite satisfying and of course, heart shattering and healing read!

“They had taught her that family is found, that whether it be blood or circumstance or choice, what binds us does not matter. All that matters is that we are bound.”

“Maybe our parents' lives are imprinted within us, maybe the only fate there is the temptation of reliving their mistakes. Maybe, try as we might, we will never be able to outrun the blood that runs through our veins.” 

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