A review by outsidestar
Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

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


"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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