A review by toofondofbooks_
Malibu Rising, by Taylor Jenkins Reid

emotional reflective sad slow-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


At its core, Malibu Rising is about 4 siblings who are the children of famous singer Mick Riva and how they have grappled with abandonment, loss, and actively breaking the patterns of their parents before them. It takes place both over one night at the "Riva party" with flashback chapters (which i loved) throughout that detail their parents meeting and ultimately the early lives of the children. I personally think that chapters like this are one of TJR's main strengths. It made the book give me similar vibes to Evelyn Hugo, which makes sense given that one of the characters is one of Evelyn's husbands in that book. Speaking of which, I loved the ties the book had to its predecessor. Ever since I finished Evelyn Hugo two years ago, I've wanted more, and this felt a lot like that, though I have to say I'm more of a fan of its predecessor.

My favorite characters were definitely Nina, Kit, and June. Mick Riva deserves no rights and that's all i will say about him. I loved the family dynamic between the siblings, how they found strength in each other even in the worst circumstances. It made me really happy even when the book got sad. Something that bothered me about the book and made me take off some "points" I guess, is that there were POVs outside of the Riva family that I simply didn't care about. They didn't end up having any real relevance and filled up pages unnecessarily - in my opinion. I'm sure there were reasons for this, but it just took me out of it.

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