Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrated by Julia Whelan
After reading and Loving Daisy Jones and the Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, I heard there was some character crossovers to Malibu Rising, so I grabbed it and jumped back into the past with Taylor Jenkins Reid again.
“𝗝𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗮𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗯𝘂’𝘀 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝘂𝗿𝗻, 𝘀𝗼 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗶𝘁 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗽𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗶𝗰𝘂𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻’𝘀 𝗻𝗮𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝗳𝗶𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘄𝗮𝗹𝗸 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝘆.”
Malibu Rising is another epic Taylor Jenkins Reid tale that spans years. We start in the 1980s where Nina Riva and her siblings are throwing a huge party at her Malibu Beach House. From there, the story flashes back to the fifties when Mick Riva, the now-famous singer, was just starting out. It tells the story of how he met and married his young wife June, then left her with 4 kids and no money while he skyrocketed to fame.
Nina Riva, the oldest of the four, was the main focus of the book, as she tries to support her siblings and hold her family together. Surfing is a huge part of this story (I don’t want to give too much away) and I really loved reading about when the kids all discovered a surfboard.
I got sucked in by the story, especially the first half of the book with Mick and June, but I always felt as though I couldn’t really get in there and FEEL with them. I guess it’s the third-person aspect, but I feel like someone else is telling me the story of this family instead of me experiencing it all with them.
“𝗙𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗶𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱…𝘄𝗵𝗲𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗯𝗹𝗼𝗼𝗱 𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗶𝗿𝗰𝘂𝗺𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗿 𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗶𝗰𝗲, 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗯𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝘂𝘀 𝗱𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿. 𝗔𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗲 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱.”
The second half of the story, especially the party, kind of lost me a bit. Suddenly we were jumping into random people’s heads. I get that she was trying to do something unique here, but it just didn’t work for me. That being said, I loved the four siblings and was rooting for them all along.
“𝗛𝗼𝘄 𝘄𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝘂𝗽𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗼 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲- 𝗶𝗻 𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝗯𝗼𝘁𝗵 𝗯𝗶𝗴 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹- 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝗳𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝘄𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗹𝘄𝗮𝘆𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝘅𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗽𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗮𝗽𝗽𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗹𝘆 𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻 𝗶𝗿𝗼𝗻𝗰𝗹𝗮𝗱 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲?”
- A story that spans decades.
- A complex story that didn’t really get confusing.
- A family you want to root for.
- I loved seeing the kids learn to surf.
- The setting of Malibu in the past.
- The crossovers from her other books.
- I felt like we, as readers, were kind of held at arms-length.
- Too many new characters in the second half of the book.
- Too many random POVs.
- Overdone foreshadowing.
Julia Whelan is always fabulous, but all the different POVs were still annoying.
The Down & Dirty:
Rating: 3.5 Stars, 3 Heat, 4.5 Narration
Purchase Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Though not technically a series, these books all cross over to each other in small ways. You don’t have to read them in order, but Evelyn’s 3rd husband crosses over into all of them as well as some other characters. (Evidence of the Affair is a short story with a quick mention.)