Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid is an okay beach read, which a lot of other readers like WAY more than I did.

The person who recommended Taylor Jenkins Reid’s Malibu Rising to me has a vastly different take on this book than I do. It’s possible I’m too cynical, or maybe I don’t know what a “great” book is; but one way or another, I found this novel to be just okay at best. That other person thought it was super fun and super intriguing, and for maybe 75% of the book, I agreed with her. But that ending…. It wasn’t bad I guess, but it wasn’t good enough to make me glad I read the whole book. In fact, the ending made me realize I’d wasted precious time on a book that is just okay.

Light Spoilers Ahead….

Malibu Rising follows two generations of the Riva family: Nina and her siblings, and their mother and father. The book takes place over the course of 24 hours in the present, but there is a lot of backstory, and it’s the backstory that I really enjoyed. As long as I was reading how the Riva family came together and split apart, I wanted to keep reading, but every time the book returned to the day of the party, I stopped reading for a while.

But here’s what I will say about Malibu Rising, it’s an okay beach read and there are plenty of folks out there who are giving it great feedback. The book isn’t bad, and as I said, I enjoyed a good portion of it; but the ending is so lack-luster that it wrecked the rest of the story for me. Did I like the backstory? Sure. Was it dramatic at times? Absolutely. Did I really care about any of it by the end? No.