Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid [Book Review]

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid follows two generations of the Riva family: Nina and her siblings and their mother and father. The book switches between the past and the present until the two timelines collide at a party in Malibu, California. The premise is fun, the setting is sexy, and it will make a great screenplay one day.

Malibu Rising 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 would put the book down, sometimes for days at a time. The person who recommended Malibu Rising to me has a very different opinion of this book than I do. She thought it was fun and intriguing, and I could agree with her for about 75% of the book. But that ending… whew, that was… boring. 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.’

But here’s what I will say about Malibu Rising, it’s an average beach read, and plenty of folks out there are giving it good feedback. I enjoyed a good portion of the book, but the ending was so lackluster that it wrecked the rest of the story for me. There was no real payoff. Did I like the backstory? Sure. Was it dramatic at times? Absolutely. Did I really care about any of it by the end? No.

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