“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid [Book Review]

Malibu Rising, by best-selling author Taylor Jenkins Reid, follows the famous Riva family as they reconcile the past and present. Read my 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. 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.