Malibu Rising (initial reactions post)

Finished Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I received a copy for review. This book will be released on June 1.

Summary (from Goodreads):

“Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over–especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud–because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own–including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.”

This is probably not a book I would’ve loved if anyone else had written it. Because it’s a Taylor Jenkins Reid book, though, it’s a lot deeper and more interesting than “rich family has problems; drama ensues.” I genuinely loved all four of the Riva kids (who are all adults now) and their mom, June. (Mick, their father, is a very different story; he is the worst.)

According to my Kindle, this book is almost 400 pages, but it absolutely flew by. It’s smart and fun and sweet and sad and centers around what, if anything, we owe each other. (Both humanity in general and to the people we’re closest to. Probably because their dad was such a complete disappointment, Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit all take their family a lot more seriously than most people do, and that’s not always a good thing.)

Still, despite the heavy topics, it’s also just a really fun read. I’m hoping this is going to be one of the biggest books of the year; I think it will be. Highly recommended.

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