Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Spoilers ahead! In short: wow.
This is a review of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
Please note, there are spoilers below!
This is absolutely a stunning book. This was the second book I've read by TJR (the first was "Daisy Jones and the Six") and I've loved them both!
I also read her short story "Evidence of the Affair" on Kindle, and it was incredible. In such a short amount of time, she pulled me into the lives of multiple characters through a tiny perspective.
I just bought "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo." I'm excited to dig into that, too! I've heard amazing things.
So, what’s this book even about?
It's a multi-generational tale told through a single day of the Riva family. We dive into each character's life, which I think TJR does so well in everything I've read so far — which makes me really excited for my next read. I always feel incredibly connected to her characters, which makes it hurt that much more when something wild happens to them.
Some keys areas: surfing, family, becoming yourself, honesty, trust, broken hearts, parenting, relationships, sibling betrayal, musicians, and so much more.
Please note there are a lot of heavy topics in this book, so I've listed as many of them as I could below in the "Please note" section. It's most likely not an exhaustive list, so please keep that in mind while you're reading.
Keep an eye out for these quotes
We'd be here all day if I listed all of my favorite quotes, so here are two:
First, my favorite. “And she had long known that assholes protect their own. They are faithful to no one but surprisingly protective of each other.” They sure will. That is all.
“Instead, Nina Riva stood on the edge of the cliff she'd never wanted, and looked out onto the water she wished was closer, and for the first time in her quiet life, screamed into the wind.” It's not necessarily the quote here that I love, but the moment itself. It's the first time we get a glimpse at Nina's freedom.
Listen to this
If you loved this book for its empowerment or at all related to one or more of the Riva siblings (specifically the women of the family), I think you should check out Glennon Doyle's podcast We Can Do Hard Things, which is a line from her book Untamed. In short: it's about freedom.
She covers everything, but mostly it's about becoming — yourself, who you want to be, and who you can allow yourself to be.
Her work always, always, always makes me think about life, love, heartbreak, and so much more, and this novel was no exception. I can't recommend this book enough!
TJR is an incredible author. I really can't recommend her work enough. I'm certain she will be an author I — and a million other people — talk about forever.
She draws me into each of the lives of the characters and shows the full scope of human emotions. Even the characters you're absolutely in love with do things that make you cringe. She writes human characters — and that's one of my favorite aspects of her work.
Content warning: Please note...
This book is heavy.
It talks about a lot — including abandonment by parent(s), alcoholism, death, destruction, drug use, fire, guns, sexuality, and some violence. I'm also sure I missed something when making this list, so please keep that in mind.
Thank you for reading — I hope you enjoyed my review. Let me know if you decide to pick up the book and what you think!
Make sure to check back soon for more notes on my thesis process over the next months, some fiction thanks to the Vocal fiction challenges, and books I've read (spoiler: I only review books I love).
About the author
Hey there, I'm Jaci Schreckengost.
Here are some pieces of my writing. They're all drafts; some on revision one, some on revision ninety.
You can see more of my work at jacischreckengost.com. I'm also on Instagram @JaciSchreckengost.