Review – Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Posted June 16, 2021 by Carole in Reviews / 7 Comments

I received this book for free from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review – Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins ReidMalibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Narrator: Julia Whelan
ISBN: 9781984845337
Published by Random House Audio on June 1, 2021
Genres: Fiction, Literary, Sagas, Women
Length: 11 hours 5 minutes
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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Read with Jenna Book Club Pick as Featured on Today • From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo . . .

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.

“One of the most anticipated [books] of the year—and rightfully so. . . . It’s a must-read.”—Parade

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 rising 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.

I had a good time with this audiobook! I was really excited to get the chance to listen to a copy of this audiobook since I have heard so many good things about Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work. The fact that one of my favorite narrators, Julia Whelan, narrates this book was another point in this book’s favor. It didn’t take long before I started to understand why so many people seem to love this author.

This book tells the story of the Riva family. Much of the book is set in 1983 at the Riva annual party which has become an event for the rich and famous in the area. Nina, a model, hosts the party and this year she is doing it without her tennis star husband since he left her. One of her brothers, Jay, who is a champion surfer has a big secret that will change his life. Another brother, Hud, has been keeping something big from Jay that could drive a wedge between them. The baby of the family, Kit, is trying to figure out some things about herself and is keeping a few things to herself as well.

We also get to see the history of this family in the sections of the book that were set in the past. We get to know June and see how she fell in love with Mick Riva. June put up with a lot and had more than her fair share of challenges in her life. She did the best she could but often wasn’t everything her kids needed her to be. Eventually, everything falls on Nina’s shoulders and I was in awe of everything she sacrificed for her siblings.

I really grew to like this cast of characters over the course of this story. I loved that we had the chance to see things from each of the key players’ point of view. I really liked the way that we slowly learn this families history as we see them prepare for their massive party. It was great to see the siblings come together and be the support system for each other that they needed. I thought that the descriptions of the party were very well done and I was mad at the people in attendance on behalf of the Rivas.

Julia Whelan did a phenomenal job with the narration. There is a rather large cast of characters and I loved the way that she used a distinctive voice for each of them. She added a lot of emotion to the story through her reading. I wanted to listen to this book for hours at a time and I believe that her narration added to my overall enjoyment.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well done story about a family who has managed to overcome every challenge that has been thrown at them. I will definitely be reading more of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s work in the future.

I received a copy of this audiobook from Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group via

7 responses to “Review – Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  1. Julia Whelan is a good enough incentive for me to download a book, but I’ve a very complicated experience with TJR’s writing, so not really jumping the gun just yet. Glad you loved it, though.

  2. Great review, Carole! I’m actually reading this one right now and am doing a combination of reading the hardcover and listening on audio. (Right now I’m so disappointed in Mick I can’t stand it.) And I agree that Whelan does a fantastic job with the narration!