• The Bossy Bookworm

Review of Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I had fun reading about the glamorous modeling-surfing-photography-music star family pedigree. But I felt as though the last hundred pages or so of Malibu Rising shifted into melodrama and too-convenient resolutions.

Although her tennis pro husband's recent infidelity with a famous tennis player is putting a damper on things, in Malibu, California, famous model and skilled surfer Nina Riva--the daughter of legendary crooner Mick Riva--is about to throw her end-of-summer party.

Malibu Rising tracks each hour leading up to and into the wee hours of the legendary party (and this year's unforgettable end), while interspersing scenes from the past, including Nina's parents' tangled love story, Nina's youth, her famous surfer/photographer siblings' stories, and others.

As the party spins out of control, secrets of all kinds are revealed and key characters must each determine their courses of action as they find themselves at crucial forks in the roads of their lives.

This is enjoyable light fiction, and I had fun with the various siblings' stories and with the glamorous modeling-surfing-photography-music star family pedigree. But I felt as though the last hundred pages or so of Malibu Rising shifted into melodrama, and from that point on, the story's conflicts and their resolutions felt soap opera-esque. The bulk of the story takes place in hour-by-hour increments over the course of one night with increasingly dramatic revelations and events taking place, and this made the clean, tied-up-with-a-bow wrap-ups and emotionally coordinated resolutions on all parts feel too easy.

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Taylor Jenkins Reid is the author of Daisy Jones & the Six, a book I really liked and that I included in the Greedy Reading List Six Rockin' Stories about Bands and Music, as well as the books The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, After I Do, and others.