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If you’ve been following my book reviews for a little while, you may know I am quite a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid and her writing. Her book “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” quickly became my favorite book and put her on my radar as a writer I needed to keep up with. So, of course when I heard she released a new novel, I knew I had to get my hands on it no matter how long the waitlist at the library was.

📕 Related: A Book Review of ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’

Reid’s book “Malibu Rising” follows the Riva family and their very interesting stories. The four adult children Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit, are all talented and successful in different ways much like their absentee father, famous singer Mick Riva. The story tells us their family history that catapults us into the famous traditional Riva party that serves as the catalyst for the resolve of the story.

I loved the writing style of this novel; I always seem to really enjoy how Reid tells a story. Similarly to some of her other books, we learn things in chunks throughout the years, jumping around in history to build the full picture. As she tells these pieces of their stories, I really started to enjoy learning the characters and what makes them tick. This story, in particular, had a lot of moving pieces. We had the stories of all of the Riva children, their parents, their friends and some other side characters as well. While I enjoyed hearing these stories, I had a little bit of a hard time with this myself, at least towards the end. It felt as if the story started to get a bit diluted with characters that had no real stake in the story. This mainly occurred during the party portions of the book which makes sense. You can barely hear yourself think at a party and the side stories on all of these characters kind of gave a similar overstimulation to the story. 

As a whole, I liked the book. It’s not my favorite of Reid’s novels, but I did enjoy the storyline. There’s so much that happens in the story, and it’s all so interconnected I can’t really do it much justice talking about it here without essentially retelling the whole thing and spoiling it. That being said, I would definitely recommend you pick it up and check it out yourself. It’s a really interesting story about family, what that means and the roles you play in each other’s lives. 

Final rating: 7/10

Jordan Lear

George Mason University '22

Jordan is a senior at George Mason University. She's pursuing a degree in Communication with a concentration in Media Production and Criticism and a minor in Film and Media Studies. Jordan loves to hang out with her friends and try to make them laugh. She's pretty outgoing and will totally talk your ear off if you mention one of her many random obsessions.
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