Book Review: “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Five days into January and I have officially finished my first read of the year! I chose this book because of my Reading Challenge for January. The reading prompt for this month was “A GoodReads 2021 Good Choice Award book”. I was really excited to read “Malibu Rising” because of all of the amazing reviews I have read since this book was released. Lets see if this book lived up to all the hype.

“Our family histories are simply stories. They are myths we create about the people who came before us, in order to make sense of ourselves.”

Direct quote from book. Page 31

About The Book

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Published Date: June 1st, 2021

Page count: 369 pages

Main Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

GoodReads Rating: 4.10

“I’m just saying…. I don’t come from any money at all. But I don’t think what you’re born into says anything about where you’re headed.”

Direct quote from book. Page 38


The Riva family may be famous but that doesn’t mean their life was easy. Four siblings who grew up with an absent father and an alcoholic mother are forced to grow up real quick their mother drowns and their father doesn’t come home.

Nina, the eldest sister of 17 years, drops out of high school to take over the family restaurant and become the sole guardian of her younger three siblings. Money might be tight but nothing can come between their love for one another.

As time goes on her and her siblings make a name for themselves and find a life of riches, fame and love. This brings on the party scene and Nina is known for throwing the coolest parties around and this years party would be one that no one will ever forget!

“It would not be her that broke and bent anymore.”

Direct quote. Page 317


Rating: 3 out of 5.


In all honesty I felt like this book was way over hyped. Maybe I would have given this book a higher rating if I had picked it up without reading any reviews but I did read almost all five star reviews so I went in with high expectations that didn’t get met. Was this a bad book? No, it wasn’t terrible, definitely something people should read sometime in their life but maybe don’t go in with such high expectations.

I thought the beginning was super slow but worth while for the story building. Part two is where the story really picked up and started connecting in places and even got a bit emotional at the end. I just felt like the second half of the book wasn’t great enough to bring up the rating any higher.

One of the biggest problems I had with this book was the amount of characters and people you had to remember between each of the chapters. Each chapter was based on a different characters point of view but it wasn’t always one of the main characters, it was typically some random famous person talking about what they were doing at the party and it didn’t really connect to the main story till the final few chapters. There was too much going on and it got confusing at times.

I personally really struggled with this book which makes me sad because I had heard a lot of great things. I wanted my first book of the year to blow me away and this didn’t quite reach my expectations.

QOTD: What was your first book of the year?


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