Book Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

“How were you supposed to change—in ways both big and small—when your family was always there to remind you of exactly the person you apparently signed an ironclad contract to be?”

Taylor Jenkins Reid, Malibu Rising

Title: Malibu Rising
Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 369 (Hardcover)
Published: May 27th, 2021

My Rating: ★★★★
Read: 7/19/2021 – 8/9/2021


Another wild and profound story by Taylor Jenkins Reid! Like Daisy Jones and the Six, I enjoyed it despite not being a book I would normally pick up. I love how human these characters are. How tragic yet realistic their lives have been. I enjoyed the first part of the book more than the second, but I did like the conclusion. Not quite what I had anticipated.


My favorite part of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s writing is how well she puts the human condition and emotions into words. June and Mick’s backstory felt so authentic for this time. Nina took on the role of surrogate mother at a young age, as so often happens with the oldest daughter. She accepts this (sacrifices and all) because she loves her siblings more than anything else. She’s an admirable character through and through.

What kept me from giving this book a five-star rating were all of the random party scenes in the second part. We end up being introduced to a bunch of different characters with mini-backstories which, for me, felt like filler. They could be overly explicit too which was too much for my taste. I would have rather used those pages to get to know other characters more. It feels like it was written with a movie adaption in mind (and don’t get me wrong, I am here for it) and that would have been better left to transitional scenes rather than part of the book.

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