I adore Taylor Jenkin Reid’s book The Seven Husband’s of Evelyn Hugo. It’s one of my all time favorite and most recommended reads. When Daisy Jones and the Six came out in 2019, I jumped to get my hands on a copy, and while it was a fun read it was never a favorite of mine so I’ve been wary of being too excited for Malibu Rising. After reading her newest release Malibu Rising, I think I have another book to add to my ‘Always Recommending’ list.
Every year the oldest Riva sibling, Nina Riva throws an annual end of Summer Party. It’s the party ‘to be seen at’ and this year’s party is no different. But Nina isn’t excited for the party, after all she’s just been dumped by her profession tennis player and cheating husband. Jay Riva, an award winning surfer may be excited for the party, but he’s not excited to deal with the current health situation he’s finding himself in. Hud Riva, a prominent photographer, is nervous for the night’s party as the secret he’s been hiding is finally starting to emerge. Lastly, the youngest Riva sibling, Kit, is hoping to finally standout in the crowd but it might not be exactly what she’s been longing for. And so the party goes on, but 1983 might be the last year the party happens.
One of my favorite things about TJR’s writing is the way she seamlessly interweaves the past and present throughout her stories. In Malibu Rising, though the present is a single day and event, we still get so many glimpses into the Rivas’ children’s childhood and the beginnings of the Rivas family itself. Each chapter unveils a different layer of the Riva family. Each chapter in the present, leads us an hour closer to the party of the year but it also builds out the sibling characters, allowing us to truly get to know who they are and what secrets they’re hiding. In between these ‘present day’ chapters Reid provides us with backstory into the lives of the not just the Riva siblings but also into who their parents (June an Mic)were and we actually go back to when June and Mic met and where they are now.
Nina by far was my favorite character within the book. The sacrifices she made to ensure her family stayed together and her support for her mother when Mick abandoned the family really pulled at my heart strings. Through Nina’s actions, she was able to provide and support her younger siblings, never asking or wanting anything in return. Her unconditional love for her siblings and their endearing love for her is truly what made this book great for me. While I did enjoy learning about Mick and June Riva, it was the sibling relationships and the depth of their relationship that really drew me in.
Malibu Rising is essentially a story about family, not just the family we’re born into but also the family we choose to have. Personally, I think this would be a fabulous series or movie and I’m so glad I got a chance to read it. While Evelyn is still my favorite, this one is definitely giving it a run for it’s money. I absolutely loved TJR’s newest story and will be picking up a physical copy to add to my library!
I did finished reading this one while at the lake earlier in the month, and I can honestly say that it’s the perfect companion for a day at the pool, lake, or beach!
Malibu Rising comes out June 1, 2021. Huge thank you to Ballantine Books and Random House Publishing for my advanced copy for my honest review. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof_books.