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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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  • A Fascinating Read

    Taylor Jenkins Reid's latest novel, a dysfunctional family drama, is certainly a riveting read. Malibu Rising follows four siblings, the children of music superstar Mick Riva. But despite Mick’s fame and fortune life hasn’t been easy for any of the Riva kids, Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. Abandoned by their father and living with their mother June, an alcoholic, they work hard to make ends meet, until August 1983 when everything changes. The dual timeline moves between the flashback sections from the 1960s to the 1980s present, detailing the Riva family history and the drug and alcohol-fuelled end of summer party held in August 1983. My first book by this author was a huge success and I really enjoyed reading about the colourful characters. Very highly recommended. I received a complimentary copy of this novel from Random House via NetGalley at my request and this review is my own unbiased opinion.

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  • Loved it.

    The story took me on a journey and told so many intricate stories that wove together so well. Loved it.

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  • Riveting

    I can’t believe I loved this story about four (or five) twenty-something year olds but I did. The character development and the anticipation kept me turning pages. I hated the party guests and their behaviour but I loved Nina’s outcome. Well done Taylor Jenkins Reid, I’m loving your recent stories.

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  • Another great TJR novel

    This is the story of deadbeat rockstar dad, Mick Riva, who abandons his family, the mother who stays and the kids who are left to pick up the pieces, told in two parts. Part I is the backstory, of Mick and June over the decades. 1950s Mick is an upcoming singer with dreams of stardom and building the family he'd never had. He marries June, a beautiful young woman working at her parents' Malibu restaurant with her own dreams of family and freedom. He promises her the world, delivers most of it, but chooses fame and adoration above all. June forgives his behaviour repeatedly. Her capacity for love, hope, hard work and sacrifice for family, is her strength but also her eventual downfall. Interwoven through the story of Mick and June, are chapters set in 1983 about their kids: Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. Now young adults, successful, talented, famous and infamous. It culminates in Part II, against the backdrop of the siblings' 1983 end-of-summer party. An annual party with no invitations but everyone who is anyone turns up to drink, smoke and snort themselves into oblivion, swing from the chandeliers, surf off the roof, and other debauchery. None of which the siblings even notice, so focused on secrets and fractured relationships. Cleverly told in sections that switch between the siblings’ points of view, and flashbacks from their mother, the novel explores the real cost of Mick’s behaviour. As the siblings deal with his repeated abandonment and June's resulting demise, we see how the roles they are forced into as children, shaped them as adults. Another great TJR novel on the inner lives of the rich and famous, celebrity culture, love and family drama. Ticks all the boxes for a good summer read: Beautiful writing, complex characters, page-turner plot, nostalgic and palpable setting. I only rate it slightly behind TJR's Evelyn Hugo novel because this one felt a little padded with the vignettes of random people at the party.

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