Malibu Rising Review: Gorgeous And Gripping
people on beach during daytime
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Malibu Rising Review: Gorgeous And Gripping

Francesca Herring August 31, 2022

Ahead of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s next release, Carrie Soto is Back, I re-read the predecessor, Malibu RisingMalibu Rising follows the story of four siblings, all children of June and Mick Riva. You may recognise the name Mick Riva if you’ve read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I gave this book five stars out of five, so keep reading to find out why.

Wonderful Character List

Malibu Rising isn’t necessarily a long read, coming in at 365 pages. Yet, there is so much depth to the characters. Each character has a story to tell that feels like only we know about. The main character is Nina Riva, the eldest of the Riva siblings and their main provider. Nina’s husband has just left her for none other than Carrie Soto. Nina keeps her private life entirely to herself yet, as a reader, I felt privy to her secrets.

It made me feel much closer to her character, and this was the same with each sibling. There’s Jay, whose had a recent medical scare. Hud, whose met the love of his life in the worst way possible. And Kit, who’s trying to understand who she is on the inside. They’re all secrets kept away from one another but, as a reader, you feel in touch with them.

Photo by KC Welch on Unsplash

Narrative Genius

Nina is hosting the party of the year in her Malibu home, but the party doesn’t go as planned. Reid offers a running commentary of what’s going on at the party, who is meeting who and what people are doing. But simultaneously, she keeps us in the loop of the siblings. She writes so seamlessly, transitioning from one place to another in a way that makes perfect sense. 

A Real Malibu Moment

The narrative switches from the party in the 80s, to around 40 years prior to that, when the Riva siblings’ parents met. June, a Malibu native, by chance meets a young Mick Riva at the beach. Those who have read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo will know that Mick is not the loyal type. The story of June and Mick is heart-breaking from the onset, and the pain is translated into the characters of Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit. Reid’s ability to weave between the past and the present only further attaches us to the characters.

Malibu Rising is the perfect summer read. It’s easy to read and takes place in the gorgeous Malibu. But it’s also intensely gripping with some serious undertones to it as well. Perhaps in Carrie Soto is Back we’ll hear some mention of Nina Riva or the Riva family.

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I'm an English Literature student at the University of Birmingham, and I'm obsessed with anything literature related! I love reading, watching F1, and listening to music. I've always loved writing articles on my interests and can't wait to get stuck into more journalism.