51bDC4gKRlLAbout the Book: “A lifetime holding it together. One party will bring it crashing down. Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva. The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the centre of attention and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro-tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth. Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there. And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone. By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface. Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them…and what they will leave behind.”

My Review

Taylor Jenkins Reid has done it again! After loving Daisy Jones on audio back in 2020, I wasn’t quite ready for Malibu Rising when it was published last year. I listened to a sample, but it really didn’t grab me and in fact I thought it sounded rather boring. I mean who wants to read about rich entitled people having a party? Not me that’s for sure!

So what changed to make me listen to it a a year later? I remembered Jonetta’s fantastic review, and then bought the Kobo ebook for 99p, and then the audiobook was an Audible daily for £1.99, so I had to take a chance!

I’m so glad I did, as I’ve loved every single minute listening to the story of the Riva family. Just like Daisy Jones and the Six I felt like I was listening to the saga of a real family. How does she do it? Make you believe that her characters are real people, like it’s a documentary and not a novel I’ve been listening to?! I felt like I’d been transported to Malibu and time travelled back through the years as I learnt more about the family, from the late 1950s up until the night of the party in the 1980s. I could see the fashions people were wearing, and imagine the music they were listening to, and see the cars they were driving. In other words I was there in my mind whilst listening!

I loved the Riva children, (especially Nina) and their Mum June, but I detested their father Mick Riva, particularly from the beginning.  Nina was amazing and reminded me a lot of my eldest sister, but without all the sacrifices Nina made over the years.

As for the party? Well that felt real too with all the different people there, famous people and normal party goers. Oh yes Carrie Soto, from the author’s next book, was there too! I can’t wait for that book, which comes out next month, especially as it’s all about tennis!

Of course I can’t write this review without mentioning the amazing voice talents of Julia Whelan. She did a phenomenal job with all the different characters in this book. This book confirms to me that she is still very much one of my favourite narrators!

Highly recommended, especially on audio!

Book 11/20