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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Historical fiction

Malibu Rising

Each year thousands of members vote for our Book of the Year award—congrats to Malibu Rising!
3peat author
Taylor Jenkins Reid is officially a 3-time author at BOTM, which is a pretty big deal!

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Quick take

This rollicking, powder keg of a novel follows the infamous Riva siblings over the course of one life-changing night.

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Why I love it

Chelsea Handler
Author, Life Will Be the Death of Me

"We didn't start the fire. It was always burning, since the world's been turning . . .”

Ever found yourself at a house party where strangers were droning endlessly and distractingly into your ear and thought, wouldn’t it be great if someone just burned this place to the ground? Well you might just find some co-conspirators at the Riva family’s legendary summer party—because from the opening pages of Malibu Rising, we learn that this party will end with everything on fire.

But who lit the match?

Let’s start with the children of Mick Riva, the infamous rock star whose successful career—and reputation for being, frankly, an ass—has long haunted the family he abandoned. Was it Nina, his underappreciated eldest daughter, who’s suffered a very public breakup with her famous husband? Was it one of her brothers, Jay or Hud, whose close-knit bond is threatened by long-held secrets? Was it Kit, their often overlooked youngest sister who might just be the most talented surfer of the bunch? Or was it one of the many inebriated guests partying all night long at their family mansion?

As the book takes us hour by hour through that fateful, fiery day, we get to know the Riva family, witnessing their stolen moments on the surf, trysts with hidden lovers, and vain attempts to dodge gossipy partygoers. But in true Taylor Jenkins Reid fashion, this novel is more than just a wildly entertaining ride—it’s also a larger story of fame, family, inheritance, and what it means to shape the lives we want. Summer has arrived and if you’re ready to be transported and feel the sand between your toes, this page-turning beach read promises to be your new favorite!

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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 center 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 for him 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.

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Get an early look from the first pages of Malibu Rising.

Member thoughts

All (49124)
All (49124)
Love (33431)
Like (14387)
Dislike (1306)
49323 ratings
  • 68% Love
  • 29% Like
  • 3% Dislike
  • Rockford , MI

    Another great book by TJR!! I fell in love with all the characters and loved the story development going back and forth in time and getting the perspectives of so many people from the party ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Murray, UT

    I enjoyed following the Riva children through their evening, and their upbringing. This is a great book that tells a story of hardship, family, and adversity and will be my new comfort book⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Laurel, NY

    I was so excited for this book & it did not let me down! It all took place in one day, with different story lines & bounced back and forth to different timelines BUT it was done seamlessly!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Winder, GA

    I think this is my favorite TJR book yet! I devoured it! The characters are just so well-written with just enough info to make you fully understand and know them. Perfect summer read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

  • Ventura, CA

    I really enjoyed it. As a Southern Californian, I loved her descriptions of Malibu. There were a few too many peripheral characters to follow at the party but it didn’t matter for plot. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Las Cruces , NM

    This book sucks you in and one can’t help but fall in LUV with the characters. Taylor’s writing style is fabulous & I’m sad it’s over. I feel like I’ve known the characters their whole life. Gr8 read.

  • Fredericksburg , TX

    I loved the small “Easter eggs” in this book. How it ties in people from Reid’s other books. It’s almost like she’s created a new world we get to hide out in and be a part of. I love anything she does

  • Carpinteria, CA

    It’s 4am bc I just finished this book I couldn’t put down. I loved Evelyn Hugo so when I saw Malibu Rising release I started it and didn’t stop. It’s wonderfully written. I already miss it. Def reread

  • Fort Collins, CO

    TJK did it again! I couldn’t put this down! I absolutely loved every character, the bond between the Riva’s, despite all the trials & their deadbeat father, and loved every perspective of the party ????

  • Pasadena, MD

    One of the best novels of the year—addicting, mesmerizing, and genuinely pure. TJR has done it again—she’s made me feel so many raw emotions for her fictional characters. Tears of empathy consumed me.

  • Bloomington Springs , TN

    The Riva children have a bond like no other and I fell in love with each of them! This book has it all, adversity and love and loss and freedom and fire. Beautifully written! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Fargo, ND

    I love TJR’s writing style, and although this wasn’t my favorite of her books, I still devoured this book. TJR’s characters feel so real, and I often forget that I am reading fiction. TY TJR & BOTM!!

  • Memphis, TN

    You already know I’m here to rave about this book. Malibu Rising and it’s character plots felt familiar and predictable, but not in a bad way. Almost like you’re watching a new season of a fav show.

  • Saint Petersburg, FL

    I loved the writing in this one. The circle of the dry landscape and constant wildfires in Malibu in the beginning and the end was the icing on the proverbial writing cake for me. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • edmond, OK

    ???? it, tho the last 25pgs made me cry on a plane + the decadence of the 80s comes to a head in the siblings’ blowout party+ i ???? the characters (w/1 intentional exception) who prove what makes family

  • Quantico, VA

    Snapshots of random people’s lives did not contribute to the overall plot of the book but did make it more interesting. Weaving the earlier timeline w/ the “present” put the puzzle together sweetly.

  • Oswego, IL

    I’m a big fan of TJR & was looking forward to this 1 &happy to say it didn’t disappoint! She is an amazing writer. Loved they style and how it jumped back & forth to different time lines &perspectives

  • Plainview, NE

    Taylor Jenkins Reid did it again! Another wonderfully told story - I always get sucked in and can’t stop reading once I’ve begun. The story of the Rivas family is true tale of sibling love and loyalty

  • Hudson, NH

    As with every TJR book, I’m in love. The strength of the Riva family is astounding, and it’s incredible getting to read as they go through life together. The story played out like a movie in my mind.

  • Phoenix, AZ

    You’ll quickly fall for the Riva’s family, getting sucked into their world, tragedies, and successes. Even with a full host of characters, the siblings felt fleshed out and fully developed. 4/5 stars

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