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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Historical fiction

Malibu Rising

BOTY FINALIST

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

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Quick take

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

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_80s

    80s

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Movieish

    Movieish

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Buzzy

    Buzzy

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_MarriageIssues

    Marriage issues

Synopsis

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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Free sample

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

Malibu catches fire.

It is simply what Malibu does from time to time.

Tornadoes take the flatlands of the Midwest. Floods rise in the American South. Hurricanes rage against the Gulf of Mexico.

And California burns.

The land caught fire time and again when it was inhabited by the Chumash in 500 b.c.e. It caught fire in the 1800s when Spanish colonizers claimed the area. It caught fire on December 4, 1903, when Frederick and May Rindge owned the stretch of land now called Malibu. The flames seized thirty miles of coastland and consumed their Victorian beach house.

Malibu caught fire in 1917 and 1929, well after the first movie stars got there. It caught fire in 1956 and 1958, when the longboarders and beach bunnies trickled to its shores. It caught fire in 1970 and 1978 after the hippies settled in its canyons.

It caught fire in 1982, 1985, in 1993, 1996, in 2003, 2007, and 2018. And times in between.

Because it is Malibu’s nature to burn.

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Why I love it

"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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Member ratings (72,982)

  • Carol C.

    Galveston, TX

    I loved this family drama & the relationship dynamics of the characters. It’s deep, it’s messy, it’s good! The descriptions & history of Malibu are vivid & authentic. A favorite of summer! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Abigail S.

    Tulsa, OK

    This book was nothing like what I expected it to be… and I loved it for that. The flashbacks to their childhood left me in tears and wanting so much for all of the Riva kids. Amazing read!!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Kiley H.

    Arlington, VA

    Now in my Top 5! Each sibling had their own personality, quirks, flaws, and strengths, making you love each one of them. Malibu setting, a sibling bond, and a fateful love story - MUST READ ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Jennifer F.

    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 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  • Ashley R.

    Mattituck, 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!⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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