Saturday, March 25, 2023

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid


THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO was one of my favorite books of all time and I wasn't even expecting to like it. I think I'd be even more intimidated to start it now that TikTok has rocketed its readership into the millions, but if you go into it expecting juicy historical fiction and not anything life-changing, you'll probably enjoy it, too. All I wanted from MALIBU RISING was more of the same: juicy historical fiction-- although, excuse me. Who decided that the 1980s were historical fiction? I just want to talk-- signed, A Relic.

This is a tough book to talk about because there were some things I liked about it and some things I really didn't. It's kind of like a Jackie Collins novel, but without the sleaze that makes Jackie Collins so much fun to read. I liked the story of June and Mick a lot more than I enjoyed reading about their children: Nina, Hud, Jay, and Kit. The past section is about their parents' doomed love story and the present story is set over twenty-four hours as they prepare for a big party that ends up unveiling some pretty buzz-killing tragedies.

I liked the drama but the author introduced way too many characters at the end, almost like she was trying to bulk up the page count. I thought the party was boring-- it felt like a scene that had been expanded to fill a whole book. Surfing just isn't interesting to me. I did like the portrayal of California beach/party culture in the 1980s and the sort of beach party/rockabilly culture of the 1950s and 60s, but that wasn't really enough to carry the whole book. I considered DNF-ing this pretty strongly several times but it was like I was being held hostage-- I wanted closure, and I didn't even really get that.

2.5 out of 5 stars

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