We love a good beach book and like everyone this summer Alison grabbed this best seller...
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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Alison's Score 6/10
Here’s the Deal: The four Riva siblings are the offspring of Mick Riva, one of the most famous showmen of his day. They were raised in Malibu and are all gorgeous surfers. The eldest, Nina, throws an annual end of the summer party. The book goes back and forth between 1956 when their parents met and the current lives of the siblings in 1983 throughout the night of the party. By the end of the night, Nina’s mansion is in flames and life has changed for all of the Rivas.
Okay, controversial because I know this book is being pushed as one of the big summer books, but it was just okay for me. I really really liked Daisy Jones and the Six and I liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, both by this author. While the premise is good here, the writing is a weird combination of over-flowery and stilted. For example, these excerpts about a parent and child: “it is as if once your heart has been broken you learn of the deepest reserves it carries. And she had given up her reserves as well this time.” Huh?
And: “So casual was their affection, so comfortable were their bodies and souls next to each other that there could be no rejection, no discomfort.”
The description of the shenanigans at the party at the center of the book are absolutely insane. It’s like Weekend at Bernie’s meets Sixteen Candles. People are literally swinging from the chandelier—which the author juxtaposes with a deep emotional beach scene with the siblings.
That said, this is a perfectly acceptable beach book. It’s light. It’s fluffy. It has beautiful people. It’s a great escape but I honestly believe that the inevitable movie or TV version will improve the 2D characters in this book.