Taylor Jenkins Reid’s latest published work on shelves now, and you’d be a fool not to pick it up. If you’ve been here for a while, you know how much I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones & the Six, and Malibu Rising is another Reid hit to add to the shelves.
The Riva family is kind of famous. Not only are a few of them pro-surfers and models, but they throw the wildest beach party every summer that anyone who is anyone always makes sure to attend. This year though, things are different. This year, by 8 a.m., everything is up in flames.
Reid tells the timeless story of what it means to be family — chosen and otherwise. She alternates between two timelines, the 80s with the current Riva family and everything that happened before now to get the family to where they are today. From their parents tragic love story to how the infamous beach party got started in the first place, Reid tells the story of the Riva family from the very beginning.
After reading a few of Reid’s books, I’ve noticed a few common threads: multiple perspectives, framework stories, and family. At the root of ever Taylor Jenkin’s Reid work is family — and she does it so well. She talks about broken homes, forgiveness, and chosen family in one of the most honest ways I’ve ever encountered in a piece of written fiction. Reid is also brutally honest that sometimes, some mistakes are too big to forgive.
I’m also a sucker for multiple POVs, and Reid always does it in a unique fashion. SHOEH utilized a frame story where a reporter was listening to Evelyn share her story, DJ&S was a verbal history, and Malibu Rising utilized the present-day Riva gang as the focal point to jump back and forth in time to fill in the missing pieces of the story.
With her unique writing style, common tropes, and unique time fixations (all of her pieces are “period” pieces focusing on different decades), Reid’s work is sure to be in the lexicon for years to come. Her messages are timeless, her characters are flawed but deeply lovable, and her writing regularly brings her readers to tears.
Malibu Rising is another book to add to your shelf the moment you see it in stores. No matter your background, Reid’s writing is relatable and impactful to its readers.