Malibu Rising Novel summary by Taylor Jenkins Reid


“Malibu Rising” is a novel set in the 1980s and is centered around the Riva family, who are famous in Malibu for their legendary annual summer party. 

The story follows the four adult Riva siblings and delves into their complicated lives, relationships, and the events of a single night that will change everything.

TitleMalibu Rising
AuthorTaylor Jenkins Reid
PublisherBallantine Books; Standard Edition (June 1, 2021)
File Formatpdf
Number of pages384 pages
Customer Reviews4.2 out of 5 stars 68,560 Reviews
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Malibu Rising Novel summary by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The Riva siblings—Nina, Jay, Hud, and Kit—have grown up in the shadow of their famous father, Mick Riva, a rock legend who abandoned them when they were children. 

Despite their tumultuous upbringing, they have created a life for themselves in Malibu, each with their own aspirations and struggles.

The novel alternates between the past, providing insight into the Riva family’s history, and the present, which focuses on the events leading up to the annual Riva party. 

This year’s party, held in August 1983, promises to be epic, with everyone in Malibu anticipating it.

Nina, the eldest Riva sibling, is a surfer and model who shoulders the responsibility of caring for her younger siblings. 

She is haunted by the pain of her father’s abandonment and the challenges of being a mother figure to Hud and Kit.

Jay is a talented surfer and a photographer who harbors a secret crush on Nina. 

Hud is a renowned photographer, but he is also struggling with personal demons, including addiction. 

Kit, the youngest, is a budding surfer with dreams of making a name for herself in the sport.

As the party unfolds, long-held secrets and tensions come to the surface. 

Relationships are tested, and the Riva family must confront their past and the choices they’ve made. 

The night culminates in a destructive wildfire that threatens the town of Malibu and forces the Riva siblings to make life-altering decisions.

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Read Malibu Rising Novel summary by Taylor Jenkins Reid


“Malibu Rising” is a novel that explores the intricacies of family, fame, and the impact of our choices on our lives and the lives of those we love. 

It paints a vivid picture of the Riva family and the iconic Malibu setting while weaving together themes of love, loss, and the enduring bonds of siblings.


What is the central theme of “Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid?

The central theme of “Malibu Rising” revolves around family dynamics, fame, and the consequences of choices.

Is “Malibu Rising” based on real events or characters?

No, “Malibu Rising” is a work of fiction, and its characters and events are products of the author’s imagination.

What makes “Malibu Rising” unique compared to other novels by Taylor Jenkins Reid?

 “Malibu Rising” is unique in Taylor Jenkins Reid’s body of work as it combines her signature storytelling style with a different time period.

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