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July 26, 2021

Malibu Rising

Book Club recommendation:

8 min read

Another great character-driven novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid, malibu rising transports you to the surf and sand of the cali coast. The storyline fluctuates between two timelines. one tells me the tumultuous story of June and Mick Riva, from their first enchanted meeting on the sandy shores of Malibu to Mick's rise to stardrom as a singer in the sixties. The second recounts the events of one fateful night at a house party hosted by the now grown Riva children, who've made waves of their own on the surfing stage.

You’ll find yourself rooting for the Rivas as they face nearly insurmountable struggles and their intense resiliency and commitment to one another  is tested.  It’s what’s made them who they are, but will it be enough?

The beautifully written world of Malibu Rising also makes for a wonderful setting for a book club gathering to discuss the ebbs and flows of the Riva clan.  Here’s a few ideas to kick start you next book club meeting.


80s on the California Coast


Malibu rising book on display

For a little fun and a good laugh, invite guests to dress as if they are attending the famous Riva party in their finest Cali coastal chic.  Play 80s classics, and don’t forget Prince, who breaks through even Nina’s guard and gets her on the dance floor.

Add coastal touches to your table with natural wood trays and bowls, and centerpieces of glass filled with floating candles or sand and candles.with touches of seagrass. Or, take the party in a different direction and recreate Riva’s Fish, with red plastic baskets, restaurant menus, and diner signs.


  • Lobster rolls
  • ‘The sandwich’
  • Fried fish, clams and oysters (or for lighter fare, skip the frying)
  • Lobster Mac & Cheese
  • Ice cream and popsicles just like the summers when the ice cream truck came by.


Lobster Rolls
  • Would you have taken Mick back a second time?
  • Would you have been able to love and raise Hud the way June did?
  • How did their parents shape who Nina, Jay, Hudson, and Kit became?
  • What do you think about Nina’s speculation that perhaps we are bound to repeat our parents’ mistakes? Or, as she speculated, can we sift through the box they give us and choose what we carry forward, and what burdens we put down and leave behind?
  • Do you think Hudson was right to begin seeing Ashley without talking to Jay?
  • Did you anticipate Mick re-emerging on the scene in the last half of the book? Do you think his kids should give him another chance?
  • How do you think the Rivas will emerge from the ashes?

I hope you and your book club enjoyed the book as much as we did.  If so, you should check out Daisy Jones and the Six, by the same author, or one of our other book club pics including The Midnight Library and Where the Crawdads Sing.

Happy reading!