Review: Malibu Rising

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pub Date: 6/1/2021

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced copy of this book from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Malibu: August, 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together, the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over-especially as the offspring of the legendary singer, Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud-because it is long past time to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own-including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come bubbling to the surface.

Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.

Review: Malibu Rising was one of my most anticipated reads this year. This historical fiction novel takes place in 1980s Malibu. If you read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo then Mick Riva may sound familiar to you as he is one of Evelyn’s seven husbands! I found this to be an entertaining read. I loved the strong sibling bond between the main characters and the supporting characters were entertaining. It was great to read the present chapters spanning in a 24 hour day while we got glimpses of the past as well. I enjoyed the past chapters more because that had more action while the present chapters seemed to have little action until the end. One part I realized I wanted more of that was in her previous novels and not in this one was a strong background setting. Also being introduced to multiple characters was fun but it felt that it was a bit distracting from the main storyline. If you loved Evelyn Hugo and Daisy Jones, then I highly recommend picking up Malibu Rising.

Review: The Four Winds

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub Date: 2/2/2021

Disclaimer: I received a finished listening copy from Macmillan Audio in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

GoodReads Synopsis: Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance. 

In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.

Review: The Four Winds is the third book I’ve read from Kristin Hannah and one of my most anticipated reads this year. This historical fiction novel takes place during the dust bowl era and dives into family, bravery, the American dream, and determination. I loved the author’s writing style and how it kept me on my toes from the first page. The struggle, emotion, and grit that Elsa goes through is seen and felt through every page. I highly recommend picking this one up if you loved Kristin Hannah’s previous books.

Review: 11/22/63

11/22/63 by Stephen King
Publication: Gallery Books
Publication Date: 7/24/12

GoodReads Synopsis: Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

Review: If you had the power to go back and change a monumental event in American History, would you do it?

This is one of those rare instances where I watched the show, 11/22/63, on Hulu before I read the book. After binging the show, I knew I had to get my hands on the book. 11/22/63 is the second book I’ve read from Stephen King. When I first bought the book, I’m not going to lie that I was intimidated by it’s 800+ pages. What I found the most fascinating is that the premise focuses more on time travel, JFK’s assassination, and wasn’t as horror heavy as I anticipated. The strength that lies within the story that Stephen King executes well is ethical questions and the butterfly effect.

After reading the book and the TV show, I have to say that I liked the TV show much more which is super rare. As much as I loved the premise of the novel, I found the characters to be much more likable and to have more of a human element in the TV show. In the book, the characters, especially Jake, came off crass. However, I did find that I liked the explanation of time travel in the book which I felt the show rushed it a bit. I thought that the book could have been reduced by 300-400 pages as there were some scenes that seemed to ramble on and were unnecessary. I liked that the TV show cut to the point. I highly recommend reading the book and watching the show if you’re into time travel elements.

Rating: 4/5

Review: Daisy Jones and The Six

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publication Date: 3/5/19
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Rating: 4/5

Disclaimer: I received a free advanced digital copy of this book from Ballantine Books in exchange for my honest opinion. This has no effect on my opinion, review, or rating.

Review: Daisy Jones and The Six is Taylor Jenkins Reid’s newest novel which will release in March 2019. I was super excited to get my hands on an ARC as I absolutely loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and could wait to read this one. This historical fiction novel follows the former band members of famous ‘70s rock n roll group Daisy Jone and The Six and how they split in 1979. I really liked the interview writing format of this book. The writing style is great in a way that keeps your interest throughout the book. The plot was interesting, but I couldn’t really get into the ‘70s rock n roll overhyped stereotypes. By midway in the book? I was pretty fed up with the way the main characters, Daisy and Billy, were acting. Overall, I liked The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo much better than Daisy Jones and The Six. I also heard that Reese Witherspoon will be producing a limited series on Amazon based on the books so I’m curious to see how that will pan out. If you are a fan of Taylor Jenkins Reid, then I would highly recommend adding Daisy Jones and The Six to your TBR.