Online Reading Challenge – March Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Challenge Readers!

My name is Stephanie and I have taken over the Online Reading Challenge from Ann after her retirement! She wrote wonderfully for the blog for years and is already missed so much by everyone at the Davenport Public Library. I’m hoping to be able to live up to her high expectations and create content that you all will love! If you have any suggestions regarding the blog or the Online Reading Challenge, please email me at sspraggon@davenportlibrary.com. Now, let’s wrap up March!

How did your reading go this month? Did you read something set in sunny California that you enjoyed? Share in the comments!

I read our main title, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. This is a heartwarming, tender, yet page-turning beach read that tells the story of a party gone wrong. Jenkins Reid has a way of weaving her books together, even though they are not series. (There are characters with short cameos spread between her novels, sometimes in a quick mention: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, Daisy Jones & the Six and Carrie Soto is Back).

This is the story of the four Riva siblings, each equally famous in their own right. Their father, a famous singer, had a hard time staying with his family, despite his professions of love for them. The eldest, Nina, takes on the job of raising her three siblings when their mother dies. She gives up her dreams until one day she is discovered and becomes a model. Jay becomes a champion surfer, Hud is a successful sports photographer, and Kit, the youngest, is on the cusp of breaking through as a champion surfer as well.

Their early trauma formed an unbreakable bond between the four, one that is about to be tested. All four carry secrets that affect their individual lives and could destroy their family bond. Everything comes to a head at Nina’s annual summer party in August 1983. This year’s party is unlike any other. It quickly gets out of hand, being mostly made up of uninvited people armed with loads of booze and drugs. In the midst of the revelry, the four Riva siblings fight amongst themselves, deal with inner turmoil, and try to do what’s best for each other.

I enjoyed this novel – while it seemed like this book was going to be about who set the fire at the Riva mansion during Nina’s party, it instead focuses on the hard times that the Riva siblings have been through together. The story examines family dysfunction amongst the debauchery, glitz, and glam of California’s famous elite. Being born and raised in the Midwest, I was fascinated by the messiness of the Riva family and their rise to power in their chosen professions. I also enjoyed the narrative structure of this book – the alternating between Mick’s courtship with June, as well as the hours leading up to (and during) the party. The story definitely played out like a soap opera, a fact particularly emphasized for me as I listened to the audiobook version of this title. Let me know what you thought in the comments!

In April we’re headed to India, so get ready!

Malibu Rising is also available in the following formats:

One thought on “Online Reading Challenge – March Wrap-Up

  1. I read Mailbu Rising and really enjoyed the family drama and the California surfing setting. Like other books that I’ve read by this author, it was a subject that I wouldn’t have automatically been drawn to, but the excellent writing and plot twists kept me happily reading.
    It looks like the blog and the reading challenge are in good hands Stephanie! The torch is passed! 🙂

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