July 24

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I don’t do trashy books well. I’ve got no problem with trashy TV and remain convinced that Survivor is the best show in the history of television but, for whatever reason, my tolerance for basic books is low. Also, I feel compelled to ask the question of whether there is a place for an airport novel (which this book unquestionably is) in a world without functioning airports?

This month, I made an exception for Taylor Jenkins Reid and her new book Malibu Rising. It’s smashing bestseller lists around the world, I loved Daisy Jones and the Six, it’s lockdown and surely, I deserve a little break between reality shows.

I just wasn’t expecting a soap opera.  

Malibu Rising is set in Malibu Beach, California in 1983. Four famous siblings (think tanned, tall surfers and supermodels) are hosting their annual open house party. They have been looking out for each other since they were abandoned by their rock star father almost 20 years before. Emotions spill over in the lead up to this glamourous event.

With flashbacks to Malibu in the 50’s, beachside romance and glamour, I struggled through in the same way I have struggled through episodes of the Bold and the Beautiful on a sick day. 

I’m sorry, but the cliches in this book are comic. The actors are all tall, bronzed and nominated for Golden Globes, the surfers are all on the World Tour and the models have no idea how beautiful they are. There is just enough suspense to keep you going, but as far as caring about the characters, I have to confess to wondering more than once if the San Andreas fault would do the right thing and wind things up.

I am sure if you are looking for soap opera, you could do a lot worse than a Taylor Jenkins Reid book. She has a million devotees around the world and who am I to judge?  Survivors Ready?  

And that’s my 2 cents worth.