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Malibu Rising: The new novel from the bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six Hardcover
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Cons: the writing/dialogue is very cringy at times. The ending is a bit of a let down.
Would recommend for an entertaining summer read but nothing more.
A slowwwwwwww start
But ended up picking up and being ok
Not as good as other of TJR but pretty good
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Malibu Rising is sadly not as good as either even though there's a lot to love in here.
I think the main problem is that it is under-developed and sort of half-written. A couple more drafts and some editing, re-arranging and cutting would have elevated this novel to the standard this author is capable of.
It feels as if her publisher might have rushed her into print too soon. Or her editor blew smoke up her posterior & told her it was fantastic when it was still a work in progress.
I think this author is incredibly talented and I will read her next one and I'm not sorry I read Malibu Rising it's just not what it should have been.
I’m unpopular with my opinion I know.
But this book took me by surprise. What I thought it was going to be (like a Jackie Collins novel) with horrid little rich people sniping at each other and Botox lol….turned out to be nothing of the sort.
This had a lot of depth to it.
Loss of a parent in death and a father who couldn’t handle fatherhood.
Yes, they had money, but they worked for it.
The eldest daughter made sacrifices.
The family dynamics were intense and I loved every word and shocked myself that I enjoyed it so much.
I only read it thinking I needed an escape from thrillers, maybe a nice summer read. What I got was much more.
So maybe I’ll give her yet another chance when she brings her next book out!
The novel flits back and forth between the night in question - when the annual Riva party takes place - and the early years of the siblings' (Kit, Hud, Jay and Nina) lives and the relationship between their rock-icon father Mick and their mother June. It's all very dull - I had to force myself to keep reading, hoping it would pick up and get better.
As for the party itself, at that point a lot of unlikable characters are introduced very briefly and quickly - after all, the author needed people to populate the party with. But they're cardboard cutout characters - there as space-fillers (literally) and the reader can't care about them because they're unimportant and their time in the spotlight of the novel brief. One example is a mini-story (literally covering a couple of pages) about a guest called Eliza and how she'd like a certain type of man but decided not to stay at the party but go home and read a script (who cares - she's not relevant to the novel) - and here's an example of the frustrating style of writing. We're told 'And so, she did not go inside. Instead, she hung out in the front yard, talking to her friends. And Seth hung out in the backyard, looking for love'. It's written with the type of gravity you might reserve for characters who are the focal point of a novel - star-crossed lovers who might later meet. But nah, Eliza has a few pages and that's it. Like I say, filler material - and not even good filler. Or this - where an actor at the party is introduced: 'Back in high school in Dayton, Ohio, Robert Vaughn Donovan III did not make the football or the baseball team. But the moment he stepped into the school auditorium, he had found a home. With his quick wit and charmingly exasperated delivery of almost every line, he had the drama kids in stitches. His dad's college roommate...' Actually, I won't bore you with the rest. But all this setup for someone at a party who does nothing at all - who has no role in driving the overall plot forward - frustrated me as a reader.
This novel lacks plot, pacing, interesting characters. It's a slow amble across the years, repeatedly flagging up how nice Nina is, how errant Mick is - and it's all tell, tell tell. It's not even titillating. Barely any sex scenes and when there were, they were brief, boring and pretty chaste.
If you are looking for a summer bonk-buster or even a summer page-turner, this book isn't it. It doesn't even feel like it's written by someone who has any insider knowledge of the LA set. I've read that the author used to be a casting agent - but it doesn't feel like she's been close to celebrity or has any interesting stories; unlike Jackie Collins who was clearly close to all the gossip, scandal and sizzle and conveyed every ounce of it in her books. Honestly, what a damp squib of a novel this was.