Monthly Archives: July 2021

Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Four famous siblings throw an epic party to celebrate the end of the summer. But over the course of twenty-four hours, their lives will change forever.

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…

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.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“When there is only you, you do not get to choose which jobs you want, you do not get to decide you are incapable of anything. There is no room for distaste or weakness. You must do it all.” (147)

Hi Everyone!

Today, I have a review on a book I recently blazed through, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Similarly to TJR’s other books, Malibu Rising is filled with drama and secrets from the past as the story transitions between the 50s and 80s. If you’ve read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, you will already be familiar with one of the main characters, Mick Riva. The chapters of the Riva siblings kept me hooked as I was eager to find out what would happen to them. Without getting into spoilers, I’ll say this book was a really enjoyable, mysterious, quick summer read!

yellow outline of 2 surfboards one with flowers the other with waves standing in the water

What I liked/didn’t like

While I was invested in the Riva siblings’ story, there are a lot of anecdotes on minor characters which I didn’t really care for. I found they added drama to the story but not much else. My favourite part of the book was how it explores what it means to be a family and how we all have the power to become our own person. I have more to discuss on this, but I’m trying to keep this review spoiler free, so you’ll have to read and see for yourself!

“She had to choose what, of the things she inherited from the people who came before her, she wanted to bring forward. And what of the past, she wanted to leave behind.” (357)


While there is some romance in this book, the main love story is really between the family. My favourite characters to read about were Nina and Kit. I loved their relationship of the youngest and oldest child. Nina realizes she has babied Kit while trying to protect her, and Kit encourages Nina to start doing things for herself by the end of the book.

“Despite having long ago learned some people don’t keep their promises, all three of the younger Rivas knew they could believe her.” (141)


Even though the chapters aren’t split between different character’s POVs, TJR still moves seamlessly between different POVs in a chapter. This way you still learn a lot of what each character is thinking in the moment. I think this is really cool and fun to read, especially when their thoughts contrast each other. I loved reading this with the siblings as they all have such different personalities:

“Hud found it hard to be mad at someone who was suddenly being so transparent. Jay found it refreshing, the idea that it was OK to admit you suspected yourself of being a dickhead, deep inside. Nina had to stop herself from rolling her eyes.” (325)

yellow outline of 2 surfboards one with flowers the other with waves standing in the water

Final Thoughts

I read this book as part of a book club with a few friends, so I’m looking forward to discussing it further with them! This book didn’t have as many twists as I expected. It’s almost as if I knew what was going to happen, but not in a bad way. It was set up so you could inevitably see what was going to occur, but when it eventually happened I was still shocked.

Have you read Malibu Rising or are planning to read it? Do you agree with my thoughts? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

Cover photo is by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

The post Review: Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid appeared first on Procrastireader.

The Henna Wars – Adiba Jaigirdar

Release date: May 12, 2020

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Of course Muslims can be gay. How can anyone think otherwise? The two aren’t mutually exclusive. I am the living, breathing proof.

Adiba Jaigirdar, The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars is a book I heard of more recently through BookTok, and after seeing the long waitlist at my local library, I decided to listen to the audiobook. I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about it, since I usually prefer fantasy books, but I absolutely loved it! It follows Nishat, a Bengali Irish lesbian girl, as her life begins to re-intertwine with a girl from her elementary school, Flávia.

This book ended up being a lot more than I expected, and 100% worth the read! It’s a great romance, and an important own voices narrative with cultural, religious, and wlw representation. Please make sure to read content/trigger warnings before reading this.

(Also this cover is amazing!)


This book deals with quite a lot, but it surrounds Nishat’s business class project, which is for each student – or group of students – to create their own business. After putting henna on her sister at a wedding and receiving positive feedback on Instagram, Nishat decides to start her own henna business. However, she learns that Flávia, who is biracial (Brazilian and Irish), teams up with her cousin Chyna and also decides to do henna for her project. Nishat, who really likes Flávia, is angered by the fact that they are appropriating her culture. She tells her this on several occasions, but Flávia doesn’t quite seem to understand why there is something wrong with what she is doing, nor does she see henna as anything other than art.

The Henna Wars also deals with the “trendiness” of cultures. Chyna is quite a popular person at her school, and so many people want to hop on the “trend” that she’s “created” with henna. While henna becomes seen as something cool, especially when done by Chyna and Flávia, other parts of Nishat’s culture are not, such as food, which is never spoken of in high regards by Nishat’s classmates.


I absolutely loved Nishat. She was such a strong character who was really comfortable with who she was and not afraid to defend herself. As a Muslim, and as a teenager going to an all girls Catholic school, Nishat doesn’t have a lot of support when it comes to her sexuality. Through all the scrutinization and conversations where she is told “Muslim girls aren’t lesbian” or that she needs help, Nishat stands strong. However, this obviously takes a toll on her, especially with her family’s views. Nishat’s sister Priti is her #1 support, and their relationship is one of my favourite parts of this book, and so important in the story.

Flávia was really hard to like at some times, especially with the comments she makes about Nishat not being an artist, and her unwillingness to listen to Nishat tell her about why henna is more than just art. Nishat is pretty conflicted when it comes to her feelings for Flávia, but as Flávia opens up, we really see a different side to her and her story.

Final Thoughts

I really loved this book. There is so much to discuss with this book, but I also want to keep it spoiler-free, so please go pick up this book, and if you’ve read it, leave me a comment with your thoughts! 🙂