picture of paul mccartney family, answering is malibu rising based on a true story

Is Malibu Rising Based on a True Story?


You’re not alone if you’ve ever wondered whether Malibu Rising is based on a true story. This question always comes up to readers who read this novel, which has sold more than a million copies since its release in 2021. Well then, did the author Taylor Jenkins Reid base parts of it on actual individuals or events she came across?

Is Malibu Rising Based on a True Story?

Put simply, Malibu Rising is not based on a true story. It’s a historical fiction novel, similar to Daisy Jones and the Six. This novel is set in Malibu in 1983, but it also goes back to the 1950s when it tells of the early relationship between Mick and June, who are later featured in this story.

Malibu Rising Book Summary

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.

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.

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

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

By midnight the party will be entirely 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 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.

Is Malibu Rising Worth Reading?

Original graphic of Malibu Rising reviews

If you feel connected to the drama of what happens in Malibu Rising, you will very much enjoy reading it. Characters in this book go through phases such as looking for belonging, feeling abandoned by the people they love, and leaving their passions because of their family.

Malibu Rising will overwhelm you with emotions.

Some readers have similar sentiments when reading this book, especially about the siblings’ close and honest relationship. Each one of them shows the act of loyalty, even the younger one, Kit or Katherine.

I have to warn you that Malibu Rising even tells a more tragic story, so you may want to have your tissues at the ready when you’re reading it.

Sometimes though, Malibu Rising feels a little bit disjointed.

One negative thing about the book that most people agree with is actually the part when the party, the main event of this book, unfolds.

At the party, you will meet many guesses or side characters that distract you from the story’s focus. They are, for the most part, unimportant and will make you confused.

Malibu Rising may not be a perfect book. However, its heart-wrenching story and main characters’ deep relationships are worth your time and sympathy.

Is Malibu Rising connected to Evelyn Hugo?

Malibu Rising (2021) is in the same historical fictional universe as the author’s previous two books, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2017) and Daisy Jones & the Six (2019). However, their stories are not connected because each book stands on its own; you don’t need to read the other in order to read one of them.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (2017)

Original graphic of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo reviews

Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready, to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband has left her, and her professional life is going nowhere. Regardless of why Evelyn has selected her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s luxurious apartment, Monique listens in fascination as the actress tells her story. From making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the ’80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way, Evelyn unspools a tale of ruthless ambition, unexpected friendship, and great forbidden love. Monique begins to feel a genuine connection to the legendary star. Still, as Evelyn’s story concludes, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Daisy Jones & the Six (2019)

Original graphic of Daisy Jones & the Six reviews

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity…until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in LA in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.


How many pages is Malibu Rising?

Malibu Rising has several versions, including US & UK Paperback and US & UK Hardcover. Each of them has a number of pages ranging from 369 to 400.

What genre is Malibu Rising?

Like most of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books, the primary genre of Malibu Rising is historical fiction.

What age is Malibu Rising for?

Malibu Rising is for 18+ year old readers because it contains some heavy themes: adultery, death, alcoholism, and drug use, to name a few.

Is Malibu Rising Going to be a Movie?

Malibu Rising is getting an adaptation. But, executive producer Liz Tigelaar is developing the book into a TV series for Hulu instead of a movie.

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