Wednesday, 3 August 2022

Reading from my TBR pile: 5 star books


MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Not much actually happens in this book. Four siblings prepare for a big party the eldest sister is holding in her grand house on the cliffs at Malibu. In between those chapters, we get an insight into their relationships by flashbacks into the past from the moment of their parents' first meeting. That's it. There isn't much action, no surprise twists or big reveals. And yet it's one of the best books I've read this year.

Why? Because of the characters. Within a few chapters, Nina, Jay, Hudson and Kit and their parents became as real to me as people I'd known all my life. In each of their chapters, I BECAME them. I cried their tears, felt their pain, was elated with their joy and most of all, understood the bond that cemented them together in an indestructible bond.

MALIBU RISING was one of those rare gems that stole a piece of my heart whilst I was reading it and made me grieve for its characters when they were no longer part of my life. The vibes of a Malibu summer in the early 80s made this a perfect holiday read with all the feels. It's not often that a book so perfectly captures my imagination, no, my entire soul. I loved every minute of it and it's a definitive highlight of this year for me. The hype is real!



If I had to choose my favourite book by Eve Chase, it would be BLACK RABBIT HALL. I adored everything about the story, from its atmospheric setting of Black Rabbit Hall to its characters, who all came to life for me. I especially loved the Alton children - Toby, Amber, Kitty and Barney – who immediately captured my heart and kept me eagerly reading on. Their strong bond, a theme that features strongly in all of Chase’s novels, warmed my heart and ultimately broke it.

The dual timeline worked well for me in this story, even though I had brief concerns that I would not find Lorna’s story as interesting as the rest. Unfounded fears, as it turned out. The family secrets that drove this mystery had me totally intrigued and the setting was so vivid that I can still picture it long after finishing the book.

BLACK RABBIT HALL is one of those rare stories that not only rolled out like a movie in my head, but also totally captured my heart and my imagination. I savoured this book and loved every minute of it. If you haven’t read any of Chase’s books yet, I recommend you start with this one!

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