This summer’s best-selling novel, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, features a cast of lovable characters, heartbreaking family dynamics, and the joys of friendship. We were looking for a book to read on our summer vacation that included both adventure and self-discovery, and this one delivered. This list of Malibu Rising-like books will help you fill out your summer reading list!
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Riva family, the siblings of Mick Riva, is preparing for their annual end-of-summer party in Malibu in 1983. The party, on the other hand, gets out of hand due to the revelations and confessions of the night. With their secrets and confessions, the Riva family must come to terms with the consequences of their actions. Your quest to learn more about your own identity will be complicated this summer as you witness your own family’s dysfunction firsthand.
Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin
Bringing to mind both Emma Cline’s The Girls and Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies, debut novel Saint X by Alexis Schaitkin is a heartrending look at the bond between two sisters who were never given the chance to know one another. After Alison, Claire’s college-aged sister, vanishes from their family vacation at a Caribbean resort on the island of Saint X, Claire is hailed as a “marvel of a book” and “brilliant and unflinching.” When Alison’s body is discovered on a nearby cay, two local men are taken into custody. In spite of this, the men are quickly released. As a result, the story becomes the stuff of national tabloids, an unsolved mystery. Clive Richardson, one of the men originally suspected of murdering Claire’s sister, resurfaces in New York City, where Claire is working and living. As a result, Claire embarks on an obsessive quest to uncover the truth about Alison’s death as well as the nagging question: Who was her sister?
We Were Never Here by Andrea Bartz
As part of their annual reunion, Emily and her best friend Kristen are vacationing in the mountains of Chile, where they are closer than ever. Emily, on the other hand, finds blood and broken glass in their hotel room when she enters. There were no other options for Kristen, and she had no choice but to shoot the cute backpacker in self-defense. Adding insult to injury, the scene is eerily reminiscent of last year’s excursion, on which another backpacker perished. If Kristen shows up for an unexpected visit, Emily is forced to confront their violent history, which she has tried to bury in her hometown of Wisconsin. In the midst of their cover-ups, Emily must face the truth about her best friend. Is Emily’s relationship with Kristen going to be destroyed by the secrets she shares with her?
Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller
Presidio Terrace, San Francisco’s most exclusive—and deadly—neighborhood, is home to some of the city’s most beautiful women. Her twenty-two year old husband, a tech-billionaire who recently moved them to the block, worries that Brooke’s friendships with other wives on the street will reveal the truth about their “perfect” marriage. In a last ditch effort to keep her husband Mason interested, famed news anchor Erin King quit her job. But is he the man she thought he was? When Georgia St. Claire’s first two husbands died, she was nicknamed the “Black Widow,” and now residents of Presidio Terrace are wondering if she’s struck again: What can she really do to keep her secrets safe?
We Came Here to Forget by Andrea Dunlop
A young Olympic skier who has lost everything and flees to Argentina, where she meets a colorful group of ex-pats and is swept off her feet by an intriguing young man with dark secrets of his own” is what BuzzFeed describes as “a vivid novel about a young Olympic skier who loses everything and escapes to Buenos Aires.”
The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess
Eve Rosen, an aspiring writer in the late 1980s, is determined to make her mark in the literary world. She thinks she’s found the key to her ideal life when she’s invited to Henry Grey’s and his poet wife’s soiree. Meeting people in the industry and getting to know them will reveal some dark truths about the literary world. Her life spirals out of control, and she begins to question whether or not this is the right place for her.
The Idea of You by Robinne Lee
As described by Vogue as “the sleeper hit of the pandemic,” this book is a great way to escape into a glamorous, global love affair, which becomes an internet sensation after it goes viral.. It’s not easy for Solène Marchand, a 39-year-old LA art gallery owner, to bring her daughter to see her favorite boy band in concert. Solène has no idea that she’s about to develop a romantic relationship with one of the members of the August Moon, the most famous band in the world. Even though he is posh, Hayes Campbell has a magnetic personality that is all the aforementioned qualities in one package. Things get even more complicated because he’s only twenty-one years old. As for Solène, it’s an opportunity to reclaim her identity and find happiness and love all over again. When the romance between Solène and Hayes goes viral and she and her daughter become the focus of a media hungry for sensationalism, Solène is forced to confront the impact her love life has had on those she cares about most.
The Summer Job by Lizzy Dent
Birdy has no choice but to flee after she makes the most disastrous error of her life. Heather, Birdy’s best friend, steps in to help her land a summer job at a highland Scottish hotel. When she falls for a guy and has to keep the truth from her best friend, she wonders how long she can keep lying. With a twist of secrets and lies that shape our identities, The Summer Job is a laugh-out-loud funny read.
The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman
Pilot season brings actors from all over the world to the smog and sun of Los Angeles. It’s inevitable that some people’s dreams will come true, while others’ destinies will be sealed. In order to join the throng of hopefuls vying for their big breaks, British actress Mia Eliot jets across the pond and meets Emily, another actress from out of town who is a kindred spirit. The simple favor takes a sinister turn when Mia learns she was the last person to see Emily before she vanished. Mia is deeply disturbed when a woman claiming to be Emily knocks on her door the following day and isn’t the woman she remembers at all. All Mia has left is a vague memory of a girl she met only once, and the overwhelming sense that something terrible has occurred. It gets worse: The police don’t believe her when she says the real Emily has vanished! Because of this, Mia is forced to take on the role of a lifetime in an attempt to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will make her question her sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could have imagined.
Seven Days in June by Tia Williams
Author of best-selling books and lone mother At a New York library event, Eva Mercy runs into Shane, another celebrated author. However, no one is aware that Shane and Eva had a romantic summer together fifteen years ago. They spend the next seven days getting back together because they can’t deny their chemistry. Despite this, Shane longs for Eva’s return, but she is wary and pushes him away with a barrage of concerns and questions. Is it possible for a long-distance love to work? If you’re looking for a summer read that will leave you wondering if love ever truly goes away, this book is for you!
Anna K Away by Jenny Lee
Anna K is going to South Korea for the summer after the death of her love Alexia and the release of a sex tape. Her best friend Lolly, meanwhile, is dealing with her own post-theatre camp love complications and is questioning whether she and her boyfriend are meant to be together. Kimmie, Anna’s other best friend, is also experiencing difficulties in her relationship with her new boyfriend, in the form of intimacy issues. Then Alexia’s cousin Bea takes a flight to Los Angeles, where she learns to deal with her grief and falls in love. Forgiveness and unity will be addressed in this sequel to the popular adolescent novel series before the new school year.
Under the Southern Sky by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Parker and Greer’s embryos were “abandoned,” and Amelia, a journalist recently separated, is put in the position of telling Parker about it. This is the biggest story Amelia has ever covered. Parker has been unable to move forward since the death of his wife, but he knows he must accept his new role as a single father and find a surrogate. Bereaved Amelia and Parker decide to return to Cape Carolina, where they grew up, to spend time by the sea and embark on a journey of love, friendship, and family that will change their lives. In Under the Southern Sky, readers are taken on a journey of self-discovery and grief by the sea.
Destination Wedding by Diksha Basu
What could possibly go wrong at a lavish Indian wedding with your best friend and all of your family in attendance?
When it comes to finding a place to call home, Tina Das is at a loss. India or the United States? Is it better to live in Brooklyn or Bombay? It’s up to you. Rocco Gallagher, the handsome Australian who she had a one-night stand with in London, never called back, so maybe it’s time to let that dream go and focus on finding the next big story for her streaming network instead. With her best friend Marianne Laing on board, she hopes to find it at her cousin’s lavish, week-long wedding in Delhi. There is something about Tom’s khaki-clad demeanor that makes Marianne long for the days she spent with him at home in New York City. “Destination Wedding” is a romantic comedy that explores the difficulties of finding the right person for you no matter where you go.
The Tiger Mom’s Tale by Lyn Liao Butler
Lexa Thomas has had a difficult time adjusting to her new surroundings. As a child, she was raised in a household full of blondes, but she looks more like Constance Wu. Her comfortable New York City existence is threatened when her father, whom she hasn’t spoken to in years, suddenly passes away, leaving Lexa in charge of his Taiwanese family’s future. Return to Taiwan and claim your place in your family’s history, or leave them and risk losing your family’s home forever. Lexa confronts the man who forced her to flee Taiwan decades ago with the help of two half-sisters (one American and the other Taiwanese) who can’t stand each other, a mother who has rediscovered her sexuality, and a man whose kisses make her walk into walls. If she wants to avoid the consequences of her family’s choices dictating the course of her life, Lexa must stand up for herself and open her heart to family and love.
Family Plot by Megan Collins
Her true crime-crazed parents raised Dahlia Lighthouse, who is now 26, in a remote island mansion deep in the woods. For the past few years, she has been living on her own and struggling to come to terms with her twin brother Andy’s disappearance when they were sixteen years old. Dahlia returns to the house after her father’s death to find a shocking discovery at the memorial: another body has been buried in the reserved plot, with Andy’s skull split open with an ax. Each member of the family reacts to the news in a different way. A memorial museum highlighting their research into famous murder victims is the project of her brother Charlie, while her sister Tate’s popular dioramas depicting crime scenes continue to be popular; their mother, who used to perform murder reenactments as a child, now presents a cheerfully domestic facade. Dahlia’s grief and horror lead her to realize that her eccentric family and the mansion itself may hold the answers to her twin’s disappearance.