Told over one day, it builds to a riotous party at the glamorous Malibu clifftop home of Nina Riva, supermodel and surfer. Through flashback, the reader learns of her and her siblings’ hardscrabble childhood as the neglected children of legendary crooner Mick Riva. The least literary of the selection here, this is unapologetically escapist beach-read fiction, its urgent style evocative of Hollywood Wives-era Jackie Collins and an era of guilt-free bronzing.
Jenkins Reid has an easy, breezy style that serves melodrama on a daring scale: surprise babies, infidelity, weird accidents, natural disasters and multiple dramatic revelations of people’s true identity make this The OC meets The Winter’s Tale. Never has so much sex, tragedy, celebrity and tanned skin been crammed into one thinking person’s beach read. It’s 365 pages of pure exhilaration, and if you’re left wanting more, the author’s epic and hilariously breathless acknowledgments are worth a read too. Like, OMG.