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Feb 20, 2021

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Random House Ballantine, June 2021
Women's Fiction/Saga, 384 pages
eGalley via publisher, thank you

From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six . . . 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 for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.
Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.
And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.
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 rising 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.

I have read a few titles by Taylor Jenkins Reid previously so I knew I would enjoy Malibu Rising where us normal people get a salacious look inside the overly rich and famous/other people in this universe/ and I was not disappointed. Reid's newest book reminded me a bit of her Daisy Jones and The Six due to the number of characters and the going back and forth between their characters, but this time Malibu Rising focuses not only on the siblings but also dips into their parents' pasts so we can get a bigger picture of the proverbial Ferris Wheel of family matters that will either make or break you.

Her mother had screwed up almost as much as she'd succeeded.

Malibu Rising definitely has a message even from the title, and the first pages of the book eludes to Malibu burning and you can't help but think of the phoenix rising from the ashes. When we think of people living in their multi-million dollar mansions we automatically assume that life must be so easy for them yet this book quickly takes that impression away. The family of siblings Nina, Jay, Hud and Kit have definitely not had a spectacular life even though their dad was a rock star but yet the family knew how to stick together and truly look out for each other, with most of the work being done by Nina. The plot's current timeline is focused on the famous Nina Riva Party but we keep getting pulled back in time to learn how these characters actually made it this far. 
 June was gone. Yet here she was living on through her children.
It was a very intriguing story, although very depressing when you look at how parenting is portrayed here. Lots of sex, scandal, drugs and crazy things going on all culminating in a tearful ending that still leaves you wanting to see what happens after.  Taylor Jenkins Reid succeeded once again in providing an addictingly fabulous story with bonus eccentric characters that really fleshed out the entire saga. You will definitely want to add this to your summer reading list for 2021.

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Feb 13, 2021

Cosmic Health by Jennifer Racioppi

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Cosmic Health: Unlock Your Healing Magic with Astrology, Positive Psychology, and Integrative Wellness by Jennifer Racioppi
Little, Brown and Company
Religion & Spirituality
Pub Date 12 Jan 2021
(Thank you to the publisher for providing me a copy of the eGalley in exchange for this review)

“A life-changing way to apply astrology to your health and well-being.”—Colette Baron-Reid, author of The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life

2020 was not a great year in so many ways for us here in the United States. As 2021 began I realized all my hope for change/renewal was not going to happen automatically and would require a bit of soul searching for me to get started on this journey of self-care and well-being. No one is going to be able to take better care of myself than myself, but I lack the necessary tools to do so. Combined with my interests in the more esoteric fields of everything from astrology to tarot to crystal healing, this new Cosmic Health book was the perfect book to get me started on my quest.
Examples of titles of sub-chapters: Healing Through Self-Compassion, Can You Really Have What You Want?, Jupiter: Harbinger of Joy and Abundance, Cultivating Your Awesome

This book took me two weeks to read because it is jam packed with facts and tools/exercises for you to follow along with. You need to go into this book knowing how to find out your natal chart, and have an intention. Do you require healing from trauma? Do you need to find the willpower to change a habit? Start a new one? Follow along with Jennifer's thinking and look to the stars. You need to find a balance in your life? The planets will help you, or thwart you depending on your natal chart. In easy to understand text the author will bring you through topics from mythology to moon rituals and Mercury retrograde to help you learn how to apply a form of medical astrology. 

Astrology is a very vast field and as I said, two weeks for 416 pages is quite a long time for me to get through a book. While there are many more books out there to dive deep into any special niche, Cosmic Health by Jennifer Racioppi is an absolute gem to women who need a little direction in understanding how many elements of our solar system pull on your psyche.

Some favorite takeaways from Cosmic Health: Relentlessly commit to your future self. You are here to learn sovereignty and how to self-authorize without needing approval from others. Using the natal chart and your astro-individuality you can find insight into what you're innately excellent at as well as what drives you and why.

While I was able to enjoy this book via the eGalley, due to the images and format within the text I would recommend purchasing a hard copy for the illustrations alone. This is definitely a book that would be a useful tool to look back through as your personal situations arise. Thank you so much to the publisher for providing me with the eGalley for this review and getting me on my way to a higher state of well-being.

Just for fun, here's my natal chart, courtesy of Cafe Astrology!! I am a Cancer Sun, Virgo Moon and Virgo Rising. My true north is in Capricorn. 

As a Cancer, I can be touchy and indirect, and my Virgo Ascendant makes me come across as shy and aloof. This Virgo ascendant also makes me super sensitive to the pain I feel from my endometriosis and since Cancer is ruled by the moon I need to channel my moon energy to work for me as opposed to against me. Jennifer's Cosmic Health has specifics on each of my planet's placements and ideas on how to harness this energy to propel me towards a better understanding of my place in this amazing solar system. We are star dust and it is time to honor that!