Book Review: Malibu Bluff by Janna King
The lowdown from Goodreads
Publication Date May 7, 2019
Every summer is designed as a dream for six twenty-something seasonaires chosen by Lyndon Wyld, the founder of her namesake clothing line. This year takes the new brand ambassadors to the West Coast, led by last season’s Mia, who has been roped back in after her mother’s death by a sweeter deal and the hope to leave her grief behind for the California sun.
Mia is thankful that she won’t have to live with another former seasonaire, Presley, who is now handling Lyndon Wyld’s public relations in Los Angeles after making a meal out of the previous summer’s tragedy. In Malibu, Mia will share a stunning modern manse with Eve, an outspoken activist; Alex, a gorgeous boundary pusher; Chase, a warm-hearted surfer; Oliver, a preppy charmer; and Brandon, the son of Lyndon’s business partner, and the young producer of the brand’s new digital channel, which will up the seasonaires’ social media game.
Malibu is the perfect playground for their antics, which serve as juicy entertainment for their growing fanbase. But detractors from Mia’s past come back to haunt her, and when the line between what’s real and what’s staged gets blurred, the results could be deadly.
Book Review: Malibu Bluff by Janna King
If you’re anything like me you watch way too much reality TV. It becomes so addictive watching these people’s lives play out right before our eyes. I think we thrive on the drama. Whether it’s looking inside their mansion homes with perfect furnishings, perfect children or the most adorable pets. It really is mindless TV.
Perfect for Reality TV Lovers
When I read The Seasonaires, Janna’s first book, I felt like I was watching an episode of the Real World on MTV. Even better, women competing for a spot to be a brand ambassador for the famous Diane Furstenburg. Janna really captures a time period in our society where everything is documented and overshared on social media. Eating dinner…take a photo before you dig in. At a concert? Record it. Wearing a new outfit, take a selfie. We are a society open to sharing our every move, and Janna has captured this in both her books.
Revisiting Memorable Characters
Lyndon Wyld is on the search for this summer’s newest brand ambassadors. After last summers tragedy it’s the last job Mia wants, but with the recent death of her mother and the landlord threatening to evict, she knows this is her only way to support herself and her brother. It’s not all bad after all; she will have the opportunity to work on her own clothing line with the possibility of Lyndon purchasing her designs and a good amount of money in her bank account.
So off she goes on a first class flight to California, to the beach city of Malibu. The home is beautiful, the other brand ambassadors are beautiful, and the space Lyndon has picked out for Mia is stocked with the best sewing machine money can buy. The six brand ambassadors will spend the summer wearing Lyndon Wyld swag, taking photos and videos and documenting it all on social media. (Told you this sounds just like a reality show!) Mia really likes her new friends but when the past comes back to haunt her she’ll have to do what it takes to protect her new friends from mistakes she made with old ones.
Can Malibu Bluff be Read as a Standalone?
I am a huge fan of author Janna King. I was excited to meet her after her first book, The Seasonaires came out. She has an amazing talent of being a screenwriter. As you read her books, you will feel like you’re getting a preview of the next best reality TV show. Although Janna’s books are fiction, they are based on topics we all see every day on TV and social media. At times you can forget it’s all made up from her pretty little mind!
For those of you that haven’t read The Seasonaires you do not need to read it in order to jump into Malibu Bluff. I think you’ll like it. Janna does such a good job of catching you up on the characters that come back from the first book, without taking too much away from the new plot.
I really enjoyed getting to know the main character better. While watching her grow through the second book, I found myself cheering her on. You’ll be right there wishing her love, happiness, successes, even forgiveness. Will there be a third book….only Janna knows!
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Armed with a BA in English from UCLA and an MA in Film/TV from LMU, Janna King began her career with a job as a movie studio receptionist. She went on to become an assistant for TV executives and producers, reading much material, which in turn, prompted much writing. Her spec scripts garnered work on various one-hour dramas.
When her two children were born, she turned her focus to kids’ animation, but kept one foot in the “grown-up” live action world. Her produced credits include TV movies for Lifetime and The Hallmark Channel, series for Sony, Spelling, and more, and in children’s entertainment, Disney Junior, Warner Bros. Animation, and Children’s Television Workshop.
Film & Theater
Janna segued into directing with her original short film, “Mourning Glory,” based on her feature script of the same name. The short was an official selection at several film festivals. She is following up her second short film, “The Break Up” by producing the animated short, “Willow,” written and co-produced by her daughter, Izzy Kalichman.
In theater, her first one-act play, “Double Date” was performed at The L.A. Renegade Theatre’s One Act Festival 2014. At Renegade, she also directed her original plays, “Boners & Other Stupid Mistakes” and “The Bluff.”
She is a freelance journalist and blogger, co-founding the website, The Broad Life.
Janna lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two rescue pooches.