Tuesday, August 18, 2015
"Everybody Rise" by Stephanie Clifford
The cover! Oh, the cover of this book is what attracted me. It was love at first glance! I love the simplicity of it and the contrasting colors! "Everybody Rise" is Stephanie Clifford's debut novel and after reading the plot summary on Netgalley I decided to go ahead with requesting it to read and review.
The summary goes like this:
It's 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and glamorous. Money and class are colliding in a city that is about to go over a financial precipice and take much of the country with it. At 26, bright, funny and socially anxious Evelyn Beegan is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto the Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she's forced to embrace them.
Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family's downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.
Bracing, hilarious and often poignant, Stephanie Clifford's debut offers a thoroughly modern take on classic American themes - money, ambition, family, friendship - and on the universal longing to fit in.
It sounded pretty good. Chick lit. Not my normal kind of reading material. But interesting none the less. As I have mentioned before, I love books about NYC. A book about elite NYC society sounded interesting.
This book was a slow start but as the story progressed it was easier to pick up and read. I think I had a hard time liking and relating to the main character, Evelyn. For being in her mid twenties she tended to act like she was in high school with no real knowledge of how the real world works. Her behaviors in life and towards others were just not believable. She is so determined to get to the highest point in this elite society that she is willing to do anything to get there. It was borderline mental.
I really liked her high school friends that were introduced at the beginning of the book. However, after the story progresses those character are forgotten and we are introduced to new "friends" she makes while climbing the social ladder. Most characters in this book are flat and boring. No character growth or personality. Even Evelyn just seems to wander throughout the entire book with no real energy. She is uninteresting and dull, and overall just not a character that really engaged me as a reader.
At about the halfway point I realized that I just wasn't excited about finishing this story. It switched back and forth between present and past and went from one location to another. I really wanted to feel more engaged but it just wasn't happening. The characters didn't appeal to me. I, in no way felt sorry or even rooted for the main character.
It was a good summer read due to the fact it is relatively a quick read about a society and places that most of us are not a part of. It was fun reading about places I will probably never visit and things I will never have the money to do or parties for the wealthy that I will never get invited to. Taking a peak into the world of "old money" is something I think most people have been interested in. Even if it is in a fictional book.
I give it 3 stars. Nothing phenomenal or even exciting. I wasn't swept away by it and had to will myself to actually finish despite my ridiculously high expectations before starting. It was a satisfying conclusion but came to late for me to truly enjoy it.
Stephanie Clifford's "Everybody Rise" is available today (August 18, 2015). Get it on Amazon , Barnes & Noble , Itunes, Google Play, or most places where books are sold.
Thanks to Netgalley and St Martin's Press for allowing me the egalley to read and review!