by Stephanie Clifford
To be published on August 18, 2015
By St. Martin's Press
Source: eARC from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: It’s 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and privileged, and a new generation of heirs and strivers are jockeying for social power and discovering that class, especially on the Upper East Side, still holds sway. At 26, Evelyn Beegan is the product of new money, propelled by her social-climbing mother through an elite prep school, a posh college, and into Manhattan. Evelyn has always managed to stay just on the periphery of this world her mother so desperately wants her to become a part of. But when she takes a job at a new social networking site aimed at her very elite peers, she’s forced to leverage her few connections to work her way to the front of the pack. With the help of her prep school friends, Evelyn goes from lush "camps" in the Adirondacks and "cottages" in Newport, to Southampton weekends and clubs thick with socialites and Wall Street types, eventually befriending target #1, Camilla Rutherford—a young woman who is a regular on the front page of every society blog. In order to be accepted by this rarefied set, Evelyn must be seen as someone with established old money. Her lies start small, but quickly grow, and as she relentlessly elbows her way up the social ladder, the ground underneath her begins to give way.My take: First off, I adore this cover. Without the text, it looks like something that a modern-day Holly Golightly would frame and hang on the wall of her apartment.
Speaking of Holly, I love stories about young women making their way in New York, which is why I requested this book for review. And a quick note: Everybody Rise is not YA, and not really NA.
If you're a YA reader, would you like this? Here's a quiz: Did you read and enjoy Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld? Are you the type of person who likes reading Town & Country magazine or old Emily Post etiquette books? Are you an armchair anthropologist, the type who enjoys reading about the quaint customs of a particular social group? Do you like nineteenth century writers like Jane Austen? Would you be bored with discussions about how to use a fish fork? If you can answer "yes" to at least three or four of these questions, this book could be for you!
I was completely engrossed in Evelyn's project -- to insinuate herself into the upper echelons of WASP society -- but I can see that readers might not understand what she's doing or why. It is really hard to fathom why an educated twenty-first century twenty-something would become morally and financially bankrupt in order to impress a very entitled, narcissistic group of people who basically treat her like dirt. Her project seems like a weird obsession -- one that she will pursue to her complete destruction.
That happens ... kind of. If I had one quibble with this book, it would be that -- acid preppy pink and green cover aside -- it was very deliberately paced and quite understated. Also, the ending felt a bit anticlimactic to me -- I guess I was expecting something a little more dramatic.
If you've read this, tell me what you thought!