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SRC2016 Blog Tour: Book Review: Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

I'm participating in #SRC2016 #bestsummerever presented by Book Sparks
Book Sparks Summer Reading Challenge - Learn about it Here

Title: Everybody Rise, Stephanie Clifford
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Rating: 2/5 Stars


Evelyn Beegan is a twenty six year old college graduate who is just trying to do her job. Born to a scheming social climbing mother and her lawyer husband, she's been exposed to upper crust society for the majority of her life. Elite prep schools and Liberal Arts Colleges have been mainstays throughout her adolescent years and early twenties. Despite her privileged upbringing and exposure to wealthy families and their quixotic ways she has always felt an outsider, never quite able to keep up with the wealth or social lives of her peers. But when she is hired as a membership coordinator for People Like Us, a social networking website geared exclusively toward members whose wealth and elite social status earn them an invitation she finds herself in the midst of their world. For the sake of her job, Evelyn begins attending Southhampton parties, Debutante Balls and Adirondack Camps - striving to fit in with the people she desperately seeks to sign up for her website. While initially motivated by her job, she quickly finds that the fast paced, money driven world of the social elite is intoxicating and thrilling - and she'll go to any length to keep up.

M Y  T A K E

Part cautionary tale, part satire, Everybody Rise is an attempt at a modern day Fitzgerald novel without the charm or wit. I found no fault with Clifford's writing and from a technical standpoint her novel is very good. However, I found the characters to be vapid and underdeveloped and the plot weak and anticlimactic which lead to a two star rating from me. Had the character development and plot been there - I could have enjoyed this novel more.

The themes in this novel are nothing new and Clifford doesn't offer a new or refreshing spin on them. Set in Manhattan's Upper East Side - we see a struggling girl who makes one right connection - begins to lie about her family and history to maintain said connection and ultimately finds that her friendship with the people she's trying to desperately to fit in with is wholly dependent on financial clout. Unable to keep up the façade she's built - the narrator essentially crashes and burns in grand style. This reminded me of something akin to Gossip Girl but without the engrossing and much better developed characters (as un-relatable as they were) and fast paced storylines. It would have been nice to see something different from a story that I feel we're all familiar with. On the positive side - there are some humorous exchanges between characters and the book is well written. Because of this, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another book by this author - I think she shows promise.

A B O U T  T H E  A U T H O R

Stephanie Clifford is a Loeb-award winning reporter at the New York Times, where she currently covers Brooklyn courts. She joined the Times in 2008 from Inc. magazine, where she was a senior writer. Stephanie grew up in Seattle and graduated magna cum laude from Harvard. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, son and two cats. EVERYBODY RISE is her first book. Visit her website at http://www.stephanieclifford.net.

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