I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford
Published by St. Martin's Press on August 18th 2015
Genres: General, Girls & Women
Buy on Amazon
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.
Today I’m giving away a copy of Everybody Rise: A Novel, which a large number of my friends on GoodReads put on their TBR pile. I received a copy of the book last week but haven’t yet had the chance to read it. I plan to the week the boys go back to school, despite the cover.
Because let’s be honest, the cover is atrocious. I thought maybe it would look better in person, that my maybe my email attachment was broken, but no. It’s a horrid, bright, ugly thing. It’s also appropriate. The book is set against the backdrop of New York’s wealthy elite. The preppy, happy colors turned acid, the crystal chandelier out of focus that isn’t quite right, and the harsh, black typeface suggest that money doesn’t buy everything and that appearances aren’t what they seem.
I hate giving away a book I haven’t read–I’ve actually never done it before–but I will because of the reviews and movie deal. You can read an excerpt of the novel here.
In a tightly plotted narrative, Clifford shows how Evelyn’s tenuous initiation into this most elite of social networks coincides with an increasingly desperate effort to secure her footing there…Clifford details the manners of the old-money set with a reporter’s well-trained eye. (The New York Times Book Review)
A smart tragicomedy about a young woman attempting to infiltrate the “Primates of Park Avenue” crowd. . . . Ferociously incisive class commentary. . . . a 21st-century fable of one woman’s reconstruction. (The Washington Post)
A compulsive, up-close-and-personal read about the first cracks in the greed-and-bleed U.S. economy that went flying off the rails so spectacularly a short time later. (Library Journal)
A sharp and witty cautionary tale. . . . Clifford’s shrewd look at upper-class dynamics in modern day New York society takes up the torch of Edith Wharton. . . . Filled with scandal and schadenfreude, Everybody Rise will keep readers flipping pages. (Book Page)
A masterful tale of social climbing and entrenched class distinctions . . . Tense, hilarious, and bursting with gorgeous language. Stephanie Clifford is a 21st century Edith Wharton. (J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of The Engagements and Maine)
A superb debut. Everybody Rise is a 21st century version of a grand 19th century novel–a smart, moving tale of class, ambition, and identity. (Malcolm Gladwell)
Full of ambition and grit. Clifford provides sharp-eyed access to a moneyed world and its glamorous inhabitants. (Emma Straub, New York Times bestselling author of The Vacationers)
A boom-time dramedy of manners featuring a bright young cast of haves and desperately want-to-haves, all clinging to a very rickety social ladder. Clifford’s lively and biting debut gets to the quick of ambition at its most corrosive. (Maggie Shipstead, New York Times bestselling author of Seating Arrangements)
Gossip Girl fans, rejoice! Behold the literary version of a Jenny-esque narrated story, had she met Blair and Serena in her mid-20s. Cue lies, affairs and mounting debt. (Marie Claire, Summer-Reads Roundup)
The summer’s most anticipated beach read…a funny, sharply observed debut novel about young one percenters in New York…a buzzy Tom-Wolfe-meets-Edith-Wharton novel of young Manhattan. (The Hollywood Reporter)
Author Stephanie Clifford has been described as a modern-day Edith Wharton. (Elle Magazine, Culture Calendar)
Addictive: think Prep meets The Devil Wears Prada. (Good Housekeeping)
The Edith Wharton comparison has me cautiously optimistic. Also, I want to read the book that garnered a 7-figure deal and movie rights a year before publication.
Edited to add: I’m going in assuming I’ll hate the book. Hah! Sorry, but that’s my technique for overhyped releases. If I go in expecting to read a “masterful tale” worthy of all its 5-stars, I’m going to be disappointed. I have mixed feelings for the authors of books with great hype. While I’m happy for their success, I pity them as well. Too much hype sets up unreasonable expectations and leaves many readers disappointed. Look at that one book I read, Luckiest Girl Alive. What a disaster! I know of no avid reader who enjoyed what was supposed to be the “it” book of the summer. Who knows if they’ll do the movie now.
Ms. Clifford, best of luck to you. Please don’t take too much offense when I say I’m going in expecting to hate your book and that it’s cover is frightful (it is, you know it). I’m only trying to ignore the hype and tip the scales back to center so that I can give your book the unbiased review it deserves when I’m finished.
The book hits stores yesterday but, if you’re willing to wait a week, I’m giving away a copy of the book along with a $50 BaubleBar card to one winner.
Some rules, to make things easier:
- Giveaway open to US addresses only by leaving a comment on this post.
- Must be 18 years of age or older.
- Prizing and samples provided by St. Martin’s Press.
- Giveaway ends August 25, 2015.
- Winner announced on this post on or shortly after August 26, 2015.