Margin Notes: Everybody Rise

Everybody Rise

by Stephanie Clifford

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.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book gave me serious anxiety. The main character goes on a bit of a rabbit hole down a NYC society path and racks up unseemly amounts of debt while trying to amass social cache. I honestly had to flip ahead during some chapters because I was getting such bad secondary embarrassment.

I didn't feel any sort of compassion for the main character, there were a couple characters I liked--Charlotte and Preston, but neither were explored very much, so instead I found myself reading about rich people and just getting the creeps from how out of touch they were.

I can see someone enjoying this book, but I didn't. It kind of reminded me about how those Shopaholic books made me incredibly uneasy by the end of the series--but I found that main character a little more likable. If you loved those, this is probably a great read for you!

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