Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Everybody Rise by Stephanie Clifford

This novel was a train-wreck. And by that, I mean the path that Evelyn Beegan took was painful to watch. She was so try-hard you just know that she's going to fail.

Everybody Rise is a book that's supposed to be a satirical look at the old American rich. So, something like Crazy Rich Asians. I'm not very familiar with American culture, but I did see a few similarities between this book and Crazy Rich Asians.

So first, a quick plot summary to get you up to speed: After years of not being in the old-money world, Evelyn lands a job at a social networking site called People Like Us (PLU). Her drive to get the numbers up makes her want to adopt the customs, to fit in with that group, and while things are somewhat smooth-sailing, her lack of money (and her father's indictment) threaten to bring everything down.

There were actually a few things I didn't understand. A lot of this book is Evelyn learning to fit in - Ok, I understand she wasn't born into that lifestyle, but she was raised in it. Her mom did go to one of the schools (even if she wasn't accepted), and Evelyn was always sent to the "good" schools. So why is she acting like she has no clue how this world works?

Oh, and here's something this book has in common with Crazy Rich Asians (I'm just gonna say CRA, because I know I'm going to have to use it at least one more time): the protagonist in both books are irritating. I found Evelyn to be irritatingly superior, and I cringed through so much of her antics. I know this book is supposed to be a sort of cringe fest, but I didn't expect it to be this extravagant. I basically put the book down a few times because I was sick of reading the same things over and over again - Evelyn does something terrible, rises a bit in Camilla's (the Queen Bee) eyes, gets over feeling terrible. And repeat.

Another thing this book had in common in CRA was that the supporting characters were so much more likeable. Charlotte definitely has her head screwed on the right way, and like with Astrid, I wanted her to be the protagonist of the story. Preston seems to be somewhere in between - messed up, but not blinded by the world. I do wonder, why can't authors tell the story from someone within that world? Those characters seem to be the most fun.

Overall, this book was hard for me to read. By the time I read half of it, I could see the path Evelyn was on, and the ending she was going to have. I did finish it though, so I guess that counts for something. And I did enjoy the look into this privileged world - and some of the characters.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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