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.
I requested Everybody Rise because I miss Gossip Girl. Obsessively. Constantly. So I wanted to return to that world and doesn't the summary of Everybody Rise sounds like it can help me do just that? New York rich kids, here I come!
Unfortunately, Everybody Rise didn't quite work for me. The main thing that bothered me was the fact that the pacing of this book was completely off. There were chapters where there was just description after description after description. Yes, it was beautifully written, but unless there is some action in there, I can't focus on just description. Connected to that was the fact that I received way too much irrelevant information as a reader. I do like to know the history of my main characters, but only the relevant bits to the story and I don't need to know everyone's complete life story. There are main characters and side characters, and the side characters don't need whole chapters in my opinion; especially if they're irrelevant to the main plot.
On the other hand, I quite liked the voice of Evelyn. Though her motives throughout the book are quite unclear to me (even after all the information I got), I did enjoy reading her. She's really struggling to find her place in the world and it was nice to have a character of 26 (instead of 16) going through that journey. You don't always figure out your life at 18 and this book shows that it's okay if you take a little bit longer.
However, I overall just wasn't impressed. The pacing was off, the plot was stretched at times (I can't go into more detail about that without massive spoilers) and the motivation of the main character just wasn't there. If this book was about 100 pages shorter, I think it would have worked really well, but for now it just kind of left me lukewarm.