Every once in a while, when I find myself with time to kill, I’ll go through the Giveaways on Goodreads. There seem to be hundreds listed at any given time, so I’m careful to only enter my name for titles that appeal to me. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be fair to the authors or publishers who are hoping for a review or to those who who are genuinely interested in a particular book. So, when I learned that I’d won an advance reader’s edition of Everybody Rise, I was confident it would be right up my alley.
I was especially intrigued because several other reviewers compared author Stephanie Clifford to Edith Wharton. I haven’t yet read any of Wharton’s work, but I recently borrowed The Age of Innocence from my sister, after reading this recommendation:
With interest in traditions and loyalty, and an ability to make a huge impact despite being quiet, ISTJs will appreciate Wharton’s masterpiece of manners.
Sarah Seltzer, A Classic Book for Every Myers-Briggs Personality Type, Flavorwire
The story takes place right before the financial meltdown of 2008, but this is not made clear until well into the book. I may have missed something, but for me the only clue early on was the fact that everyone seemed to have a BlackBerry. Since some people still use BlackBerrys, I couldn’t figure out if it was supposed to be a piece of historical background or if the author wasn’t in touch with current technology, and this bothered me. It also bothered me that it bothered me, and I think that knowing the time setting up front would have allowed me to get into the book much more quickly than I did.
Once I got past that little quirk, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Clifford’s writing style made it easy for me to keep track of the large cast of characters – with many books, I have to keep flipping back to remind myself who’s who – and to picture the various scenes as they played out.
At one point, it felt like I was reading one of the Shopaholic series, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since I actually find those books hard to put down. However, where Shopaholic Becky Bloomfield is pretty much a ditz that you just want to slap some sense into, it’s somehow easier to empathize with Evelyn Beegan, the social climbing main character in Everybody Rise.
Once I’d finished the book, I had the feeling that there was probably a lot more to it than I picked up at first reading, and I may give it another go once I’m familiar with Edith Wharton.
If it sounds like a book you might enjoy, it’s due for publication on August 18.