Okay, not so dirty secret but I bought the entire series of Gossip Girl books before they were even a TV show. I loved Plum Sykes’ Bergdorf Blondes and The Debutante Divorceé. Something about that Upper East Side, old money, luxury lifestyle is just so intriguing even though it’s a type of life that I’ll never have… and don’t really want, if I’m being honest. So when I saw Everybody Rise, with a stunning hot pink cover, I was intrigued. Someone lying to fit into the scene? Tell me more. I eagerly sat down with it as soon as it arrived…and it was OK.
Yup, just OK. I hate feeling lukewarm about a book but this was that feeling for me. The premise is fantastic. Evelyn comes from an upper-class but not upper crust family and suddenly finds herself mixing with the highest echelons of society where little things like a job are just a hindrance. And haven’t we all, at one time or another, slightly muddied the facts to fit in? One of my points of confusion, however, stems from the fact that Evelyn’s family seem to be relatively wealthy but very much “new money” and yet Evelyn seems completely unaware of how finances actually work. As one of the plot lines in the story shows, her father is very financially aware and I find it hard to believe that at some point when setting her up with her life in the city he wouldn’t have sat down with her and explained how things work. Maybe that’s just me in my financial saving mindset, but I find it hard to believe that a woman who is clearly so conniving and savvy in other areas could be that silly.
My other little bug bear was that it took far too long to get into the meaty action. I found the end of the book far more interesting than the beginning – I feel like the author spent more than enough time setting up the world in which Evelyn, our protagonist, exists. There just wasn’t the action in the early scenes to keep me hooked and had I not been reviewing this text I don’t know that I would have stuck with it – a pity as I actually found the ending really lovely.
Recommendation? If you see this at your library, pick it up as a summer beach read but don’t expect too much of it. And if you do, stick with it til the end because the resolution is totally worth it.