The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Format: ARC provided by HarperCollins through SuperSpaceChick
Release Date: August 30, 2016
Genre: Fiction, young adult, science fiction, drama, I need floating glow-in-the-dark alcohol bubbles and I need them now!
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Summary: The year is 2118, and New York City has been replaced by a giant thousand foot structure known as the Tower. In the 25 years since its creation, no one has fallen or jumped to their death. Until now. Set two months before this incident, The Thousandth Floor sets up a very compelling whodunnit, all while weaving an enthralling story of love and lust set in a futuristic world.
I generally don’t take much stock in blurb comparisons, but for once I was not lied to, The Thousandth Floor really is Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars if they took place in the distant future (the year 2118 to be more precise) and featured way more diversity.
The Manhattan we know and some of us love is gone, instead replaced by a single building a thousand stories tall and miles wide. The underprivileged live on the lower floors (the lower you are the poorer), while the rich and powerful reside on the upper levels, making the phrase upper eschelon way more literal.
The story opens two months before the start of the narrative, with an unnamed female character falling to her death after a party on the top floor goes horribly wrong. Was she pushed? Did she jump? Was it a freak accident? It’s a mystery — a murder mystery that is!
Much like the aforementioned books this brand new series has drawn comparisons to, each chapter of The Thousandth Floor is devoted to a different point of view, and as per usual, some character POVs are stronger than others.
So while I loved chapters narrated by the rich girl squad made up of Avery (the perfect genetically altered girl with a deep dark secret who lives on the thousandth floor), Eris (the bi-sexual player whose whole life is turned upside) and Leda (the recovering alcoholic who is not all there), I was not really interested in how the other-other half lived. Even more so because their lives are so connected to the other characters anyway.
Sorry Rylin and Watt, your love of recreational drugs and tech genius savvy were not my preferred narratives. On the plus side, I did appreciate how interwoven things got as the book progressed, and even the less than stellar chapters weren’t Bran chapters.
Characters aside, The Thousandth Floor is full of everything I want from my frothy teen novels: romance, drama, backstabbing, sexy times, gossip, secrets, affairs and even a murder mystery, but what truly sets it apart are its futuristic elements.
From moving tattoos to makeup and hair machines that do all the work for you, hologram shopping that projects clothing onto your body, a three hour trip to Paris underneath the earth, contact lenses that you can text with and virtual reality video games, McGee’s story is chock full of fantastical technologies you can only dream of.
The only downside? I wanted to learn a little more about the world outside of the Tower. The skyscraper takes up dozens of New York city blocks and the majority of the upper class seems loathe to leave this technological hub — because it does have pretty much anything you could ever want, including pieces of reclaimed Central Park — but how does the world outside view the Tower? What does it look like from New Jersey? Does it block out the sun? Was Donald Trump elected president? Does the entire world finally accept global warming as fact? Did we colonize Mars yet? Maybe I’ll get more of that in book two.
Regardless of if we get more visits outside the Tower, I cannot wait to see what new machinations book two brings.
- Takes all the fun of frothy teen dramas but sets it in the future
- The murder mystery had me guessing until the very end
- Really enjoyed the glimpses into the science fiction world of the rich and famous
- The drama! The backstabbing! The book two set up!
- Not all of the POVs were my cup of tea — go away Rylin and Watt
Want more books about backstabbing teens to add to your guilty pleasure reading list? I highly recommend 2016’s Winning (which is Mean Girls meets Election meets House of Cards) and the Royals series (books about spoiled sexy rich dudes and the trailer trash girl who loves them). Sadly, none of them take place in the future.