The Thousandth Floor (The Thousandth Floor #1)
By: Katharine McGee
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
New York City as you’ve never seen it before. A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future, where anything is possible—if you want it enough.
Welcome to Manhattan, 2118.
A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose.
Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.
Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.
Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one?
Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.
And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.
Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….
I picked this book up from the BEA pile/shelf with moderate hopes–hopes that were promptly dashed when I checked out reviews on Goodreads. ‘Like a futuristic Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘for fans of Gossip Girl’ are not blurbs I really want associated with a book I’m reading (even though I did paraphrase).
I tentatively began to read, and almost quit again three chapters in, when the partly-incestuous love triangle made an appearance. I took a deep breath, picked it up again, and almost quit a third time when I realized the first quarter of the book was seemingly pointless characterization of all the little rich boys and girls. But at that point, I could see the end of the book already, like a broken train bridge in front of a steam engine with no brakes, and so I managed to read on.
Long story short: This is not what I would call a good book.
However, it was entertaining, in its own way. I outgrew Gossip Girl in middle school, and never touched PLL, but I can still see the entertainment value in angsty teenagers trying ill-advisedly to escape their terribly glorious lives. I mean, for one thing, there’s plenty of exercise in the form of eye-rolls.
But, putting aside the sarcasm, I did find some touchingly human aspects in every character. Avery’s longing for true love, Watt’s desire to reach the limits of his potential, Eris’ struggle to make the best of her surroundings, all felt very real, and helped to somewhat redeem the rest of their selfish, angsty, hurtful actions. Even with Leda, I felt that there was a deep insecurity in her, and it was real enough to help explain, if not justify, her actions. That plus the reasonably rapid pace, especially towards the end, was enough to keep me reading, even though I wanted to mentally place this book into a ‘did-not-finish’ pile.
There were a lot of reasons to not have finished this book, though. The first was that, especially in the first half, the plot dragged. The part where we were being introduced to all of these characters was painful. I wasn’t sure I needed to know about everyone’s neuroses, substance abuse, casual disregard of money, and previous love lives to get who they were as characters. In fact, a lot of the introductory chapters confused my later view of everyone. And besides, with 6-10 characters to follow, it was difficult to deal with the introductions anyways. I also objected to feeling like this looong introduction was excusable because we were told at the beginning that someone died a gruesome death, and that I should read the entire book just to find out who it was and whodunit.
A lot of the actions that people were taking also felt seriously exaggerated, and a lot of the events felt contrived. It didn’t feel like there was a purpose for the story, except to A) have us find out whodunit, and B) to have a whole angsty teenager story in a futuristic tower world. I had to majorly suspend my disbelief about various events, and how they were handled by both individuals and the group as a whole, and the end came together almost too perfectly.
Also, ALL the love geometry. So much love geometry.
Spoiler alert: I also really objected to who it was who died. I’ve mentioned before, when talking about previous BEA books, that I like how LGBTQ characters are becoming a part of YA stories. What I really dislike, however, is how so far they always seem to be the ones pointlessly killed off. The Thousandth Floor, to my disgust, continued this trend when said LGBTQ character was maybe the ONLY one who didn’t feel like they deserved to die. The ending also felt like it was supposed to be more hard-hitting and moralistic than it ultimately ended up being.
This was also an interesting lesson in judgment: I tried to set aside any bias I might have had about this book, and I probably failed. I will, however, concede that this book might be more enjoyable for someone who actually does like angsty teenage dramatics combined with murder. Since that person is not me, I will be putting The Thousandth Floor aside with the intention to never read it again.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us.