The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee (ARC review)

Monday, July 25, 2016

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Pages: 448 pages
Song I Played While Reading: Generationwhy by Zhu
Rating: 3.5 stars

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 yeas into the future, New York is 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 fall 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 that genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all- yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

This book was a whirlwind, so much so that I need to break up this review into parts just so I don't jump all over the place.

The setting: Can we TALK about this Tower for a second? Now, going into this, I just thought it was a simple, albeit very fancy, hotel. I was completely wrong. This building was literally New York City. If you could cram a city into a hotel, that's what this was. It was actually a little jarring, because I had this set vision, and then all of the sudden Avery is talking about walking down her boulevard, across the grass, watching the fake trees swaying in the breeze. And I was like woah, woah, REWIND. Turns out this Tower is so fancy and futuristic that you never have to leave it. There's schools, offices, playgrounds, greenhouses, hovercars, restaurants, trains, etc. The higher you go in the Tower, the more it looks like the outside world. The most confusing part (at least for me) was some of the monuments. For example, the Tower either had some sort of tunnel that led to 2118's version of Central Park, or Central Park was attached to it. All McGee said was that actual pieces from the original Central Park were inputed into the Tower's version. But why? Did something happen to it, or did the builders of the Tower just want easy access to it?
Which leads me to my biggest issue, which was the lack of history. Did technology advance at a normal pace, or did something happen where society needed all this high-tech stuff? What happened to all the original monuments? Why were they put into the Tower? I love history, because it helps me to understand the world in a book better, especially ones that take place in the future. So I think getting some background would've been really helpful. But I do have to give McGee kudos: she knew her shit. It's obvious she researched everything she could about futuristic technology. Hydraulic this and magnetic that and blah blah blah.

The plot: The Thousandth Floor pulled me in from the beginning. I was intrigued by the world and the characters, and was super excited to see how the rich and glamorous live. I'm a die-hard Gossip Girl fan (the books, not the TV show), and was absolutely obsessed when I was younger. GG basically introduced me to the fashion industry. So I was excited to read that this read similar to it, in the sense that it focuses heavily on the drama of these rich kids. It did get a little monotonous in the middle section, which was where I really struggled, because it felt like McGee was trying to pump as much drama as she could into the storyline, and got some of it tangled up. But she managed to save it by the end, because I was basically hyperventilating. Everything came to this huge crescendo right at the end and I was like "WHERE'S MY BROWN PAPER BAG, I CAN'T BREATHE."

The characters: I thought McGee pulled off the multiple narrations pretty well. They each had their own quirks, and even though I got a little tired of how narrow-minded some of them could be, I had to remind myself that this was how they grew up. They didn't mean to come across as bratty as they did.

Overall, this was a solid start to this trilogy (series?). I loved how McGee ended it, and how she tied everything up, leaving room for new problems and new romances. I can't wait for the sequel!

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