Happy Sunday, everyone!
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, but that’s because my grandma and cousin were visiting from the Midwest! We had a great time, but now it is time to get back to business.
One thing we did when my family was visiting was have a beach day, and it was on the beach that I finally finished The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. It’s one of those books that has been on my TBR list since it came out but kept getting knocked down by other books.
This is another instance where I fell in love with the idea of the book without been knowing what it was about. How? The cover! This cover is so beautiful and interesting and other-worldly. It really made me think that it would be some complex story set in a dystopian future. In actuality, it is more like 90210 set in the future. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with 90210. In fact, it is one of my guilty pleasure shows, but don’t tell anyone! The issue is that I had such high expectations for this book that had been on my list for years and the actual plot fell short of those expectations.
Even the summary makes it sound more thrilling and high-stakes than it actually is.
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. Everyone there 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 this 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 for 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.
Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….
Okay, so the summary makes the book sound kind of superficial but still really intriguing and mysterious, especially since it takes place in the future where there are so many technological advancements. But, in my opinion, the author fell short of the possibilities.
I liked the five different POVs. There was a bit of a learning curve with getting to know the characters and keeping track of their traits and relationships, but it’s like that with any book or TV show so I didn’t mind it too much.
The author did a great job managing these characters and not letting any information get misplaced or lost in the shuffle. On the one hand, this added to the mysterious vibe I was looking for. We are in the heads of each character, but the characters themselves make assumptions and hold power over others that really makes the book a bit twisted. On the other hand, when you really break it down to the basics, the characters are just jealous and impulsive teenagers who operate on gossip and fragments of the truth.
McGee deftly uses the various POVs to keep the plot moving, but I think we could have learned more about the characters than we actually did. For me, there got to be too much drama and not enough character development. Again, this might be partially due to my high hopes and the the long wait on my TBR list. Taking the book as it is, the characters and their roles in the book are well-written, but they ultimately fall short of my expectations.
The plot was not at all what I expected. I thought it would be more thrilling and dark, and it certainly got that way at the end, but the majority of the book was a slow buildup with a lot of filler. The plot builds up to one last crazy final scene that takes place in the last few pages of the book, which was really good but also a long time coming. Most of the characters’ actions are motivated by conflict with others, be it friends, family, or significant others. Some of these conflicts were more annoying, like the jealousy between Avery and Leda, while others were interesting, like the relationship between Eris and Mariel (yay LGBTQ+ representation!).
The plot is driven by jealousy, assumptions, anger, fear, and drama. It works really well in some areas of the book, but again, it gets pretty teen-drama TV show in other areas. Overall, I felt like not a lot was actually happening in the book. Instead, there was a lot of minor day-to-day happenings and conflicts that slowly built up to an explosive event. I personally would have enjoyed a more fast-paced plot that had more of a balance between external and internal forces, but given that the book is very character-driven, the plot was okay.
- One thing I really liked was the emphasis on socioeconomic difference within the Tower. The higher you are, the richer and more technologically advanced you are. This is brought up a lot throughout the book, and I really liked some of the character development that happened because of this conflict. The characters are a decent blend of upper- and lower-level inhabitants, and it leads to some interesting thoughts and interactions.
- One thing that surprised me was that people still lived under “normal” circumstances. There was more to the world than just the Tower. Restaurants were still open in the Brooklyn streets, but the author alludes to major changes due to technology, like Central Park being destroyed. Another interesting thing was the fact that there were other Towers across the world. One of the character mentions a Tower halfway across the world, and it makes me want to know more about the world during this future. What do politics look like? What are some of the common technologies at use for everyone? What does the environment look like? Minor things, but still things I want to see developed more in the future books.
- I love that it is actually illegal to personally drive a car. That’s so random and weirdly comical in this overall dramatic book.
While The Thousandth Floor fell short of some of my expectations and read a bit like a season of 90210, the characters were well-written and well-managed. I would recommend reading this if you’re looking for some drama set in the future.
Have you read The Thousandth Floor or it’s sequel? Share your thoughts!