ARC Review: The Thousandth Floor

The Thousandth FloorThe Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Release date: August 30, 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.

The lives of rich teenagers in the future – perhaps, will still be the same drama that it is now. Well, mostly. The Thousandth Floor takes the rich-poor divide and casts it onto a future world where sprawling towers containing entire cities in them are built worldwide. The first such Tower was built in NYC and that’s where this story takes place. The second generation Tower residents – our protags – have never known a life outside the Tower. They have lived there all their lives and it is their home/city – why would they ever want to go anywhere else except for vacations. The lives in the Tower are dictated by the floor you live on – the higher you are, the wealthier/more influential you are. Makes you think what they think of the people who DON’T live in the Tower but the areas surrounding it.

I won’t go into the drama of the teens because, frankly their plots intertwine a lot, and this review would go on forever. What I will go into is how the world of the Tower reflects our own, but with a greater, literal and visible divide between the haves and have-nots. There is an issue of perhaps the same kind of attitude like now, which I felt was a bit unrealistic for the next century. The author, however, paints a very realistic picture of what the future may look like – the technological advancements and the ease of life depicted involves a great degree of imagination, yes, but also seems quite plausible. And the best fact was that it wasn’t bombarded onto the reader, even though plenty of them were mentioned, but subtly written onto backgrounds and the attitudes of the people. There is also the grim consequences woven into the subtext, of a world where humans have advanced but also sort of destroyed the Earth. Good news is, there is still SOME petroleum left.

Since this is mostly a character-driven story than a world-driven one, it also means that story could have happened in the current world too. There are some things, yes, that needed the world of the Tower, but most events were generalized. The quantum computer, for example, is just an extension of Her. Then there is the Tower hierarchy, which is basically the suburb versus city thing. But I must mention, I loved how the characters were fleshed out. They were real teenagers, with mostly the same issues as current ones – failed loves, rejection, parent issues, and more. The story is certainly enjoyable, but the slow pace throughout the book and the five POVs (which give a wholesome storyline, sure, but dang if I didn’t forget what was happening the last time they got the voice) kind of dragged the plot. In summary, it is definitely an interesting read and a well-written one, but I wasn’t awed.

Received a free galley from HarperTeen, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

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