A young adult thriller set in New York City in 2118, The Thousandth Floor transports you inside The Tower, the skyscraper which changed the city’s skyline forever. It’s the tallest building in the world, encompassing entire neighborhoods and school districts.
The perspective shifts between 5 teenagers that have all sorts of challenges in their lives — Rylin, whose mother cleaned for the rich families that live “uptower” before passing away; Leda, who spent the summer in rehab but isn’t ready to tell her friends; Watt, a computer genius who is guarding an illegal secret; Eris, whose posh, enviable existence is threatened by new revelations in her family; and Avery, who lives in the penthouse of The Tower and appears to have everything she could ever want — except for one thing.
The Thousandth Floor, much like American Royals, was a compulsively fun read. The various narrators really help to advance the plot and keep the action going, in addition to making it easy to keep track of the characters.
The haves and have-nots are brought to life in a very real sense, both through the social interactions of the characters and McGee’s descriptions of the floors of The Tower. It is easy to picture this behemoth of a building dominating New York City, and the reader can quickly adapt to the futuristic technology which makes life in The Tower possible.
The teenagers of the future are concerned with all the things that concern today’s teens: spending time with friends, college, love interests, and of course social media. The wealthy kids go to balls and fundraisers with their parents, and the kids that live on lower floors go to work. There are parties and drugs and fights and breakups. This is a story glimmering with hope, with social climbers and money as important as some of the main characters.
I really enjoyed this book, albeit one of the main plot points had a bit of an “ick” factor to it. I’ll probably check out the next one in the series anyway, because the author is solid and she plots the hell out of her books.
The Thousandth Floor is the second Katharine McGee book I’ve read, with the first being American Royals. She writes some amazingly complex characters, and my only real complaint would be that the females seem to be the most troubled. In American Royals, all the narrators were female; The Thousandth Floor provides McGee’s first foray (at least to my knowledge) into a male perspective. So we only really see the girls wrestling with their demons, and they therefore come across as more needy or problematic than the boys, whose insights aren’t provided to the reader.
Go ahead and give The Thousandth Floor a shot if you want to be swept away and entertained. It was a quick, entertaining read with some great twists.