The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

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The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

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Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Zoe Morris
Reviewed by Zoe Morris
Summary: 100 years from now we don't yet live underwater (as in Busted's Year 3000) but we have mainly moved indoors, into a 1000 floor tower where the phrase Going up in the world takes on a whole new meaning. An interesting and intriguing look at the future, through the eyes of teenagers.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 320 Date: August 2016
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
ISBN: 978-0008179977

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The future's bright, and the future's TALL. In 2118, New York, life centres around The Tower. It's 1000 stories tall, takes up most of the island, and is now home to Grand Central Station, Central Park, schools, shops, restaurants and gyms. A whole city under one very high roof. Where you live on within the tower is a proxy for who you are and how successful you, or at least your parents, have become. Higher floors trump lower floors, and the pinnacle is that 1000th-floor penthouse, owned by Avery and her family.

This is a story about the future and because of this we see swishy technology, like tech contact lenses that let you google stuff, and send emails with the literal blink of an eye. We see Hovers rather than cars, we see intelligent fabric that can adapt to its surroundings, so a hotel lobby's sofas can change colour as the day progresses from dawn to dusk. We see lots of wild and wonderful thing. But there's one thing that doesn't change in the future: people are still people, teenagers are still teenagers, and drama is still rife.

This book took me a while to get into because there are so many characters, all with unconventional (for the 21st century) names like Rylin, Eris and Leda. Eventually, all their paths converge but at the start, they are quite separate as we follow a rich girl losing everything, a poor girl whose life seems to be on the up, a perfect girl with a dirty secret and much more. Think a 22nd Century Gossip Girl and you get the idea with lies, backstabbing, drugs, love triangles, family troubles, rich and poor, happy and sad, confused and tortured. There's a lot going on, so it needs its 400 pages to get it all to make sense.

I like science fiction stories but I did wonder whether this one was trying a little too hard to shoehorn so many inventions into the next 100 years. Because they are all so far away from what we have now, some explanation was needed which at times interrupted the story. But, much like with any new technology, eventually, you adapt and adopt, and by maybe a third into the book I was up to speed and able simply to enjoy the story.

The story builds and builds towards a crescendo finish. It takes two months to get there, but you know where you'll end up thanks to the introduction which shows the end before any of it even begins. The question is who? Who is speaking at that point? Who is plummeting towards the ground at an alarming speed? Because as the story progresses the list of potentials grows and grows. This is a smart book that shows that the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the future who you are, who you know and what you have continues to be the biggest divider of society, with the haves and the have nots, and all the electrifying, instant hair straighteners in the world aren't going to change that.

I'd like to thank the publishers for sending us a copy to review. It was interesting and inventive, and although it's a teen read it really is suitable for all ages of adult too.

Another new release, Cell 7 by Kerry Drewery gives a different look at the future that sounds very intriguing if a little alarming. You might also enjoy American Royals by Katharine McGee.

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Buy The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee at


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