The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee | Rating: ★★★★★
As a note, an e-galley of this novel was sent to me via Edelweiss by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not effect my opinions in any way.
There's something sparkly and new yet oddly undeniably familiar about The Thousandth Floor. Think of it as Gossip Girl set in the not so far future. I need to stress that this novel is one of those stories that the only way to read it wrongly is to expect it to be more than it is. It's a light but entirely vivid and delectable read that keeps you on your toes from start to finish. I liked the theme that 'the more things change, the more they stay the same'--the futuristic New York City that McGee paints us is incredibly different from our own, in terms of appearance, but is still filled with the same social climbing, reckless teens we've come to expect.
In place of the city that we love, stands a tower that goes up and up and up and up. And the tag line THE HIGHER YOU ARE, THE FARTHER YOU FALL, is perhaps one of the best descriptions of what is to come. We start off with a bang right away--a girl has fallen from the very top of the tower. This sets the stage wonderfully for a backdrop of luxury, technology and scandal. Katharine McGee's writing is similar to Cecily von Ziegesar and Sara Shepard except her words feel a bit more polished and eye-catching, which is a huge compliment coming from me considering I've been fans of the other two for the better part of a decade. Indeed, McGee's writing is delicious and fast paced; simple and an incredible ride for fans of the genre.
Impossible to look away from, The Thousandth Floor is full of everything one could want from the genre and then some. I know, I know, haven't we been here before? Although the idea of lifestyles of the rich and reckless is outdone on an incredibly high degree, I still found this to be a standout due to its sparkle and shine and all the uniqueness. Plus, we have a pretty great cast of characters in Avery, Leda, Eris, Watt, Rylin and more.
Different races, social standing and sexualities are tackled throughout. I liked that there was a variety of characters beyond just the "poor little rich kid" trope because a great deal of them were rich and problematic. I liked that I couldn't tell which one was more troubled than the next and there was a shock in watching just how much one of them became unhinged and unraveled by the end of the book.
I think I loved each character in different ways; they were flawed and dizzy in a way that is undeniably real. Each one was intriguing in their backstory and their concerns and secrets. I loved the setting and I loved how twisty, turny it was. That ending? Fuck. I wasn't expecting it, even if I was expecting some of it and accurately picked out some plot twists before they happened. I am just full of heartbreak after the ending for obvious reasons. I have high hopes, though, for (hopefully) a sequel.
McGee, you can't just throw me on my ass like that and switch up the normal narration. I am not sure which hurts more--my head or my heart?
At the end of the day, I'm afraid this isn't going to be for everyone but if you're a fan of the Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars BOOKS. You. Are. Going. To. Devour. These. I'm not even joking. Alloy catches you every time, doesn't it? Okay, okay, fine, maybe not every time but. From forbidden love, to secret parentage, to addiction, to the pressure of losing part of yourself, to one high tech guy and his biggest secret, to betraying someone you love, this book has it all.
The biggest mistake you can make when picking up The Thousandth Floor is by taking it or yourself too seriously. Believe me, it's a fun and light read that will keep you turning the pages eagerly and reveling in the scandal and mischief caused in the tower. I do wish we could have learned more about this futuristic NYC and how it came to be because I have to admit, I was highly intrigued by the set-up and the changes in technology, but other than that it was easy and dishy and definitely bound to be the next big obsession. I'm just going to be waiting here for a sequel and hopefully a television adaptation as well because it was so vivid that I can't see it not getting a spin for television or film.
Is it release day so I can have a physical copy, now? Please? The end of August cannot come fast enough!