The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
Published by: HarperCollins
Format: ARC e-book
Note: We received this book from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Seeing as this book is blurbed by Cecily von Ziegesar and the model on the front looks like she belongs in Gossip Girl, I went in thinking I already knew the characters The Thousandth Floor was going to use. While there were a few surprises, this book definitely fit the initial stereotypes I had. A few months ago I managed to read four of the Gossip Girl novels before realising that was as much as I could take of spoilt rich girls. But, the intriguing opening, promising a thrilling ending, was enough to keep me turning the pages.
If you know Gossip Girl, you’ll know The Thousandth Floor. If you’re unaware of GG, let me outline the character parallels!
Serena van der Woodsen – While this book has a lot of different characters, Avery, our cover girl, is by far the most perfect and popular. She’s envied by the rest of the girls but like Serena, doesn’t feel that her upper class life is satisfying enough. Despite being front and centre on the cover, I felt she was peripheral in the story. Just a set piece to cause drama for everyone else.
Blair Waldorf – Leda was also perfect and popular but with the classic Blair bitchiness making her significantly less likeable. Despite the friendship between herself and Avery, there’s always an undercurrent of envy making it a toxic one. She’s demanding and her attitude made me nervous.
Dan Humphrey – Watt, a tech-genius, tracking the movement of the ‘highliers’ falls in love with Avery. Who didn’t see that coming? He’s also manipulated by Leda to use his power for evil, but then again, spying on the upper class isn’t exactly moral to begin with.
Nate Archibald – The guy both Avery and Leda desire, but it’s only right for one of them to have him because he’s Avery’s brother. And no, I don’t care that it’s adopted brother, they still grew up as siblings from the age of seven and six onwards, and so the idea of a romance brewing between them curls my toes and made me grimace. I know it’s not the first book to do the whole sibling-relationship thing, but it’s never a good idea. Also, the fact that a guy comes between the friendship of Avery and Leda gets me. Why, in books, do friends never feel they can tell each other the truth? They’re friends, surely they’ll understand??
Jenny Humphrey – Eris is our Jenny, kind of. She covets the ‘highlier’ life and gets to live it for the first couple of chapters before her parents split up and she’s forced to move from the 900s to the 100s. Oh, the fall of social class is so obvious. Instead of trying to enjoy her new life, she does all she can to rise back up (figuratively and literally) instead of just accepting the fact that life can be good living below the 900th floor. The one thing I did like about Eris was her relationship with the girl on the 130th floor. It was about the one thing I could tolerate in this book.
Vanessa Abrams – Rylin, like Vanessa, gets caught up in the upper levels, even if it wasn’t what she initially planned. I think I liked her character the most overall, because her storyline with Cord could almost be read as completely separate from the rest of the plot. If I re-read any parts, it would just be the development of their romance.
Who’s missing? It’s Chuck Bass. I mean, if I was clutching at straws I’d say Cord’s brother Brice is pretty close, being a douche bag and all.
Wait, this is a sci-fi?
I would have really liked if the sci-fi element of the story was exaggerated a lot more. All of these people live in a building with 1000 floors, which is pretty awesome, but it only really acts as a laborious visual metaphor for social class. I don’t think the whole sci-fi element was necessary to tell the story. I guess, if you want to read something like this, but where the setting is more crucial to the plot, I’d suggest The 100 by Kass Morgan.
Also, what’s the rest of the world doing, while New York becomes a singular building? How did this happen? How is travel from NY to Paris possible in a few hours? Why, if we’ve been told the wind force at the top of the building is dangerously blustering, is there a secret balcony on the 1000th floor??? The logic is just not there.
Overall, I’m giving The Thousandth Floor 2 stars. There’s going to be a sequel, which might be more juicy now we know every character has a secret that Leda could use against them at any minute, but I’m not really sure if I’m interested enough in these characters, who could have been easily replaced by the cast of Gossip Girl.
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