Friday, September 30, 2016

The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

  • THE BOOK
    • The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
    • Published August 30, 2016
    • Author's debut novel

  • THE PREMISE
    • In Manhattan in 2118 there is a 1000-story building that covers many blocks. (For comparison, the original World Trade towers were each about 110 stories while the current tower is 104.)
    • This is a young adult novel featuring characters about 17-18 years old.
    • One genetically perfect girl lives in the 1000th floor penthouse and is in love with a boy she can't have. Another girl who lives "up-tower" is a drug addict who loves the same boy. A third up-tower girl experiences a circumstance change that takes her down tower.
    • And then there are the characters who live down the tower. The floors in the 100s and 200s are practically considered slums.
    • The main characters are named Avery, Eris, Leda, Atlas, Watt, Cord, Mariel and Rylin. 
      • Three of those come straight from Greek mythology. Isn't that kind of a high percentage?
    • In the prologue chapter one girl is falling to her death from the top of the tower so it's a mystery of sorts.

  • MY THOUGHTS
    • Nowhere on the book itself does it tell you that this is the first book of a trilogy. If I had known that going in I might have waited until they were all out first.
    • But the fact that this will be a trilogy means that it explains the book's biggest issue: no real plot other than "who jumps or fell or gets pushed" off the tower. 
    • Most of the reviews I perused all described this as a combination of Gossip Girl and Pretty Little Liars. I have neither read nor watched the TV programs based on them so I couldn't tell you if this is correct from personal experience.
    • This type of story generally seems to take place on a spaceship or generational interstellar space station. There are always haves and have-nots and there is always a class system. There are always lower class teens hooking up with upper class teens. These are always the tropes that go along with this type of story.
      • This is in a self-contained building rather than a spaceship. 
      • The characters can and do leave the building on occasion as apparently the rest of the world is still the same.
    • The world-building could be better because I could never quite picture how things fit together. 
      • As an example, using characters from a non-illustrated book, take Jamie and Claire from the Outlander books. Author Diana Gabaldon describes Jamie and Claire in great detail. Interestingly, my version will not necessarily look like anyone else's version --- imaginations are such individual things --- but we can all easily picture them in our mind's eye.
      • The same should be true of a 1000-story building and its layout. Perhaps that is not the focus of a book aimed at teens (Diana G. was certainly writing for adults and she had hundreds of pages to include descriptions) but it's a new type of locale and the descriptions should be easier to picture.
      • Plus we never understand why or how a thousand floor building became possible. Again, this is a book aimed at teen girls so heaven forfend they are given the nuts and bolts of building construction or its history...yes, pun intended.
    • I enjoyed this until the very end when I realized it would be at least another two years before the story completes.
      • I'm never a fan of stories where the characters sole being is based on the boy they like and/or how much money they have. These are all characters about to finish school and I don't recall a single instance of what they plan to do once school is over with the exception of the two "poor" kids. Hmph.
        • As a high school junior/senior I was all about college and planning my future as well as liking boys. 
    • Recommended for teen girls who want nothing to do with how a building --- or gravity --- works.

1 comment:

  1. I always assumed some girl would fall for me. If the Freedom Tower is 1,776 feet and 104 stories, that is about 17 feet per story, so about 17,000 feet for 1,000 stories, or about 3 1/4 miles. SPLAT!

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