4 star, YA

Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee


A thousand-story tower stretching into the sky. A glittering vision of the future where anything is possible—if you want it enough.


A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. Everyone there wants something…and everyone has something to lose.

LEDA COLE’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched.

ERIS DODD-RADSON’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart.

RYLIN MYERS’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will this new life cost Rylin her old one?

WATT BAKRADI is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy for an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies.

And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is AVERY FULLER, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

Amid breathtaking advancement and high-tech luxury, five teenagers struggle to find their place at the top of the world. But when you’re this high up, there’s nowhere to go but down….

I was recommended this futuristic sci-fi by one of my new friends, and I was fairly impressed! I don’t often read sci-fi’s, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. However, if I ever were to read sci-fi’s, this one was definitely my kind of book. Realistic enough to just be beyond the realm of our current technology, with a great setting (NYC!) – I thought it was the perfect place for all the drama to take place.

The Thousandth Floor is a science fiction novel based in Manhattan, 2118. The people in this story mostly live in a gigantic tower, with as you guessed it, a thousand floors. The base of the tower is extremely large, while the top of the tower only contains one unit. The main characters include Avery Fuller, a perfectly perfect girl who lives on the thousandth floor, and her friends that go to school with her, as well as some extras they meet along the way. Taking place over ever-shifting POVs, this is a story of how all of these characters paths somehow cross, ending with a girl falling off the top of the tower. What happened to lead to all this?

If you’re expecting a Gossip Girl type of drama here, you’ve come to the right place. With the stark (and I mean stark) contrast in social class from the top of the tower to the bottom of the tower, it’s almost as if nothing is important outside of this tower in Manhattan. Full of very interesting technology that I honestly wish existed in our world, this novel really paints the picture of the class division but in addition to being separated by socioeconomic class, you are also separated by physical space, being at the bottom versus the top of the tower, literally. People can judge everything about you by which floor you live on, and that was definitely a huge theme in this book.

For me, the most interesting thing was just to see what heights technology had reached, and to see it all in action in the lives of these teenagers. It was also interesting to see how the disparity in wealth is quickly exacerbated by the presence of this tower and technology as well. Not only are your basic gadgets going to be way to different, even the transportation available to those on the lower floors versus those on the upper floors is drastically different. In one way it seems like it’s a technological marvel for all the advancement, but on the other hand it really paints more of a dystopian future where people are further segregated by their class difference.

At the risk of sounding too much like an English teacher, I’ll stop there with the meta analysis. The book is filled with great characters, and the story moves along quickly. The characters are interesting and loveable, with many flaws (as usual). This is actually the first book in a trilogy, and I am definitely interested in reading further.

I would say overall it’s a well-written book and that it had a good driving plot with an appropriate amount of suspense. That being said though, for me I guess it was a bit too young, and I no longer really related to being a teenager, which stops it from being just an amazing book. But I did enjoy reading it, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys futuristic technological sci-fi.

Overall Recommendations

The Thousandth Floor is a futuristic sci-fi that takes place in a giant 1000-floor tower in Manhattan, 2118. Revolving around multiple teenagers of varying socioeconomic class, this tangled story is filled with lies, deception and romance as everyone tries to resist the invisible pull of wanting to move up the tower. Where money means nothing to some people, but everything to others. Even sitting up at the top on the thousandth floor isn’t without its imperfections. Can each teenager truly find what they want or will they be swept away by their own web of lies?

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