4 star, YA

Review: The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee

The Thousandth Floor #3

Welcome back to New York, 2119. A skyscraper city, fueled by impossible dreams, where the lives of five teenagers have become intertwined in ways that no one could have imagined.

Leda just wants to move on from what happened in Dubai. Until a new investigation forces her to seek help—from the person she’s spent all year trying to forget.

Rylin is back in her old life, reunited with an old flame. But when she starts seeing Cord again, she finds herself torn: between two worlds, and two very different boys.

Calliope feels trapped, playing a long con that costs more than she bargained for. What happens when all her lies catch up with her?

Watt is still desperately in love with Leda. He’ll do anything to win her back—even dig up secrets that are better left buried.

And now that Avery is home from England—with a new boyfriend, Max—her life seems more picture-perfect than ever. So why does she feel like she would rather be anything but perfect?

In this breathtaking finale to The Thousandth Floor trilogy, Katharine McGee returns to her vision of 22nd-century New York: a world of startling glamour, dazzling technology, and unthinkable secrets. After all, when you have everything… you have everything to lose. 



Welcome back indeed to Manhattan 2119. The final book in The Thousandth Floor trilogy coming to a spectacular finish. Once again we are thrown into the world of The Tower, a 1000 floor monstrosity taking up most of Manhattan. We have the Fullers up alone on the thousandth floor, and everyone else beneath them. After everything that has transpired in the first and second books, the third book comes presenting one last set of problems for our protagonists to face together.

The Towering Sky takes place a short time skip after the final events of the second book. The same protagonists from the second book living with the aftermath of what happens in book 2. Once again we are taken through multiple POVs of these teenagers, whose lives have become inexplicably complex and intertwined through a series of unlikely circumstances.

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4 star, YA

Review: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

NEW YORK CITY AS YOU’VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE.

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

WELCOME TO MANHATTAN, 2118.

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?

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4 star, adult

Review: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

What would you change if you could go back in time?

In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café which has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.

In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-travelling offer, in order to: confront the man who left them, receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.

But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .

Toshikazu Kawaguchi’s beautiful, moving story explores the age-old question: what would you change if you could travel back in time? More importantly, who would you want to meet, maybe for one last time?



This one took me by surprise. Not in the sense that I didn’t think I would like it, but rather in the way that it panned out. A friend of mine suggested this to me and I happily obliged to after I heard about the concept. As I was reading the first part, I was definitely not super engrossed, but willing to press on out of interest. But after the second, third and the final part, I found that I was really enjoying it, and the rest of the book flew by for me!

Before the Coffee Gets Cold centers around a special café in Japan. Its specialty? Time travel. Say what? Yes that’s right, at this coffee shop, they offer a very special deal indeed, an opportunity to go back through time….with conditions of course. I thoroughly enjoyed the way time travel was portrayed in this novel, and how the situation was set up for it to occur. Perhaps it’s the Japanese origin of this book, or perhaps I haven’t read enough time travel stories, but this one struck me as quite unique, and the themes that it explored using its special time travel scenario was very well done.

The book is set up in four parts, each following a different individual who ends up deciding to go on this little time travelling journey. What is the price of time travel and what are the gains and risks? These are all questions that are well answered in here, in my opinion. Though of a scientific education, I am not a particular stickler for the scientific feasibility and logic of such sci-fi stories. Despite this, I found the scenarios to be quite believable, and the staff of the café really do well to add to its mysticism. Each character has their own personal growth journey, and a very particular reason why they want to travel back in time – what will they learn along the way, and will they come out the other side a changed person?

Of course in any time travel book, the mechanics and rules of all the time travel itself are very interesting and intriguing. However, the build up and growth of the characters, and the complexities of the choices one can face even with an option to travel through time, really spoke to me in this book. I really felt for each character, and struggled to contemplate what I would do in their situation. I found that each scenario in the book added more and more stakes to time travel, and this quiet underlying build up of tension and suspense also constantly pulled me forward through this story. Overall, I had a great experience reading this book, and I can solidly recommend it to all of you guys!

Note from Fives: I do believe this book is translated from Japanese though, so some of the manners of speech, etc. are more or less directly translated and were a bit odd as a North American reader. That being said they weren’t grammatically incorrect or anything – just make sure to keep that in mind if you ever find something a bit strange in the way things are said. Some things just don’t translate to English very well, and I’m glad the translator chose to keep true to the elements of Japanese culture.

Overall Recommendations

Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a tale of an interesting café with the ability to transport its patrons backwards in time. Set in Japan, translated from its original Japanese, this story follows different customers looking to tap into the special powers of this café. It has very original rules for its time travel, and undoubtedly creates complex situations in which these customers must make decisions of heavy weight. How the customers go through their decision making, and the ramifications of their choices are all explored in this short novel. What would you do if offered the chance to go back in time? A very thought-provoking novel, with ever increasing tensions with each story, brings us through an emotional journey which truly tackles the complexity of human nature. I recommend this read for sure!