The Thousandth Floor ★☆☆☆☆

24921954Maybe it’s because the performance was terrible–maybe it’s because the book itself couldn’t be salvaged by a good reading–maybe I want to give it the benefit of doubt because I love the cover. Who knows? But I did NOT enjoy nor did I finish Katherine McGee’s The Thousandth Floor.

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 used an audible credit to purchase this book so my review is based on listening to–rather than reading–Katherine McGee’s The Thousandth Floor.

Narrated by Phoebe Strole, a reader who refuses to use different voices on an audio bookThe Thousandth Floor is about the world of futuristic New York. Oh, sure, there are characters, five viewpoint characters who get increasingly harder to follow since they are all written and read the same, but this book is about place.

And if McGee was trying to write about the characters her efforts fell flat.

The Thousandth Floor opens intensely, with a girl falling to her death from the top of the building. Instantly, I wanted to know who she was, why she was falling, and if she jumped or if she was pushed. As the story went on however-I found I didn’t care.

I suspected each of the female characters, and eventually Watt, a hacker helping Leda stalk her best friend’s brother (more on that fiasco in a bit), of pushing one of them. But by the time chapter twenty started and I still wasn’t anticipating any character’s story–I knew this wasn’t going to be a book I raved about.

Not only was I not intrigued by

  • A girl in love with her adoptive brother
  • A girl who’s father is not her real father
  • A girl who is poor and cleaning floors
  • A girl who spent the summer in rehab
  • A hacker who put his computer in his brain

but they all just seemed to have problems just to have problems. I got the sense that these issues didn’t necessarily matter to the book or the world at large and that the author just pulled them out of a hat. The fact that we spend so little time at a time with each character exacerbates this issue. How are we really supposed to get a sense for any of the when their stories are interrupted by someone else just as it reached its peak.

The relationships were toxic. A girl in love with her brother (adopted or not, it is a violation of the relationship), a best friend in love with her best friend’s brother, a rich boy essentially paying for the company of his dead maid’s daughter and said daughter taking advantage of the situation, and drugs and cyber terrorism. But these were presented as normal and even as something we as readers should want to attain.

One last problem I had with The Thousandth Floor was the way in which is was read. There was little to no change in Strole’s voice as she read lines from different characters. Dialogue without tags was beyond difficult to follow as I did not have the luxury of paragraph breaks and quotation marks while I listened to the story.

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