The year is 2118 and New York City is home to the Tower, a skyscraper that spans dozens of blocks and has a total of one thousand floors, “the biggest structure on earth, a whole world unto itself” (7). Telling the sprawling story of five teenage tower dwellers of varying ages, genders, races, and tower levels, Katharine McGee intersects their lives into The Thousandth Floor, a drama worthy of comparison to television’s Gossip Girl or Pretty Little Liars.
Avery Fuller is the wealthiest of the main cast, living on top of the world on the thousandth floor. It’s no secret to her friends that her life is perfect, she was genetically designed to be so, after all. What they don’t know is that she has a secret concerning who she loves, a secret concerning her adopted brother, Atlas, beloved by all… She keeps her feelings a secret to protect herself, but also because her best friend Leda is in love with him too.
Leda’s just returned from a rehabilitation center and is desperate to be with Atlas, driving a wedge between her and Avery. Leda is so desperate that she hires the best hacker she can find to follow Atlas’ movements and strengthen her chances with him. This hacker goes by Nadia, but really the hacker is a lower-level boy named Watt who uses illegal technology to his advantage every day. “Nadia” is what he calls his quantum computer, an illegal creation that would send him “to prison for life” if he got caught (44). He uses Nadia for everything, even with his own relationships, until he meets Avery and becomes just as flustered as any other teenage boy.
While these three deal with a convoluted love-square, Eris learns how the lower floors live when her and her mother are downgraded to the 103rd floor. And Rylin, a few floors up, struggles to understand her blossoming relationship with a boy whose upper floor apartment she cleans to make ends meet.
With story lines that intersect every few pages and so much detail and description into the innovations of her imagined future, McGee’s story drags at certain points, especially towards the beginning. But much like a long running tv show, there are enough twists and turns to keep you entertained. McGee also keeps you interested by reminding you of the foreboding prologue, where a teenage girl is described falling through the sky from the thousandth floor. It’s unknown “whether she’d fallen, or been pushed, or whether- crushed by the weight of unspoken secrets- she’d decided to jump,” and nothing is revealed until the very end (2). Who is she, and what happened to her? You’ll just have to read.
- Posted by Abriana