The Thousandth Floor is the first in a new series of YA books by Katharine McGee, which has been described – way overdescribed to be frank – as a futuristic Gossip Girl. This description makes me want to find a thousandth floor to hurl myself off of, but I actually liked the book quite a lot. It is mildly refreshing to find a story in the future – in this case, 2118 – where we have not fully succumbed to a Thunderdome-esq hellscape. There is nary a Hunger Game to be found, which is at least something. What has happened is that there is a depletion of natural resources, a massive jump in technology, and an even bigger and more substantial divide between the rich and poor. So, yeah, still terrible but as far as I can tell the computers have not become self-aware.
The actual thousandth floor is a building in New York, a beacon of innovation and progress, where the higher up you live, the more privilege there is to be found. There are five narrators in the story, which takes a minute to get used to, and all of them are in the 17-19 year old range. They are somewhat stereotypical in that there is a perfect rich girl (Avery
Serena van der Woodsen), another beautiful rich girl with a secret addiction (Leda), yet another beautiful rich girl – sensing a theme? – whose family is falling apart (Eris Blair Waldorf), and then two ‘wrong side of the tracks’ type characters Rylin Vanessa Abrams & Watt Dan Humphrey, both falling in love way out of their league to give us some good Upstairs/Downstairs drama. Also, I know a little too much about Gossip Girl for someone my age, no?
Besides the year and the technology (which mostly feels like Google Glass and hoverboards to me, to be honest, except for that underground train thing that takes you to Paris in under 3 hours, to which i say huzzah), this is basically just a teen drama. The teens struggle with the same issues anyone anytime has, and it is well written and not as predictable as I worried it might be. The story starts with a prologue that has a girl falling to her death off the top floor, which I forgot about immediately after I read it because my brain likes to surprise me, and it eventually gets back to it and ends in something of cliffhanger. The Thousandth Floor is planned to be a trilogy and it’s pretty clear that I’m going back for more, unless I suddenly mature a lot. So… definitely.
The Thousandth Floor – Grade B