Memphis Reads: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

Melissa reviews The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee, Harper Publications, 2016. 

In the year 2119, where technology has all but become the driving force in New York society, one building stands in a class of its own. This thousand-floor building, known only as “The Tower”, serves as a glittering monument of man’s advancements. Even in this world, where anything you could ever want can be obtained by merely blinking, there are five teenagers hailing from different backgrounds, living on different floors have one thing in common: they want to accomplish their goals, by any means necessary.

Starting from the bottom (or downTower), Rylin Myers is just another high-school dropout looking out for her younger sister, working a dead-end job just to make ends meet. When she is offered a new job as a cleaner in an upper-class apartment, she ends up caught between this unfamiliar, fancier lifestyle and her current, familiar one.

Moving up (to the midTower), Watzahn “Watt” Bakradi is the tech genius son of Iranian immigrants, who knows a lot more than he lets on. It’s this ability of his that gets him recruited by an upper-class girl to spy on someone she likes–which in turn, gets Watt into a sticky situation.

Living further up are Leda Cole and Eris Dodd-Radson, whose situations resemble your average soap opera episode. Aside from Leda’s past drug use and unrequited love, and Eris’s life coming apart by a shocking family secret, they also have something else in common with each other—or perhaps, someone.

And at the very top of the Tower lives Avery Fuller, the girl “genetically designed to be perfect.” She’s surrounded by everything she could ever want and adored by friends, family, and strangers because of her beauty—which she’s come to view as a major hindrance. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly surrounded by the one thing that she really wants, but can’t have.

I was worried that this review would get too long and bore most people, but I really didn’t want to leave out any important details about this book’s universe and the characters that inhabit it. The five protagonists are diverse in race, class, and personality, but I really enjoy the fact that they are still teenagers who just want to figure out who they are as people, and I definitely appreciate their unwillingness to not become complacent in this futuristic world.

The cover art and the glittery inside of the book are an added bonus to the aesthetic.