Review of “The Thousandth Floor” by Katharine McGee

24921954

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Pub: August 2016 HarperCollins

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. But people never change: everyone here 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 her 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 by 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.
Debut author Katharine McGee has created a breathtakingly original series filled with high-tech luxury and futuristic glamour, where the impossible feels just within reach. But in this world, the higher you go, the farther there is to fall….”-Summary from Goodreads.com

I had a lot more technical cons than pros for this book. I felt that McGee was much better at world building: she created this rich futuristic environment that was honestly super cool. But, she wasn’t so great at character development. A lot of these characters seemed 1-D, I kept forgetting who was who, and very superficial. Rylin and Eris were the only redeemable ones for me throughout. I can’t say too much about it but Leda’s personality was not super believable. Also we finally get a queer relationship, yay!!! And bi characters are super underrepresented in any fiction. There was some refreshing diversity in characters and relationships.
There isn’t really any action until at least half way through, the whole time I was reading this I just knew that all the action would go down in the last 50 pages as setup for the next book. I find that ultra frustrating, but I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy those last 50 pages. Reading it was a lot of fun.
Lastly, there was quite a bit of obvious foreshadowing. Things like in the beginning Avery says she never wants to fight with Leda because of her revenge fueled personality, and they immediately begin drawing apart. There were a lot of instances of heavy handed foreshadowing and she should trust her readers more/leave more to surprise.
I think the character problems may have been helped with less POVs. But overall, it was a fun read, and I plan on reading the second.
(Also the cover is gorgeous and the inside of the hardcover is literally liquid gold glitter.)
Advertisements

Review of “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

IMG_6921

IMG_6923
FullSizeRender

 

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Pub Date: Feb. 10, 2015

Harper Collins

YA, ages 13 and up

“A thrilling new fantasy trilogy for fans of DIVERGENT and THE HUNGER GAMES.
The poverty-stricken Reds are commoners, living under the rule of the Silvers, elite warriors with god-like powers.
To Mare Barrow, a 17-year-old Red girl from The Stilts, it looks like nothing will ever change.
Mare finds herself working in the Silver Palace, at the centre of
those she hates the most. She quickly discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy Silver control.
But power is a dangerous game. And in this world divided by blood, who will win?”

-Summary from Goodreads.com

First things first, the box this ARC came in was super cool. Very dramatic. I was really excited to get it. The cover art is amazing, very simple but powerful. If I had to sum this book up in few words I would say that it’s Hunger Games in a royal court setting. It reminded me of Hunger Games in that it’s a futuristic regime where fights to the death are broadcast as a show of power and strength to the poor and weak (the red-blooded people). There was also a capital that showed disgusting displays of wealth while people in other villages had to fight for survival and food.

Some of the themes included the brutality of mankind and the idea that “anyone can betray anyone” which was a mantra often repeated in the book.  Here are some quotes I enjoyed that portray this theme nicely:

“They’ve spent so long at the top, protected and isolated, that they’ve forgotten they can fall. Their strength has become their weakness.”

It’s our nature, Julian would say. We destroy. It’s the constant of our kind. No matter the color of blood, man will always fall.”

There were some things I didn’t like, and you can probably guess what I’m going to say here. I wasn’t super attached to the characters. I know I always say this but I’m a stickler for a well-developed character. They weren’t bad. But they weren’t great either. A little bit flat. The book was also kind of predictable. The mantra about betrayal became so frequent that we knew someone was going to betray somebody. No surprise there. (But I won’t tell what or who!) I was also going to say that it ended on a bit of a cliff-hanger so there was a setup for a sequel…but as you’ll see above it’s going to be a trilogy! I’m not a big fan of these types of books but I can see how they make great profits. I can easily see this book becoming a movie series.

A positive aspect was that the story did not lag or drag, it was certainly fast-paced. I even think it could have slowed down in parts to allow for less plot development and more character development. Some parts felt rushed but I think I prefer it to a book that I have to keep putting down.

Overall it was a quick read and definitely fits into the popular end-of-the-world dystopian YA genre. I thought the whole idea of blood types and the fantastical aspect with the super abilities was creative. It inspired me to write, which is always a good thing 🙂 If you enjoy books like this, then definitely pick it up. If you’re not a big fan of the genre there isn’t anything super new in it, so you may want to skip it.

Any thoughts?

Review: Dorothy Must Die

download

Rating: 2.5/5 

“I didn’t ask for any of this. I didn’t ask to be some kind of hero.

But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I’ve read the books. I’ve seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can’t be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There’s still the yellow brick road, though—but even that’s crumbling.

What happened? Dorothy.

They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I’m the other girl from Kansas.

I’ve been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.

I’ve been trained to fight.

And I have a mission.”

(Summary from goodreads.com)

Let me start off by saying that I was really excited to read this book. I’d seen it on the staff recommends at this awesome bookstore I went to in Denver and I had also heard about it on EpicReads. The cover and story line drew me in; I love new (and dark) twists on classic tales. At its heart this book is a coming of age tale about a girl with an unstable and unsatisfactory home life. It is about acceptance of self. There was a lot of questioning of “good and wicked”, and how sometimes these lines blur and it’s important to do what is right. Readers are still not completely sure who the “good guys” are.

I enjoyed most of the book and it was a quick read. But, the ending is a complete LETDOWN. Without spoilers here’s why: we are left with a total cliffhanger and no real resolutions. After reading this book I felt that I was part of a marketing ploy to make money. After doing some research I found that not only does this book have a prequel, but there’s also a sequel being released in March, AND (get this) a TV SHOW in the works with CW. Now, had this book been released and everyone loved it and they decided to do all this after, I would be OK with that. However, it was clear that this book was a commissioned piece. That the author was commissioned and paid by Harper because they knew it would make them a lot of money to make a whole package out of this series. From a business standpoint, I understand, but as a reader it just made me angry (and apparently lots of others on Goodreads). Because, I am interested in the story and I do want to know what happens but I feel like I am being strung along. This may be too many feelings for a professional book review,but I want you to know what you’re getting into (452 pages of prologue).

This book is YA, but recommended grades 9 and up. This is because there is some profanity, talk of cleavage, and gore.

I don’t have anything to say about style. Danielle Paige is a fine writer and creates Tim Burton-esque scenes in Oz that were original (Perma-smile invention, very cool).

If you are ready to be committed to a long, drawn-out series and you love the story of Dorothy and Oz then go for it. But if you’re looking for one book and to be done, this isn’t for you.

Any thoughts?