The book opens with a girl falling from the top of the thousand floor tower building to her certain death. Readers intuit that one of female POV will be the one who will die. The prologue cheekily plays with the readers suggesting that the person could have slipped, could have been pushed, could have jumped willingly. This helps propel the reader through the 400+ remaining pages the follow five different points-of-view:
- Avery Fuller lives on the thousandth floor. Genetically engineered to be perfect, she harbors a horrible secret that can ruin her life.
- Leda Cole also lives high up in the tower. Her life isn't perfect. She just returned from a summer of rehab. Like Avery, she also harbors secrets.
- Eris Dodd-Radson was living a privileged life until a family secret destroyed it. She used to live in the upper floors, but her secret has sent her and her mother down tower.
- Rylin Myers is an orphan helping to raise her sister down on the lower floors. Frequently behind on rent, she jumps at the opportunity to work uptower as a maid to get back on top of things, but this choice leads to a romance that could fall apart once a secret is revealed.
- Watt Bakradi is the only male point of view in the book. As tech genius, he uses his computer Nadia to help him hack information to sell. Like Rylin he lives on the lower floors, but when he is hired by by another character to be a spy, he is drawn into the world of the wealthy. He deals in secrets and hold his own.
The morally grey characters' interactions constantly force a reader to guess who the victim is throughout the narrative. The twists and turns mean the reader will often change his/her mind about who the victim will be. I think that there are many teens who will love this book for its soapy nature and morally grey characters. As in many soap operas, secrets don't stay secret long. When secrets come out, the consequences are explosive.
In a nutshell this is a book about teenagers being horrible to one another in the name of social survival. The wicked rivalries, futuristic parties, eerily relatable technology, and mostly absent parents will delight teen readers.
NOTE: I've seen other reviewers refer to this book as a futuristic Gossip Girls. I've never seen the show, but I wanted to include it here in case it would motivate you to check out the book!
Come to the library to check it out or put it on hold!
--Mrs. Woodall, Teacher Librarian