The Thousandth Floor

Book review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
The Thousandth Floor Book Poster Image
Glamorous teens, drinking, drugs fuel compelling mystery.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, not educate.

Positive Messages

Be careful what you're willing to compete or fight for; it might not be what you expected. Actions that seem only a little wrong or like not a big deal quickly build up and get out of control. One character learns the benefits of forging personal connections after she's lost her wealth and privilege.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Large cast of teen characters model both good and bad behaviors, such as being helpful with younger siblings but earning money on the side by hacking personal information. Parents are peripheral characters and mostly laissez-faire about their older teens' activities.

Violence

Mystery at the center of the story is learning which character fell from a tower, why, and how. One slap in the face.

Sex

Teens think a lot about romance and hookups. Lots of plot involves who is dating whom and how to "get" someone. Attitudes about sex are casual, with no mention of birth control. Only passionate kissing and making out are directly narrated, but sex is implied between several characters. One character is in love with her adopted brother. Future society is nonchalant about a same-sex couple.

Language

"S--t," "holy s--t," "hell," "asshole," "ass" (body part), "piss," "bulls--t," "f--k," and "bitch."

Consumerism

Lots of materialism in the glamorous, luxurious lifestyle of elite, wealthy teens. Some current brands in this futuristic world still exist: Brooks Brothers, Hermès, Oscar de la Renta, M&M's, and "Bergdorf's."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking age in future New York City is 18. Teens 17 and 18 frequently drink to excess at parties and are served wine and champagne by their parents as a norm. Consequences include some hangovers and feeling remorse about drunken behavior. Many older teens take a variety of made-up drugs that are clearly mentioned as hallucinogens, relaxants, and antianxiety and other prescription medications. One character recently left rehab and struggles with wanting to drink and take drugs when she's upset. A made-up drug provides a communal high at a rave-like party. Feelings after taking drugs are described once or twice positively from a character's point of view, but there are consequences that affect the plot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Thousandth Floor is a teen mystery novel set in the year 2118. The large cast of characters exhibits a wide range of good and bad behaviors, with everyone being imperfect and a mixture of both. Older teens drink frequently, with meals and parental approval and to excess at parties and social gatherings, with little consequences except hangovers and remorse. They also do a lot of recreational drugs with nonchalant attitudes. One character is recently out of rehab for drug addiction; she gets high again, and it's described positively from her point of view but has disastrous consequences. Passionate kissing and making out are described a few times; romance and hookups are major plot and character elements. Strong language is not frequent but includes "f--k," "s--t," "asshole," and more. The main teen social circle is a very elite, extremely wealthy, and highly glamorized group, but we see that even for the cream of the crop, life is not perfect or trouble-free.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Teen, 15 years old Written byemiacts3332 July 3, 2018

I was completely hooked!

I picked this book up and was intrigued by the concept of a building that has a thousand stories. The book was addictive itself. It followed five characters who... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byjillybean_270 May 19, 2018

Great Futuristic Book!

I liked the storyline of this book. It was intriguing and I loved getting to know the characters. The fact that it was futuristic made it even better. I also lo... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the year 2118, a girl in New York City falls from THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR to her death on the street below. Flashing back several months, we meet a large circle of high school juniors and seniors, most of them extremely wealthy, enjoying lives of privilege and seemingly endless possibility in the upper stories of the Tower. But life at the top isn't all fun and games. As we get to know Avery, Leda, Watt, Eris, Rylin, and others, we learn that sometimes climbing higher just means you have further to fall. So which friend paid the ultimate price, and why? Was it an accident? Did she jump? Or was she pushed?

Is it any good?

This strong debut is a fantastic balancing act few first-timers pull off: The futuristic setting is realistic, fully realized, and fascinating, and the large cast of characters is very well-developed. The weaving back and forth between points of view keeps the pages turning, and it's always easy to keep track of who's who. Also, not knowing who the victim is adds a level of suspense that lasts to very end.

Teens will be drawn to the hyper-glamorized lifestyle of these wealthy, elite characters. But everyone in The Thousandth Floor has a dark side, too, which adds heft and relatability to all the teen drama. Although the future setting might make it seem like a fantasy, prevailing lax attitudes about drinking, drugs, and sex make it best for teens grounded enough not to be seduced by the "cool factor." The ending surprises, satisfies, and leaves the door wide open for more, which fans no doubt will eagerly await.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about whether The Thousandth Floor glamorizes drinking and drug use. Does it seem realistic or exaggerated? What are the negative consequences?

  • Does the strong language seem realistic to you? Do teens really use that much strong language, or do books, movies, and other media only make it seem like they do? How much is OK?

  • Watt uses the money he gets from illicit hacking to save for college. Does that make it OK? What choices or opportunities does he have to get into college?

Book details

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

For kids who love mysteries

Our editors recommend

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate