Only for avid CW viewers and tabloid-news fans, a shallow yet overlong tale of rich people and their problems.


From the Thousandth Floor series , Vol. 2

Guilty parties continue to party in this soap-opera sequel.

Surrounded by extravagance and futuristic technology, the elite teens of the top floors of the 1,000-story Tower in New York City still manage to be miserable. Vicious and ambitious Leda Cole struggles to conceal her murder of Eris Dodd-Radson by blackmailing her witnesses over their darkest secrets. There’s Avery Fuller and her semi-incestuous relationship with her adopted brother, Atlas; hacker Watzahn “Watt” Bakradi and his illegal quantum computer; and scholarship-student Rylin Myers and her criminal ex-boyfriend. Newcomer con artist Calliope Brown and her mother also seek to exploit the richer residents. The economically stratified Tower also seems racially segregated; black Leda fights to overcome her middle-class origins, and lower-floor (and therefore lower-class) Iranian-American Watt and “half-Asian” Rylin falter as foils for the mostly white 1 percent. While the multiplicity of narrators causes tiresome plot repetition, it mimics the self-absorbed world of the Tower’s top tier. McGee offers intriguing sci-fi elements—communication-enabling contact lenses, hovercraft, holography—but sacrifices social commentary or dystopian revolution for traditional teenage melodrama. In over 400 pages of dizzying excess and desperate partying, no one cuts through the “Gordian knot of these highliers’ screwed-up lives.” Readers wanting more substance should seek out J.G. Ballard’s High-Rise.

Only for avid CW viewers and tabloid-news fans, a shallow yet overlong tale of rich people and their problems. (Dystopian romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 29, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-241862-3

Page Count: 432

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2017

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

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Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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