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My title is misleading. I really liked the story and the performance was excellent. But the topic is a tough one. It's hard to make characters likable when you're composing a statement about the dark side of human nature, which this book definitely was.
So I go on Goodreads to checkout what people think after I'm done and it's the typical stuff. One note to the publisher - don't give them a comparison in your marketing campaign. They will always use it against you. Every review I saw used the tag line - futuristic Gossip Girl. I've never seen Gossip Girl, so it made no difference to me. But it's tiring seeing all those reviewers parrot each other. Anyway... it's not a book about "rich people problems". GR reviewers liked to parrot that as well. It's a book about human problems that happen to rich kids.
The year is 2118 and life is pretty much as it is now, but with better tech. The mystery begins on page one. A girl is falling off the thousand-story tower and the whole book I was going back and forth about which girl it was. I did gasp when I found out. Seriously twisted.
The world is very cool. The thousand-story Tower is a vast city built over Central Park in New York. It was pretty fun imagining the setting. The bottom floors are where the lower class people live - the apartments are very much lie today's apartment with hallways and noisy neighbors and urban decay. But the upper floors are where the magic happens. There are no hallways here - this is city street living high in the sky. If you only red the book for the world, I don't think you'll be disappointed. It's very original and very enticing.
The book revolves around the relationships (family and friends) of several uber rich teens and the poor teens they are forced to interact with due to circumstances out of their control. I really fly for Eris. I think she was probably the most compassionate of all the girls and she really draws the short stick when it comes to major problems in this story. She definitely had the most character growth. Avery just didn't have any morals for being bred to perfection with gene manipulation. So we'll see how she comes out the other end. Atlas was too standoffish. Leda was a huge ****. I think Watt has potential. Rylin is a maybe for me, but so far, I think the bad outweighs the good.
I will say that I really hope that the villain in this book dies a horrible death in the next one. I loathed her from almost the very beginning. But I pretty much had a problem with every single character except Cord, who didn't get a point of view. Each were pretty shallow and self-centered. And the whole class warfare theme was tiresome, so everyone who participated in that agenda was on my hate list by the end. If Eris can accept Mariel as she is, why can't Mariel accept Eris as she is? It's a stupid double standard and the only explanation is that money is bad.
There is a lot of underage drinking explained away by las a fare parenting (actually a complete lack of of parenting) and a lot of drugs. Oddly, I didn't mind the stepbrother love at all. lol And even though Cord was a jerk, he was a sensitive jerk with a good heart. His girlfriend, however... bleh. I think she got what she deserved. Maybe she will surprise me in the next one. I'll hold off judgment.
I still give the story four stars and the performance is top notch. I rarely finish a book these days. I DNF more books than I ever get through. So the mere fact that I was invested in these jerky teenagers all the way to the end means the story was good.
I'll pick up the next one. I hope Cord and Atlas have a point of view next time. Maybe Nadia was my favorite character? At least she had no despicable human vices (yet).
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