Book Review: The Towering Sky – Katharine McGee

I already recorded the vid ver. of this review and told my mom once on the phone about how amazing this book is -nutshelling TTS-

can’t believe its the final book in this goddamn amazing trilogy the feelz i cant


Name: The Towering Sky
Author: Katharine McGee
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: August 28, 2018


Welcome back to New York, 2119. A skyscraper city, fueled by impossible dreams, where the lives of five teenagers have become intertwined in ways that no one could have imagined.

Leda just wants to move on from what happened in Dubai. Until a new investigation forces her to seek help—from the person she’s spent all year trying to forget.

Rylin is back in her old life, reunited with an old flame. But when she starts seeing Cord again, she finds herself torn: between two worlds, and two very different boys.

Calliope feels trapped, playing a long con that costs more than she bargained for. What happens when all her lies catch up with her?

Watt is still desperately in love with Leda. He’ll do anything to win her back—even dig up secrets that are better left buried.

And now that Avery is home from England—with a new boyfriend, Max—her life seems more picture-perfect than ever. So why does she feel like she would rather be anything but perfect?

In this breathtaking finale to The Thousandth Floor trilogy, Katharine McGee returns to her vision of 22nd-century New York: a world of startling glamour, dazzling technology, and unthinkable secrets. After all, when you have everything… you have everything to lose.

Book Cover Comments


liek am i readin too much into dis

but the fact that its the bottom of the tower… and its (probably) dawn…. WHAT DOES IT MEAN

The Review

I’m gonna first drop how Katharine loves throwing in these real life small references as well- this small mix of reality of fantasy just makes it so fun. The BLue LaGooN? I know she’s been there, she loved it (i loved it when i was there). Paris? Duh its like her fav place to go (therefore Cord and Rylin book 1) and honestly seeing ManDaRIN ORienTaL mentioned in it sends sparks all over my brain (Katharine if you do see this, my dad works in the company that owns Mandarin so my family always visits Mandarin wherever we go and its available)

And what did it matter? New York would go on with or without her, the same as ever, just as loud and electric and raucous and bight. New York didn’t care that those were the last words she ever spoke.

Honestly ever since the first chapter was released on EpicReads? I knew this was going to be an EPIC ride. The first chapter gave me predictions on what the ending would be, and I must say that I wasn’t too far away—except I took a much darker route and would rather that than the current ending— from the current ending. I wouldn’t say I hated it as it could have really gone both ways, but I wasn’t quite ready for the emotion switch because I was feeling so heavy from most of the plot points in this book already.

His eyes met hers, and he glanced from her to Max, a million emotions darting over his face too quickly for Avery to make sense of them.

I felt so heavy throughout the entire book probably not only because of how the plot and the story played out—as well as each individual character’s suffering and breakthrough— but also because of the themes that Katharine wanted to touch upon in this book.

It never ceased to amaze him, the ways humans could hurt each other. no other animal was capable of that kind of vicious, useless cruelty. You’d think that people would have learned to do better by now, as a species.

Technology: —the thing that makes up the sci-fi aspect of this book— what really does it mean to humanity? Yes, it has allowed communication between people to be simplified, but through that, is real, face-to-face communication somewhat reduced? Has this, in turn, caused side effects to how real communications work, leading to misunderstanding?

Social media also plays such a big role in the plot by the end of it (this is a really key plot point asdfghjkl), changing the entire game up and putting some of our dear treasured characters plunging down into the abyss. The way that you’re allowed to be your most evil self—without having to deal with the consequences— is in a sense, truly terrifying. You throw comments at those you don’t like and things you’re disgusted about— but then again, what is the norm and what is not in this current age of confusion?

“You live with yourself because you have to. you forgive yourself for what you’ve one. It can only kill you when you try to run away from it. If you just look it in the eye an face it, it becomes part of you, and it can’t hurt you anymore.’

Growth and resolution was also a key factor in this book: as the trilogy comes to an ending, each character must find their own answer; their answer to their way out of the limbo they’ve put themselves in —the limbo which they were caught within the web of the human world— and learning to accept who they are to continue moving on with their lives. In the end, each of our main characters finds the ending that they need for this chapter in their life, and that assurance for us readers honestly means everything.

Some part of her saw it coming, and yet she couldn’t pull away. She couldn’t move, couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything except stand here and let him kiss her.
And for a single forbidden moment, she felt herself kiss him back.

But honestly in this book I mainly live for the Avery and Atlas storyline because romance is all I really care in life (yes I just want myself a boyfriend) and I wouldn’t mind if there was a novella about Avery and Atlas because I would honestly be the first to read it (I could honestly lowkey tell that Katharine LOOOVES Avery and Atlas’ storyline from the quote teasers she dropped before the book release *ahem*)

“Everywhere I fled, I kept seeing you. Every time, you happen to me all over again.”

Like her previous books, Katharine had to instill all this amount of drama —in the case of book three, more mystery than drama— into TTS. Relationship beef, family beef, social beef, honestly every type of beef you could think of? You could find it here. The beef and the mysteries, questions left unsolved which then leads to the next clue and next as all the characters’ lives are on stake just makes it a wonderful book to read.

“Tell me right now that I shouldn’t fight for you. Tell me that you’ve chosen him, an I’ll back down, I swear it. You’ll never hear any of this from me again. But I won’t stop unless you tell me to. I had to say something—because I knew this was my very last chance, before I lost you forever.”

So just like my previous review, after the general opinion I’ve given above, I’m gonna move on into talking about the individual characters and stay as spoil free as possible!!!

Maybe then, someday, she would actually be worthy of this tremendous gift that was given to her.

Leda changed and grew so much in this book. She has been giving herself more and more burdens to carry ever since the ending of book one. She was in the middle of getting lost when she finally found the ground that she could land on as she slowly had the support of her friends by her. She was able to accept who she was, who she is, so that the her that she might be, the her that has accepted a great gift will be able to utilize and treasure it well; so that she will not lose sight of what is ahead of her anymore.

If she had learned anything by now. it was that in real life, you never quite knew what was coming. you had to take the bad with the good. you had to take a chance, hold your breath, and trust people.

Rylin, in my opinion, had become quite a stable character ever since probably around the middle of book two and had matured mostly, except for her trust issues. Because of her growth environment of just her and her sister, Rylin has taken up a very defensive nature, and this is the book where she learns to grow out from the barriers that keep her from having the best form of communication with others: doubt.

She knew this was reckless; it was dangerous, but like all dangerous things, it had a deep, thrilling undercurrent that was richer and better and more alive than anything safe.

Calliope is a girl that I already started to like since book two even though she stirred some drama, but I like her even more in book three. It mostly came from the amount of vulnerability that she showed —her starting to get tired of the facade she has to put up in front of people and on the constant run for her life— just when she thinks she found somewhere to settle. And just when you think that happens, something so sweet happens between Calliope and her mother as Calliope, too, finds her place and path in this world, what she wants and how she will take hold of her future.

He would get a bracing cup of coffee, and a peanut butter sandwich, and then he would face the world exactly the way it was meant to be seen.

Watt this boi made some serious decisions in this book that honestly got me proud #tears. And he is one of the characters that grew the most in his book. The realization dawned upon him that he is the one who is most affected by technology himself: the barrier that he has put up himself to cut part of himself off from the rest of the real world. But he learns that he too has something he needs to give up in order to find his way as well, and he chose well.

“But then, everything has a price tag to you. doesn’t it? Even my happiness? Nothing is sacred to you but your own ambition! You wouldn’t care if I actually had done it, you only care that I said it!”

AVERY IS STILL MY ULTIMATE GIRL AND HONESTLY, SHE GOT ME. She is the one who is under the most constant stress: something that has been expressed since the synopsis of the first book because of how perfect her life is. But this isn’t the life she wants. All she wants is to be able to spend time with the one she wants to be with, and yet her life is constantly spinning out of place as she continues to notice the way she is being maneuvered and controlled around. I can never be not proud of Avery of what she chose to do in the end. THIS I CANNOT SPOIL YOU, MY READER, I AM SO SORRY

It might take weeks, or years, or an entire lifetime. But looking would be half the fun, wouldn’t it? If it was going to take a lifetime, she thought wryly, she might as well as get to it.

The ending is what makes it so perfect. I suggest you listen to “White Noise” by EXO while reading the Epilogue of the book. While I wouldn’t say you’re going to listen to this song from the Epilogue narrator’s perspective, but you should rather “sing” this song from the narrator right before the epilogue narrator, AND the epilogue narrator themselves. It is truly beautiful and honestly fits well with the theme. I wonder if you’ll get it if you’ve rea the book!

I hear you, I feel you
I can’t see you but I can hear you
After closing my eyes
All I have to do is find you
Among all the noise in the world
Your small laughter
That’s all I need to know
That you are doing well

Yea this song is actually five hundred times more depressing than the actual ending itself but I think on a certain level its relatable

The Towering Sky reaches for the limits as all of the characters, Leda, Rylin, Calliope, Watt and Avery beak through the barrier to reach even higher, to grasp onto what they want. Even if it means that every rise has a fall, even if it means that they fall greatly, they will always know that there is someone out there who cares for them, someone who will be happy and waiting to see them stand up again.

I couldn’t ask for a better ending, one where each and one of these birdlings can finally soar into the sky.

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Joanne Lumiere

Joanne is the narcissistic founder of her book blog, Joanne Lumiere. Born and raised in Hong Kong, this 18 year old brat is currently attending college in Los Angeles, and still doesn't know how to read books with sophistication, and yet she runs a blog.

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