Title: Floor 21 (The Tower Legacy #1)
Author: Jason Luthor
Publication Date: June 2, 2015
Publisher: Kindle Press
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As humanity lives out the remainder of its existence at the top of an isolated apartment tower, young Jackie dares to question Tower Authority and their ban on traveling into the tower's depths. Intelligent and unyielding, Jackie ventures into the shadows of the floors below. But will her strong will and refusal to be quiet—in a society whose greatest pride is hiding the past—bring understanding of how humanity became trapped in the tower she has always called home, or will it simply be her undoing?
One of my absolute favorite types of stories involves people who are confined to a community apart from whatever is out there. The Village and The Forest of Hands and Teeth come immediately to mind. I will be the first to admit the cover of Floor 21 is not what caught my attention - it was the synopsis. I read it and I HAD to know what was outside of the tower and why Jackie was stuck on the inside!
As you've probably figured out, Floor 21 is about a society of people that lives in a tower. It's extremely tall, extremely old, and it's entirely built on secrets. No one knows how far down it goes, only that things get worse the further people descend. For this reason, no one but a select few are allowed past a certain floor, which doesn't sit well with Jackie, who desperately wants answers.
This story is told in recorded journal entries, which was a little weird to read, but made me feel like I was really able to understand Jackie and her fears and motivations. I identified with Jackie very strongly and found it very easy to relate to her skeptical nature. While everyone around her blindly accepts that the tower is the only thing left in the world and their only means of survival, Jackie is determined to know all of the facts that no one wants to share.
Floor 21 has one of the creepiest atmospheres I've come across, especially for YA fiction. Between the mysterious Creep that has overtaken the lower levels of the tower and the creepy guys on the top floor, it was hard to catch a break. I was literally on the edge of my seat almost from page one! So let's talk about the Creep for a minute. It's some kind of almost muscular substance that reacts to emotions and basically eats people. I have no idea where it came from or what it is, but I have a feeling that that'll all be revealed in book two.
One thing I didn't love about this book is that it switches points of view pretty late. I do understand why the author chose to do this at the particular place where he did it, but it was somewhat jarring. Because of the journal entry format of the story I never felt really connected to any of the other characters, which made switching to another POV really weird. It certainly didn't ruin the story though - it's just something to be aware of!
When I was reading this I didn't realize it was a series. I was really confused the closer I got to the end wondering how in the world it could possibly be wrapped up so quickly. Well, IT COULDN'T and it ended on a major cliffhanger so now I'm dying to know what happens next! I can't say too much more about Floor 21 without spoilers, but suffice it to say it blew me away! This book is creepy and I adored the main character. I will definitely be continuing this series soon!