Book Review

Book Review of The Dazzling Heightsby Katherine McGee

The Dazzling Heights book review

I’m almost embarrassed to give The Dazzling Heights 5 stars, but based on how much I enjoyed it, that’s exactly what I have to give it. The Dazzling Heights a sequel to The Thousandth Floor. If you haven’t read the first book, you need to before reading this one. The Dazzling Heights is NOT a stand-alone. It’s a YA (young adult) futuristic book with a bit of sci-fi, a touch of dystopian, and plenty of drama set in a super-high-rise building in New York City during 2118. The book jumps in right where the first one left off with the same cast of characters plus some new additions, like Calliope and her mother who are globe-trotting scam artists (and yet it’s not so simple as that – is anything in this series? Lol). I liked Dazzling Heights better than the first book. The characters had more depth to them than the first book, and they grew amidst their troubles and struggles. There are so many little twists, mind games, crises, misunderstandings, intrigue, blackmail, and tough situations that it was an absolute page-turner. I wanted to find out what was going to happen to each person and how things were going to unravel. I also enjoyed all of the futuristic details and the interesting dynamics of living in a thousand floor, self-contained building. I’m not going to share details about the characters because I don’t want to include even a hint of any spoilers. I can say that the line between who is good and who is bad is much more blurry in this book, and if you hated someone at first, you may not by the end.  I also liked the mystery of wondering just who was going to die in this book.

I am not the target audience for this book as I’m about 27 years past the YA audience age, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes, it was bubble-gummy with the glitz, glamor, and teenage soapoperaness, but the intrigue and the world building kept me turning the pages. This is just the perfect type of easy-read to indulge in after reading something heavy, deep, and/or dark. The Dazzling Heights ended with yet another cliff-hanger, and I know I’ll be reading the 3rd book as soon as it comes out!

Now for the Mom comments:. This is not a book I'd want a young teen to read and there are many things that conservative Christian parents will not feel comfortable with. First, there is the current and growing trend of having LGBT characters in more and more YA books. There is a gay girl and a passing reference to a boy with his boyfriend. There is drug use, implied sex (no details), a girl who is in love with her adopted brother, lots of drinking, etc. Despite all of this, there is a lot of character growth, unintended consequences for bad behavior (like death!), and a vivid illustration of what happens when misunderstandings get out of control. Many of the teenage feelings and actions are realistically portrayed (albeit in a 2118 year setting). I recommend pre-reading if your teen is interested in this book. At the very least, there is a lot you could discuss together based on your family's beliefs and the situations the characters get themselves into (and out of).

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