I work at a library and we started an informal book club. One of my coworkers wanted to read this book and we ended up all reading it together. Out of the six people in the the group, not one liked this book. Jan Gangsei’s Zero Day follows the story of Addie Webster, the eldest daughter of the current U.S. President. Addie was kidnapped as a young child and has just recently returned, under suspicious circumstances.
This is billed as a political thriller for teens, a la 24. Which it was, but not a particularly well-written one. This book was so full of plot holes and cliches, that I don’t even know how it was published in its current form. It was even chosen as a Lone Star Book through the Texas Library Association, something else that baffles me.
Addie is a super-hacker that is having trouble readjusting to life with her family. She was brainwashed by her kidnapper, who is also trying to bring down the government. While I can suspend some disbelief for the terrible tropes, Addie hacks into the U.S. Government in just a few minutes. Most of the plot seems to be crafted for the sake of moving the story along, not for any particular theme or characterization.
The only scene I liked in the novel was one towards the end when Addie’s dad saves her life. She realizes that he loves his daughter and doesn’t just see her as a political tool. This was by far the best scene in the novel, even if it was just as unrealistic as the rest of it.
Let me start by saying that love the cover of The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. I think it represents the content perfectly: shiny and youthful. There wasn’t a lot of weight or substance to this novel, but if you like the mindless Gossip Girl style or you are looking for a ‘palate cleanser’, then this is a great novel to read next.
It follows the stories of five different teenaged characters that live in a 1000-story tower. It seems like they are mostly ignorant of each other, but as the novel progresses, their stories are more and more intertwined. The novel starts with all of the main characters on the roof of the tower and then a girl drops to her death. Then it backtracks to how all of them got there.
I think that this novel will make a great teen movie or TV show. I could easily see it on Freeform or The CW. Plus, I saw the author at TeenBookCon in Houston and she said that a sequel will be coming out in August 2017. She also said that in the sequel, another character dies, even connecting it to Game of Thrones.
There is a shadow of diversity in this one. One of the main elite girls is at least queer, but indeterminately so, and several of the characters are people of color. As for the feminist perspective, there wasn’t anything that stood our to me as markedly feminist or anti-feminist. Overall, this book was bland and perfectly consumable all around.