Contemporary, Fiction, Middle Grade

Review: Floors by Patrick Carman

Floors book cover
Image from Bay Schools

Title: Floors (Floors #1)

Author: Patrick Carman

Genre: Contemporary

There’s no place on earth quite like the Whippet Hotel. Each floor has its own wacky design – and its own secrets. The guests are mad and/or mysterious. And ducks are everywhere. Leo Fillmore should know everything there is to know about the Whippet Hotel – he is the janitor’s son, after all. But a whole lot of mystery gets thrown his way when four cryptic boxes are left for him…boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and an unexpected friend or two. Leo sets off on the ride of his life without ever leaving the hotel. But as the Whippet starts falling apart, the only thing Leo knows for sure is the future of the Whippet Hotel depends on him.

I picked this up on the premise of something lighthearted, fun, and a little off-the-wall. That, and I was pretty sure I recognized the author’s name from somewhere. Couldn’t remember where – still can’t – but I trusted him to deliver something good.

I completely enjoyed Leo. He knew (or thought he knew) all the little tricks and intricacies of the Whippet, and he really loved the quirky hotel. He was willing to kinda-sorta disobey and all sorts of other stuff to save it. And I loved watching him go on maintenance runs just so I could see what zany room would show up next.

Remi was fun. A little slow at times, sure, but he made up for it in enthusiasm and loyalty. I think he was twelve, but he seemed more like a sweet eight-year-old to me.

I had fun with the storyline. Leo finds a box, and that box makes him go on an adventure and promises three more boxes. Plus the hotel is coming apart at the seams (leading to more maintenance work) and there’s some lovely hints that someone has it in for the Whippet. But the real reason I enjoyed this story so much wasn’t the plot, exactly.

Okay, the Whippet was the best part of the story, hands down. I loved the sheer insanity of it. A room full of ponds complete with fish, a room full of baked goods, replaced daily for freshness, a room that’s a miniature of Central Park, a room full of holographic farm animals. There was always something zany somewhere on the page, just waiting to be discovered. I really wish the Whippet was a real place, because I would love to explore.

After the wonderfully happy ending of Floors, I’m not sure what book two will be about. But I’m still up for reading it, since it’s obvious the Whippet has more secrets for Leo to discover.

The Floors series:

  1. Floors
  2. 3 Below
  3. The Field of Wacky Inventions
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