Towering by Alex Flinn (Book Review)

September 4, 2013 Book Review 1 ★★★

Towering by Alex Flinn (Book Review)Towering by Alex Flinn
Published by HarperTEEN on May 14, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Retelling, Romance
Pages: 293
Format: ARC
Source: From the publisher through Edelweiss
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3 Stars
At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.


Rachel is trapped in a tower, held hostage by a woman she’s always called Mama. Her golden hair is growing rapidly, and to pass the time, she watches the snow fall and sings songs from her childhood, hoping someone, anyone, will hear her.

Wyatt needs time to reflect or, better yet, forget about what happened to his best friend, Tyler. That’s why he’s been shipped off to the Adirondacks in the dead of winter to live with the oldest lady in town. Either that, or no one he knows ever wants to see him again.

Dani disappeared seventeen years ago without a trace, but she left behind a journal that’s never been read, not even by her overbearing mother…until now.

I’ve got a thing for fairytale retellings, and Rapunzel is one of my very favorites! I really love the idea of a prince traversing a high tower to save a girl who has been trapped in there, and has no idea what the world is really like. Towering was a fun, quick retelling with a little mystery and a really pretty setting. As always, my main points are bolded. :)

1. Wyatt is a strong character, and I enjoyed reading about the story from his point of view. He’s been through a very sad thing, and is trying to move on by changing scenery for a little while. He tries to make friends, which is hard since he’s still not quite himself. He keeps hearing a girl singing from far away, and thinks he’s going crazy because nobody else can hear it. He decides to investigate, and finds Rachel. From this point on, he has a mission and a purpose. He wants to save her. He’s no suave Flynn Rider, but I can handle that.

2. Rachel is so naive, it’s annoying. I had to keep reminding myself that her complete isolation has made her this way, and not that she was dreamed up to drive me nuts. What I liked about her is that as you get to know her, you realize she does have a brain. Everything she’s ever known is no so, and she’s not having the hardest time believing it. She will take risks, and she will jump into the unknown if it means she can help people.

3. I also had to keep reminding myself that fairytales usually include instalove. It’s just their nature. And considering the fact that instalove is a requirement of this story, it was handled relatively well. I’m not sure how much of a fan I am of Wyatt and Rachel, but the story stood out more than the romance for me, so I was ok.

4. The story was really interesting. I wondered how Flinn would tackle a modern Rapunzel, but she did it and she did it well. It was modern and believable. And there were twists and turns that I really wasn’t expecting. Flinn didn’t just retell the story, she made it her own. I didn’t particularly care for the drug aspect (yeah, drugs play a huge part in this) of the story, but it was unique.

5. It started off a little slow, but once things got going I was fully invested. I could not wait to learn all the mysteries and see a resolution.

Overall, Towering was a fun little jaunt with some mysteries and hat tips to the original fairytale of Rapunzel. Flinn is a great storyteller, and I always look forward to her fairytales.

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