Towering by Alex Flinn

Towering by Alex Flinn

Release Date: May 14, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen
Rated: YA 14+
Format: Paperback
Source: Publisher
Buy: AmazonThe Book Depository

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 was really ecstatic when given the opportunity to review Towering because I love fairytale retellings and I adored Alex Flinn's A Kiss in Time. So far as I know, I haven't actually seen a retelling for Rapunzel, which is one story I read growing up. Hearing about this made me super excited to finally have the chance to read this one.
However, I found that I came out of reading this with two minds. On one hand, I liked some of the aspects of the book, but on the other, there were some things which I just did not enjoy at all.

One thing that I really appreciated when reading Towering was how much it stuck to the original story of Rapunzel– at least the tale I read when I was younger. I found bits and pieces of the initial elements playing significant roles in this novel. It was great to see how much can come out of the short story and create this great main frame. Yet, I thought that this only lasted for maybe two-thirds of the book, because the last part of the book just got very bizarre and strange. The plot I felt went a little off, just in order to get the main plot details in place and to tie up the story. The book ended very strangely and I thought it should have and definitely could have had a better ending.
Another thing I enjoyed was the mystery and the aura of suspense that came with Dani's diary entries. I couldn't have possibly guessed the events that were to come and I thought that this was achieved very well in the story. There was even a bit of Wuthering Heights in the book which created even more spookiness in this novel. I found this a great aspect and thought it carried well throughout.

I also liked the development and personalities of the two main characters, Rachel and Wyatt. I thought that the switch between two perspectives was very effective in telling the story, with the addition of Dani's diary entries, and that I loved learning to know more about our two main protagonists. I especially enjoyed Rachel's character because I found her very different from other heroines – she has this certain classical-ness to her character, like someone out of Little Women
What I didn't like about the interaction though was that the romance was insta-love. They meet once and then, POOF! they're already in love. It's pretty much making out after the first hellos. I just thought that the romance didn't have enough time to bloom and for more genial feelings for each other to appear, and instead landed up with the characters making up their minds in a couple seconds about how they feel about one another. It just didn't seem as realistic as I'd hoped for.

I hope that this is just a minor blimp on my Alex Finn reading experience, because I've heard wonderful things about her other novels. Nonetheless, I still think that Towering has a wonderful premise and is a unique take on Rapunzel. I will be on the hunt for more of Flinn's books as they are magical and all have one-of-a-kind story lines!

▪ ▪ ▪ Thank you so much to Sarah from HarperCollins for sending a copy for review! ▪ ▪ ▪

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1 comment:

  1. Towering looks REALLY good! I'm going to add it to my TBR list.


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