Saturday, April 26, 2014

Book Review: Towering by Alex Flinn

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Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 14th 2013
Genre: Contemporary Fairy Tale Retelling
Source: Library
Find it: Amazon | Goodreads

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.

A #1 New York Times bestselling author, Alex Flinn knows her fairy tales, and Towering is her most mind-bending interpretation yet. Dark and mysterious, this reimagining of Rapunzel will have readers on the edge of their seats wondering where Alex will take them next!

I have a lot of mixed feelings about Towering. Alex Flinn has written several brilliant modern fairy tale retellings, and so when Towering is compared to those (which is something that can’t be helped) it falls flat. A modern Rapunzel tale has so much potential, and unfortunately this just couldn’t deliver.

My biggest problem with the entire book was the remarkably dull characters. They were all pretty two-dimensional. I felt like they were cardboard cut-outs that have had fragments of personality quirks pinned onto them. I wanted to feel for the characters and their plights, but there was no character there! They were also just so slow. There are a handful of mysteries that need solving in the book, and I had them all solved within the first few chapters. It took all the characters the entirety of the book before they even started putting the pieces together. If the answer is staring you in the face and you can’t figure it out, then don’t be surprised if I don’t understand you.

Of course there has to be romance in any Rapunzel story, but the nature of this particular romance was fairly close to the original tale, and that isn’t a good thing in this case. It was just completely dripping  in insta-love. Talk of how they were meant for each other and couldn’t live without each other began after only their first meeting. Really? You can feel a special connection and attraction, but don’t go around labeling it love and making rash, dangerous decisions based on something you don’t even know is real yet.

Despite all that, I did genuinely enjoy the book. It was well-paced and the integration of Rapunzel’s original elements was wonderfully done. Flinn obviously has experience in writing an enjoyable story, and despite its flaws it is a memorable and entertaining story.

See my other Fairy Tale Fortnight posts!


  1. I enjoyed Towering just not as much as some other Rapunzel fairy tale retellings I read.

  2. Yes I couldn't help but compare it to the previous book I had read by Flynn. I agree with all points you said above.

    88dreamers @ Seriesly Reading


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