Review: Towering by Alex Flinn

Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Age Group: Teen
Source: Publisher through Edelweiss
Good Reads  |  Amazon
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
Release Date: May 14, 2013

Summary from GoodReads:

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. 

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!

My Thoughts

I’m sure it comes as no surprise for me to tell you again that I LOVE fairytale retellings.  I can almost never pass up reading one, and when I heard about Towering by Alex Flinn I knew I had to read it.  I really liked Beastly by Flinn.  It was such an interesting look at Beauty and the Beast told from the “Beast’s” POV.  I can’t say that Rapunzel is my favorite fairytale ever, but I thought Flinn could write a retelling that I would enjoy.  And I did like Towering, although I can’t say I loved it as much as Beastly.

There’s an air of mystery about the main characters, and the town in which this novel is set (Slakill).  I actually quite liked that.  We, the readers, are trying to figure out what happened to Danielle right along with Wyatt, one of the main characters.  Speaking of Wyatt, I liked him a lot.  He’s dealing with some tough experiences, which is why he moved to Slakill to stay with his mother’s friend.  I can’t say I completely got him as a character (his thought process, and reasons for doing things), but for the most part he’s well-developed.

The other main character is Rachel – our Rapunzel.  So yeah, she’s been locked in a tower for years and years.  She’s lonely.  She’s quite brave, even though she’s been locked away from the world for such a long time.  In fact, she does quite a lot of saving in this book.  Girl power!  Again, I’m not sure if her character is as fleshed out as it could have been, but I did like her.

I’m not gonna lie, though.  There is definitely some insta-love going on here.  I know, that’s a bit disappointing to hear for some of you.  It certainly isn’t a dealbreaker for me.  I do wish we were able to see Wyatt and Rachel fall for each other, but I did still like them together.  I could see how they would make a good couple.  I just wish we got to see them realizing they would be good together.  But it is based on a fairytale, and if fairytales aren’t the kings of insta-love, I don’t know what it.

I will say that some things weren’t really cleared up in a way I would like.  The whole Rhapsody thing – well, I had tons of questions about that, but Flinn never did answer them.  And bits of the plot did seem a little far-fetched, but not enough to prevent me from suspending my disbelief.

Towering, overall, was a fun read.  It wasn’t earth shattering, and the characters could have used some more fleshing-out, but it was still enjoyable.  Rapunzel is trickier than most to retell in a modern-day setting, and Flinn does an admirable job.  If you like fairytale retellings, and, moreso, if you like Alex Flinn’s other novels, then give Towering a try.

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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6 Responses to Review: Towering by Alex Flinn

  1. Jeannius says:

    What a beautiful cover, and great review too.

  2. Book Blather says:

    Probably won’t pick this up – insta-love tends to annoy me so much – but I like the sound of all the different plotlines/characters coming together in an interesting way. Great review, thanks!

  3. Hmmm I’m not sure this one would be for me. Between the insta-love and the lack of answers I think it would drive me crazy! I’m happy that despite your issues you were able to enjoy this one overall though. Great review!

  4. I have read a lot of mixed reviews on this one so glad to hear you liked it!

  5. Booksmartie says:

    Happy you liked it! I don’t always love retellings but Flinn hasn’t disappointed me yet. I think she’s awesome at pulling plot strings and making retellings unique. I read her novel Cloaked recently. I don’t think that one is as good as Beastly, either, but Flinn is certainly a talented author!

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