Monday, April 15, 2013

Book Review: Towering

Release Date: May 14, 2013
Author: Alex Flinn
Publisher: HarperTeen
Length: 304 pages

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!


Protagonists: This book is, at first, told from three perspectives, Rachel, a girl who's bee locked in a tower most of her life, Wyatt, a boy who leaves his town to escape his problem, and Dani, a girl who disappeared seventeen years ago, (or at least her diary.) I love multiple narrators as I feel I get to experience more to the story than I can with just one narrator or even a third person perspective. However three perspectives soon is cut down to two, as Dani's diary only contains a few entries. I would have liked a few more entries from her diary but the other narrators still provided a larger view of the story, so I wasn't too disappointed.

Romance: The other two narrators, Rachel and Wyatt, have a fated relationship which means that their romance is the insta-love sort. Now I'm not necessarily opposed to insta-love, and romances like this one are partly the reason why. On my insta-love relationships there doesn't feel like there's a connection witht he characters, or that it feels forced, however this one is different. Sure, the characters moved a bit fast in what they said and how they felt about each other, but it felt almost natural for them to feel that way as opposed to other romances I've read.

World-Building: One of the things that drew me to this book, and many other books by Alex Flinn, was that it's a fairy tale re-telling/interpretation/imagining. One of the things I've always loved is seeing my favorite stories with a twist, and this is no different. One of the things I was cautious about though was how the author would reinterpret some events, such as the lesser known part of Rapunzel where her father steals a rare plant, (I believe a turnip) called a Rapun, from his neighbor's, the witch's, garden, for his wife's extreme pregnancy craving and for his thievery he must give up his yet to be born daughter. The way it was handled and included was pretty spectacular. I have to say it was one of the highlights of the book. How the rest is re-imagined was handled with care as well and the twists to it were like a cherry (or whatever topping you prefer) on top of a sundae.

Predictability: I have to say that while there were parts of this story that I figured out early on, there were also parts that caught me off-guard. Some of the biggest being how they handled the character only known for most of the book as "Mama" who takes the place of "the witch" from Rapunzel. The other twists that caught me off-guard weren't necessarily attached to the original tale but to the story itself. There were some things that I felt would happen, that never did and a few things that were told out of the blue with no foreshadowing previously.

Ending: This had a great ending, however I felt like there were a things missing. These things weren't things that I felt would solicit a sequel, but just things that weren't actually explained. Such as, how (insert spoiler here) happened, or what happened to a character from the past that's been referenced in the present but where he is now and what he's doing isn't said at all. Now these things aren't bad per se, however I felt that adding them would have added a bit more intrigue and wouldn't leave a reader feeling like they're missing something.


I was so close to giving this book 5 crests, however I wouldn't feel right as there are a few things that I just couldn't get past. Mainly feeling as though there was something missing from the story. That being said this is a great book and if you haven't read the other fairy tale retelling from Alex Flinn never fear as this book won't spoil them not them this.

P.S. If you haven't entered my latest giveaway to win a copy of Goddess (Starcrossed #3) by Josephine Angelini you can do so by heading on over to my Giveaways/Contests page.