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!
As a lover of classic volumes of fairy tales, I appreciated that TOWERING reads like a classic fairy tale in both tone and pacing. The story is given to us through the perspectives of both Rachel and Wyatt. The author does an excellent job of making the characters' voices distinct. Rachel, who has been in her tower for most of her life and whose only education has come from reading classics speaks and thinks in a very formal, classical style whereas Wyatt has a modern voice. Readers will enjoy the juxtaposition, even as Rachel leaves her tower and experiences modern life while still employing her classical interpretation of the world around her.
The suspense is also well done. From the beginning, the reader wonders who to trust. Every character, even Wyatt, has a secret, and that makes for delicious late-night page turning.
Readers will also enjoy the characters of both Rachel and Wyatt. Both are unique from each other and are fully realized in back story, voice, and motivation. The emotional journey each takes feels like it only skims the surface of what each character's past deserved, and readers who enjoy a deeper emotional connection with characters might feel cheated, but readers who are in it for the plot and characters they can cheer for will be fans.
What Left Me Wanting More:
In addition to wanting a more fully realized emotional journey for each of the characters, the ending left me confused. There's a sense all throughout the story that magic is being employed (and has been since the beginning) but the end felt chaotic and rushed, and left me confused instead of satisfied. I often lost my place visually in the scenes, the magical elements weren't explained, and the villains and their motivation came out of left field and weren't fully explained either. Readers who appreciate a strong finish with all questions answered in a stand alone novel may want more from the ending.
With distinct characters and a heaping dose of suspense, TOWERING will keep readers who enjoy a quick, undemanding story turning pages far into the night.
I really enjoyed the early parts of this book with the mysteries of who they are and what put them in this situation, etc. The last quarter of the book got a little strange. I won't say why so as not to include spoilers, but it really seemed disconnected from the first part of the book- fantasy changed into something different. I'm torn between giving 3 or 4 stars because I loved the first 75% but could have done with a different ending.
Such is the case with Towering.
This book opens on a girl, Rachel, trapped in a tower. The only thing she knows of the world is what she has learned within the pages of her books. She knows nothing of the outside world except that there are dangerous men who with to harm. Rachel's only companion is woman she called Mama who is not actually her mother at all since her mother was killed by the men Rachel is not running from. Eventually she starts to dream about a mysterious boy with green eyes who will rescue her and free her from her tower.
Wyatt came to Slakkill to avoid his past. He has faced a great tragedy that has completely wracked his world and caused him to question his mere existence. He moves in with an elderly lady named Mrs. Greenwood and hopes that the quiet of this desolate town will give him a fresh outlook on life. However, this slow town is anything but. He encounters dreamland ghosts and hears soft singing that no one else seems able to hear. With curiosity peaked, he sets out to find the source of the weirdness he is encountering.
Wyatt and Rachel enter into an unusual romance of a captive girl with fast growing hair and a emotionally dead boy. Between them they seek to set themselves free from the chains that bind them and they know that they are the only two that can help the other.
This book was a retelling of sorts I have never seen. It stuck to the core of the story of Repunzel but elaborated on it and set it in modern time. Does a girl with ever growing hair living in a town seem plausible? No, but fantasy books are not MEANT to be plausible. They are meant to be thrilling, riveting, and fun. Mission accomplished.
The romance between Wyatt and Rachel was a bit hard to swallow. I love a good romance, but I have noticed in a lot of the books I have read recently, these grand confessions of love. It's a bit tedious. I can only hear "I loved you from the first moment I saw you. You're so beautiful. You complete me. I can't live without you" so many times before it just feels forced. While the romance aspect of the book seemed a bit... sappy, I enjoyed the book anyway. But then again, I enjoy everything I read by Alex Flinn. She is a master of fairytales that would rival Hans Christian Anderson and the Brothers Grimm.
Towering is a story of captivity of the soul as well as the body. It is a book that brings it's reader back to the childhood tale of Repunzel they grew up knowing and brings it to the present. Towering is a must read for fairytale buffs everywhere.
Review Posted on: http://www.ladybugliterature.blogspot.com
I like reading fairytale re-tellings. It's very interesting to find out how an author can take a new spin on an old tale, how some ideas can allude to the legends. In Towering, Rachel is the main protagonist (Rapunzel) while Wyatt is the prince who (is supposed to) saves her. Of course, it doesn't work out that way and this tale is happening in the present times.
The book began well - new guy, mysterious town, hearing voices, creepy old lady. By the half of the book, I was falling in love with the story. It had merit, but in the second half things started to go downhill. The romance between Wyatt and Rachel was rushed. I agree, they were destined for each other but really?
Alex Flinn is the author of two of my all time favourite fairy tale re-tellings,A Kiss In Time and Bewitching.While I didn't like Beastly much even though it was the book which made her popular among YA lovers,the two aforementioned titles managed to impress me, enough for me to put her in my "top modern re-telling authors of all time" list.(Yes,I actually have a list like that conjured up somewhere in my mind)
So after Bewitching, it was quite natural that I'd have high hopes for Towering right?Even though I saw a few negative feedbacks from some of my most trusted bloggers,I didn't let that waver my enthusiasm.After all,I know quite a few people who didn't like A Kiss In Time at all but that didn't stop me from loving every minute of it!But sadly,that was not the case with this one.For me,it was one of those books which I was trying too hard to like but then,after remembering the real reason why I actually read books,stopped trying and just let myself go with the flow.The idea of the story itself was great,but I just felt that it wasn't utilized enough to make the story enjoyable as a whole.
The characters,on the other hand,were a bit better portrayed in comparison to the storytelling.But again,just like I mentioned before,they were still not utilized enough.It's a bit like when you make a dish with your own recipe but forget to put in the secret key ingredient which gives the dish its spark.So it just turns out to be plain and a bit bland as well. THAT,is exactly how I felt when reading Towering,like I was biting onto a steak which had all its juice leaked out.You get what I mean right?
There isn't much more to say about Towering seeing that I didn't like the book and since I try to avoid snark in most of my reviews,I prefer to keep them short and simple when they're negative.However,if you would really like to get your hands on a good Rapunzel re-telling,I'd suggest that you try Rapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett.Even though it was a relatively shorter read and comes from a smaller publisher,it is an absolutely adorable and a wonderfully refreshing story.
However,if you're still willing to give Towering a shot,I'll be having a giveaway soon.It will probably be a giveaway with one of my upcoming reviews of another Harper title where you will have to order that title to enter as your main entry but I'm not sure yet.But check back on the blog from time to time if you're interested.