by Alex Flinn
Genre: YA Fairytale Retelling
Format: ARC received from Around the World ARC Tours, in exchange for my honest review. I do not get to keep the book.
Midnight Minute: Rachel is placed in a tower, told she is in danger from people who would harm her. Will true love and super long hair save her?
Expected Publication: 05.14.13
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!
~ I love fairytale re-tellings, and I’ve enjoyed Beastly and Bewitching, but this book was seriously all over the place. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because I found most of the story quite compelling, but there was one element I could have done without.
~ Flinn plays fast and loose with the timing and setting of the book, but I’m okay with that. Even though I figured out some of the twists and connections, this was still a fast read. I wasn’t bored, even when my belief was stretched beyond it’s comfort zone.
~ The chapters alternate from Rachel, to Wyatt, to Dani’s diary. Wyatt narrates most of it though, because really, Rachel’s in the tower growing hair. I think the decision to not focus on just the Rapunzel character was a good one. I would have liked more of Dani’s diary though, as she wasn’t as fleshed out as Wyatt and Rachel.
~ The woman raising Rachel, known to her only as Mama, rescued her and keeps her safe from the people who murdered Rachel’s real mother. Somehow Rachel accepts this and doesn’t waterboard Mama for information like I might have been tempted to do. Maybe my sense of curiosity is overdeveloped or Rachel was brought up to be far more trusting and faithful than I was. Oh, who am I kidding? Rachel is a better person than I will ever be.
~ After Rachel encounters a young woman who attempts to yank some of her hair out, Mama moves her to the tower, and cuts her hair off.
~ I have to give Flinn credit for imagination in her re-telling- the magic that is Rachel’s hair is unique and definitely left me questioning what was going to happen.
~ We are introduced to Wyatt, who is on his way to rural New York to live with a family friend. He’s going to be attending online school, and his past is a bit murky, but there are hints of tragedy.
~ Wyatt stays with Celeste, who was mother to Dani, friend to Wyatt’s mom. At first Celeste seems like she’s going to be some crazy Miss Havisham, still not over her daughter’s disappearance, but she’s actually really sweet.
~ Wyatt finds Dani’s diary from before she disappeared, and his narrative is interrupted by her entries.
~ There seems to be quite a bit missing persons in Slakkill, NY, which reminded me of the town the boys move to in The Lost Boys, only without the cool boardwalk and hot vampires. There’s a lot going on here, but there are no vampires.
~ According to Goodreads, this book is part of the Kendra series, but I assure you it isn’t. Nothing is mentioned on the author’s site, and Kendra does not make an appearance.
~ Wyatt is reading Wuthering Heights, and at least during that first night at Celeste’s house, his story mirrors Lockwood’s experience.
~ Secrets can kill, which is something that both I and Wyatt can agree on. Keeping secrets when maybe we shouldn’t can also lead to a life of regret and sadness.
~ Flinn has Wyatt visit a local store, because his grandfather taught him to patronize local stores. This is so true, ya’ll. I love Amazon and everything, but I still try to buy books at local bookstores when I can. And yes, I know it’s possible to buy things other than books. Sometimes I buy magnets that have book quotes on them.
~ At some point the book mentions something that sounds like psychotic lettuce, which is currently legal in Colorado and Washington. Just kidding.
~ Back to Rachel and her tower. I love that she gets most of her knowledge of the outside world from books. That’s how I learned about pretty much everything when I was a kid. Of course, my isolation was self-imposed, but still, it counts.
~ I would have really loved more of Dani and Zach’s romance in the diary- I really felt that it could have been more fleshed out.
~ Wyatt keeps hearing a woman singing in the woods, which is creepy.
~ Rachel’s hair is growing again, this time super fast! Also she discovers that she has power beyond the ability to star in a Garnier commercial.
~ I did enjoy how connected everyone was, although again, I saw it coming.
~ I did not see the connection to the reason behind Rachel’s imprisonment, mostly because I felt that it was too weird. Yes, even for me.
~ Rachel is a lot stronger than most fairytale heroines, and does quite a bit of life-saving herself.
~ Things I loved: Mrs. Greenwood being a big Trekkie, the legend of the singing ghost: a woman murdered my her faithless lover who can only be heard by those who have experienced heartbreak, and Wyatt.
~ Thing I didn’t love: Rhapsody.
~ The ending was a bit cheesy, but I opened up a bottle of wine and quite enjoyed the two of them paired together, so I’m not complaining.
Wyatt- our tormented hero.
Dani- a disappeared daughter.
Celeste- Dani’s mom and Wyatt’s landlord.
Mama- Rachel’s guardian, kind of locks her in a tower.
Josh- local friend that Wyatt makes.
Zach- Dani’s mysterious secret lover.
Tyler- Wyatt’s best friend from Long Island.
Nikki- Tyler’s sister, Wyatt’s former crush.
Jerry- local who’s daughter disappeared, is a little mental because of it.
Henry- owner of the Red Fox.
Carl- Henry’s brother, friend of Zach.
Suzie- Jerry’s missing daughter.
This wasn’t my favorite Flinn book, but it was still a fast, fun read. I would probably recommend Beastly or Bewitching before this one, but if you can handle your fairy tales re-imagined, then you could do worse than to spend an afternoon with this book. I just wish it hadn’t had the one story line and had focused more on Wyatt’s past trauma and Rachel’s strength.
Alex Flinn — Website |Alex Flinn
Towering gets a Midnight Book Rating of: