AUTHOR: Alex Flinn
PUBLICATION DATE: May 14, 2013
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers
PAGES: 304 pages
RATING: 3 stars
Towering is a retelling of Rapunzel. Rachel has lived her whole life in a tower, guarded by Mama, not her real mama, of course. But she says that her real mama was murdered and Rachel must stay hidden in the tower because those people might still be out there to harm her as well. Wyatt’s life is in desperate need of change. He’s mom decides the best thing for him is to ship him off to this little town in the middle of nowhere to live with her teenage best friend’s mother. But when Wyatt arrives, he is immediately plagued by ghosts and strange voices that sing to him that no one else can hear. Drawn by the beautiful voice, Wyatt sets off to find its origin and stumbles across Rachel’s tower. Then they are off to fulfill Rachel’s destiny of saving the town.
Let me just preface this review with two statements.
Statement A: This is just MY OPINION and I hope that everyone else’s opinion differs.
Statement B: This is the type of review I dread writing because I was looking forward to reading this so much and am so disappointed with it.
I was overjoyed when I got approved for this eARC. I have adored all of Alex Flinn’s previous fairy tale retellings and couldn’t wait to dive into this one. Rapunzel isn’t my favorite fairy tell, but I loved the recent Disney retelling and was overly excited to see Alex weave her magic….but it just fell flat for me. Both Rachel and Wyatt (all of the characters actually) seemed extremely one dimensional. The plot twist was extremely predictable and the whole story just felt a little blah to me. Then, once you get towards the end and the prophecy starts to unfold, it just all seemed too farfetched to believe. Crazy, right? It’s a fairy tale retelling and those are always rather fanciful and I never have a hard time buying into it, but not this one.
With Wyatt, again, he felt extremely one dimensional. His recent past has a major tragedy and I truly sympathize and cannot imagine going through something similar, but the whole thing with Astrid on New Years and not feeling anything and then Rachel magically inspires feelings upon first meeting her? Instalove. Ugh. I was also irritated because Josh goes out of his way in the beginning to be nice to Wyatt and invite him out and stuff and Wyatt just basically forgets about him once he meets Rachel. I HATE that quality. Yes I realize your significant other is extremely important to you, but they shouldn’t become your entire life! You’ll end up with Bella Swan syndrome if they leave you. X_X
Then there was Rachel, who I just couldn’t get behind at all. One on hand, hurray for having a YA heroine who saves the guy in the end instead of the other way around, but she just felt as blah to me as Wyatt. She didn’t illicit much of an emotional response from me, even when doing dangerous things. The only thing about her that I liked is I found her lack of knowledge of the outside world amusing. The only character that felt fully fleshed out was Mrs Greenwood because we get to see all different sides to her, the mother, the protector, the sad old lady, and so on. I felt pretty bad for her.
The plot was predictable, the writing felt bland, and I am just wholly disappointed. I don’t know if I feel this way because I’ve changed or if it truly is a step down from the level of awesomeness that was A Kiss In Time and Bewitching. I know I’ve stepped away from YA lately, reading more NA, and I really hope that that’s why I didn’t love this like I wanted to. I hope everyone else reads it and adores it as much as her previous works. So my advice for everyone is just give it a try, hopefully you’ll love it.
****Thank you to Harper Teen, An Imprint Of HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an eARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review****