“A contemporary retelling of Rapunzel told from the alternating perspectives of three teens whose fates unknowingly bind them together to destroy a greater evil”Alex H wrote this review Monday, July 8, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Rachel has been kept away from people as long as she can remember. Mama, who's not really her mother but loves her anyway, keeps her hidden. Rachel needs to be protected from the people who killed her mother. Wyatt is staying in town, and he has demons of his own. He stumbles upon a lost teenagers diary. He soon discovers Rachel's tower and the girl inside. He urges her to come away with him, out of the tower. But she can't go, not yet, first their is something she must do. ”Madddie M wrote this review Saturday, July 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
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Original Rating: 2.5 of 5 Stars
**I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.**
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.”
Two stars: A book with insta love and unanswered questions
Rachel longs to see the outside world. She has spent years trapped in her tower, her only contact with the outside world is Mama. Her friends are the beloved characters from her well worn books. Things begin to change when Wyatt comes to town. Wyatt is recovering from a traumatic experience. His mother sends him to live with her high school friend in the middle of nowhere. Wyatt is soon caught up in a seventeen year old mystery when he uncovers the journal of Dani, the daughter of his hostess Mrs. Greenwood. As Wyatt begins to unravel the mystery, he discovers Rachel trapped in her tower. Together, they work to break a curse that has held the small town hostage. Can Rachel and Wyatt overcome the odds and save the town?
What I Liked:
*I enjoyed the gothic feel to this Rapunzel retelling. It is set in the middle of nowhere in a remote town where it seems time has frozen. The town is without many of the modern conveniences, cell phone reception is sketchy and it is isolated. In the beginning, I was even a bit confused as to the era. This small town has plenty of secrets and there are strange disappearances on a regular basis, but everyone attributes them to runaways. I liked that Ms. Finn manages to capture that creepy atmospheric setting that I totally was not expecting.
*I loved how Ms. Finn wove in many of the classics and there were numerous references to famous books throughout. I enjoyed how Rachel's perspective of life was based on her experience with reading classical literature. It certainly gave her an erroneous perception of modern day life, which at times is funny.
*I appreciated the creative way the author managed to respin Rapunzel. She moves the tale to modern times and adds in a gothic feel, magic and a dangerous drug ring that holds the small town hostage. I was pleased to see some of her clever ideas as she refashioned this old tale.
*I enjoyed the humor in this one. There are some funny lines about being in the middle of nowhere and being attacked by serial killers or zombies. I also liked the Star Trek stuff. I appreciated the humor and a bit of snark, as it was something I wasn't expecting in a romantic fairy tale.
*This is a stand alone novel and I liked that everything wrapped up neatly at the end and that the book did not have a cliffhanger or love triangle.
And The Not So Much:
*Towering, unfortunately was not a good fit for me. This ended up being a case of cover lust gone bad. I have wanted to try this author for awhile as I have heard some good things about her other fairy tale retellings. Even though she does a good job reinventing this old tale, I just felt like it missed the mark. First, the whole romance felt cheesy and it was totally a case of insta love. Now, I can understand that Rachel would immediately be attracted to a handsome boy since she has had no other human contact, but the romance moves immediately into the couple exchanging "I love you" on the second meeting. The author attempts to explain the insta love away by including the idea of destiny and fate as Rachel has been dreaming of Wyatt. However, I did not like the quick pace, nor did I like the use of darling and other old fashioned terms of endearment. Again, I understand that it fits Rachel's character, but to me it just felt ridiculous. I was expecting to be swept away with a lovely romance and it does not happen.
*The plot starts with an interesting mystery and it even incorporates a ghost. I enjoyed the inclusion of the journal the provided some insight into the events that lead up to Rachel being in the tower, but everything doesn't come together cohesively. The plot begins to veer off course as it explores a strange drug ring and mysterious disappearances. Things start moving very rapidly at the end and it goes so fast that I felt like it glossed over important details. I wasn't completely satisfied with some of the explanations, either.
*At the end, I had so many questions. What happened to Rachel's father? Who was Wyatt's father? Where did Rachel's magical powers come from? Why could her hair suddenly start growing out of control? Why were her tears able to heal? How did the brush mysteriously end up in the hardware store? Why was Dani killed? There were far too many loose ends for my taste.
*The book is told through dual point of view narrators: Rachel and Wyatt. I enjoyed the two voice, but I did not like the way the chapters were done. Some chapters were only a page or two and then a new chapter would start, and often it was still in the same voice, why end a chapter and start another? The switching and the short chapters made the book feel choppy.
Towering was a book that had great promise, but fell flat on execution. The romance is rushed and forced. I wanted an epic fairy tale romance and instead I got cheesy insta love. While there are some interesting new ideas in this revision of Rapunzel, it wasn't enough to save the book for me. I seriously need to learn a lesson about cover lusting. Towering is yet another example of a book with a beautiful cover on a less than stellar book.
"The notebook smelled the way old books do, like dust and unrealized potential."
"Then we watched Star Trek, which apparently is on all the time somewhere, if you have five thousand cable channels."
"I relaxed a little more. Zombies didn't usually offer directions back to the Northway. They just ate your brains."
"But she was so beautiful, and somehow, her very strangeness was what I loved about her, that she made me feel less weird. I wondered, maybe, if everyone felt weird sometimes, if they just didn't tell anyone."
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for and honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
Posted @Rainy Day Ramblings.
“Okay, guys, I’ll admit: I really liked “Beastly”, and I’ve had the second of the Kendra books sitting in my TBR pile on Mr. Nook for months now, which I heard was pretty good. So to see another fairyretelling by Flinn coming out made me pretty exciting, especially since “Beastly” put some very creative twists on the original “La Belle et Le Bete” tale. However, it was not to be. “Towering” was disappointing in all technical areas. I can’t even claim it as a guilty pleasure read – that’s how bad it was. Which was incredibly saddening to me, since I haven’t found a really good “Rapunzel” retelling as of yet in YA. Maybe Jackson Pierce will tackle it in her second set of the “Fairy Retelling” trilogies? God I hope so.
Where to start? This had a really promising set of two opening chapters – with Rachel, a girl kidnapped and forced into a tower “for her protection” from the outside by a figure known as Mama, not her real mother, and had some interesting undertones of Stockholm Syndrome to it that really could have been explored, but weren’t. Then we get our male protagonist, Wyatt, and things kind of go downhill from there.
He’s come to stay with friends, and things start getting convoluted. Somehow he stumbles on Rachel (Rapunzel) in her tower, and it’s never really made clear with the house in terms of sensory language and imagery whether Wyatt’s already seen the tower when he shows up. So it’s just kind of nowhere after “hearing singing” does he find Rachel. Uh. Singing, especially as it’s described here as “soft singing”, especially with a reinforced tower and walls, is incredibly hard to follow unless you have canine-grade hearing. Which, apparently, Wyatt does not.
Then there’s insta-love. Cringe.
Add to that ancient prophecies, severe abuse of “The Chosen One” trope, and I was 500% done. I just couldn’t even finish the book. While the ghostly bits were awesome, the rest of the technical areas just weren’t developed. At all. I mean, we’re talking 1D cardboard world and characters bad in terms of development. Even at the ARC stage of things, I was really dismayed at the lack of development in every single technical area. How did this get past the editors? I just..yeah. I rarely go off on books like this, guys, but I just can’t even with this book. I’m not even sure if I can continue to read Flinn’s work if this is the effort she’s going to put into it.
But that’s just how I feel – and yeah, it’s pretty harsh. However! “Towering” is out tomorrow from HarperTeen in North America, so be sure to check it out and come to your own conclusions on the book. I’m eager to hear other opinions and welcome discussion in the comment section below. Give the book a try – it may be your thing. It just sadly wasn’t mine.”
“Wyatt's best friend has recently died. To help him, his mother ships Wyatt off to her childhood town in upstate NY. Wyatt’s mother arranges for him to stay with an elderly woman whose daughter, Dani, has gone missing years ago. From the moment Wyatt enters the Adirondacks he starts hearing a mysterious song. Wyatt discovers a hidden journal belonging to Dani and it was written right before she disappears. He slowly starts to unravel Dani’s past.
Rachel is trapped in a magical tower. She watches the snow fall and sings. No one ever comes to see her except a woman she calls mama. Wishing to experience the outside world she hopes someday to live like everyone she reads about in her books.
This is a dark, young adult, modern retelling of Rapunzel's story. Towering is definitely takes a unique twist this well known fairy tale. I found the story a slow starter that built as it went along. The story switches between Rachel and Wyatt’s perspective, with more time given to Wyatt since Rachel is trapped in a tower. The connection is almost instant love, which I guess works for the fairy tale take. I liked reading Towering, this distinctive fairy tale adaptation was positively worth reading.
This ARC copy of Towering was given to me by HarperTeen in exchange for a honest review. Publication Date May 14, 2013.”