Review: Alex Flinn’s Towering

Dec 6, 2013 by


New York Times #1 bestselling author Alex Flinn reimagined the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast in Beastly and gave a twist to the story of Sleeping Beauty in A Kiss in Time. Now with her gothic and darkly romantic YA novel Towering, Alex Flinn retells the tale of Rapunzel.

When Rachel was taken to live in a tower by a woman she calls Mama, she was excited. She felt like a princess in a castle. But many years later, Rachel knows her palace is really a prison, and begins to plan her escape. She is encouraged by the speed with which her golden hair has been growing. It’s gotten long enough to reach the ground. And she’s begun dreaming of a green-eyed man. Could he be out there in the world? Is he coming to save her? Or will she find a way to save herself?

Alex Flinn is a master at putting fairy tales in the modern world; that said I have to admit that Towering didn’t grab me like the other two did; it wasn’t a problem with the storytelling or characters but with a few plot points.

See, Beastly and A Kiss in Time was modernized so well because Alex, while still using things like witches, made the magic more believable and took out details, like living with fairies or a castle full of invisible servants, that didn’t fit in our world so well. Towering though was made stranger than the traditional tale with a prophecy, ghosts and magic hair.

But where the book really lost me was the romance. Any book that tries to say that the characters are in love before they even meet loses me before the story even gets to begin.

There were parts I really liked though; Rachel and Wyatt playing in the snow was cute (I would have been happier if scenes like this had led up to the romance though); I love that the book touched on subjects like what would you really do in a world crisis and why you don’t stay silent when you know someone’s in trouble; and the scene where Wyatt explained his past, oh that made me cry.

I think the main problem with this book is that it’s marketed to the wrong audience; yes it’s a retelling of Rapunzel but it reads more as a paranormal romance than as a fairy tale; something that made it lose a lot of points for me but would probably make it more enjoyable to others.

Conclusion: I still love Alex Flinn and her writing style but I think fans of Twilight will enjoy this more than fans of Tangled.

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