Book Review: Towering

Towering (Kendra Chronicles #3)
Published By: HarperTeen
Publication Date: May 14, 2013
Page Count: 304
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher

Towering is a re-imagining of Rapunzel, which I enjoyed reading a lot. I haven’t read the original story in a long time, and I don’t think that watching Disney’s Tangled really counts... still, I was familiar with the premise... a girl awaits rescue in a tall tower, far far away from anyone except the old woman who visits her with food and likes to brush her remarkable hair. I was well primed with what to expect, and I think those preconceptions actually helped Alex Flinn surprise me with a nice plot twist later on.

Rachel (Rapunzel) was a likable girl, and very forgiving considering she had spent as long as she can remember locked away in a tower. She spends her days singing, reading classic literature and gazing out her windows. I felt at that if her ‘Mama’ had given her more modern books to read then she might have been a little feistier about her imprisonment, but she remained meek and mild. It only occurred to her that she was even a prisoner a while into Towering; until then she had totally swallowed the story that ‘Mama’ had fed her, wherein Rachel had to be hidden for her own good from the people who murdered her mother.

Wyatt was a good guy, and played the princely rescuer part well; I especially liked that he was an outsider city boy. I didn’t find him especially swoonsome, but he was dependable and thoughtful. He arrived in the wintery Adirondacks with a fairly sketchy back story, and I was quite well convinced that he was a bad boy. But then he gradually won me over as he unwound his mysterious story, and I felt really very sorry for him. He wasn’t a bad boy at all; he was a very upset good boy who had lost his best friend and girlfriend in a horrible way. He blamed himself a lot, and it was only when he told Rachel about it that he started to forgive himself. He had to learn a hard life lesson about standing up and saying something which I hope many will never have to learn. In this respect, I really enjoyed the message delivered in Towering; it is up to Rachel to rescue herself, and she finds her hidden strength through her blossoming relationship with Wyatt. They both learn what it is to be heroic, and save each other.

I have read all Alex Flinn’s fractured fairytales now, and Towering makes another charming addition to the collection. I think I still favor Beastly and A Kiss In Time, but Towering would make a lovely gift for a younger reader, still entranced by fairytales while growing up in a more skeptical age. 

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!


  1. Ooh nice! I was debating about this one. I love a good fairy tale retelling but haven't read any of his books. Although I think if I were to try to read Beastly now, I'd keep picturing that HSM chick who I cannot stand. The downside to books turned movies! I know that's the reason why my sister read through all the Twilight books before she saw the movie.

    Nice review!

    1. Maybe start with A Kiss In Time then, avoiding the issues of movie casting spoiling books!!

      Thanks for commenting! :D

  2. Yeah, I liked it too. Wyatt was a sweet guy and I found his story sad. The plot twists were intersting :)!



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