Title: Towering (Kendra Chronicles #3) [Goodreads][Amazon]
Author: Alex Flinn
Release Date: May 14, 2013
In My Opinion: Worth a try!
One Line: Not as great a retelling as I was hoping for, but it was okay.
About the Book: 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.
I really wanted to like Towering a lot more than I did. I have to admit, this wasn’t one of my favorites from Flinn. You have to know right from the start that Kendra does not make any appearances in this book at all. I was seriously expecting her to show in some way, shape, or form since this is part of the Kendra Chronicles. I loved Kendra in Beastly and Bewitched and was deeply disappointed that Flinn couldn’t somehow weave her character into the story. That being said, Towering is a modern, yet magical take on Rapunzel that has some entertaining points, but in the end, fell kind of flat for me.
I think the plot itself was pretty interesting as it centers around this mystery of missing teens and a possible murder. Wyatt is shipped off here after a tragic incident that happened to his best friend, which shattered his world. Even though the story is told from both Wyatt and Rachel POVs (and a little bit of Dani’s), there was definitely more of Wyatt’s perspective than anything else. I didn’t really care too much for Wyatt and Rachel’s relationship as it was pretty much insta-love. Everything kind of fell together too well and too quickly in a cute, fairy-tale way, which I suppose, is how the story should be, but I just expected a bit more angst and realism from Flinn than what I got.
There were some plot holes that bugged me though like how we don’t really know anything about Rachel’s father. Maybe he’s not significant to the story so Flinn doesn’t include him, but I still would’ve like to know what his thought process. He basically just comes, impregnates Rachel’s mother, and then leaves. That’s it and we never hear from or of him again. That irritated me a lot. There was also no substance to Wyatt and Rachel’s relationship. They’re supposed to have this ethereal connection and we kind of get that and are supposed to believe it without any real explanation. They were both a bit too naive and immature to me and it didn’t fit with depth of the love they were trying to portray to the reader. Flinn also doesn’t go into enough detail with Rachel’s hair. She does explain, somewhat, why it grows like it does, but I just don’t think it was enough or that enough emphasis was put into describing Rachel more.
One thing I did like about the story overall, was that I never could really tell who “Mama” was. There are so many factors that come into play in Rachel’s story and as things progress, I kept thinking it was this person, then it was that person, but then thinking maybe not. It was good that Flinn kept me guessing until close to the end.
Towering is a decent retelling of Rapunzel and I liked how Flinn keeps the core of the fairy tale in the story, even if some of the details were mediocre. I was as invested with this story as Flinn’s previous works and there were definitely moments where I starting to lose interest in the story, but it was still an okay read. I think that things didn’t mesh well enough between the magical and modern aspects of the story. Add that to the fact that I couldn’t really connect with the characters, overall, I was a bit disappointed and highly underwhelmed.