Towering by Alex Flinn

Published by Harper Teen 

3 out of 5 stars 

Format: Egalley (Available 14 May 2013 in a variety of formats)

I love a good fairytale retelling, emphasis on the good. There are some corkers out there. I’m not familiar with Flinn’s tales, although I’ve seen the Beastly movie which I presume was based on her book (not a great advertisement in all honestly), but Flinn appears to be the ‘hero’ of fairytale retelling the YA genre – or so the critics would have you believe.

Towering is of course a rapunzel retelling, set in modern day US. Rachel is Rapunzel, a golden haired beauty trapped in a tower with a women she calls (but knows she isn’t) Mama. Wyatt (nope can’t get past the stupid – charmed inspired name, sorry) is trying to escape a loss, and Dani went missing seventeen years ago. Their stories intertwine, lead by Rachel and Wyatt’s POV the book takes the reader on a journey of mystery, mega instalove and discovery.

I was a little surprised to read a male POV more or less straight off (chapter 2 I think), in a story that is all about the long haired beauty, so I was pleased it was taking another direction so quickly. Wyatts opening chapters were pretty damn familiar, I had to check I wasn’t reading a Withering Heights re-write – nope definitely Rapunzel, WTF? Oh wait, a few pages later Flinn acknowledges the WH storyline – thats ok then……it does start to make some sense but still a little weird and out of place.

Wyatt’s a bit blah. His character has the depth of a frying pan, he’s also a little wet and there were several times I felt he needed a slap. Rachel’s not much better, and the instalove is outstanding, I didn’t realize the phrase ‘I love you’ could be used more than it was in Twiglet. But it has been. In truth – the whole set up was ridiculous, I suppose thats the problem with bringing rapunzel into the 20th century, the likelihood of a tower being undiscovered for so long, just isn’t believable – maybe in the arctic but in the US? nah….its the same issue that Rapunzel Untangled faced, and there’s nothing really new here.

The book got a solid 3 stars from me, it was nothing spectacular, I enjoyed it but won’t remember it in a few weeks.  Much like Marr’s Cinder – I was expecting more from the hype surrounding the author, but nothing I’ve read her threatens Jackson Pearce’s position on the pedestal of retellings (for me anyway).

EGalley kindly provided by Edelweiss and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.


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