Monthly Archives: July 2013

Towering by Alex Flinn

Goodreads Summary: 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’m quite sure I’ve mentioned this before; multiple times. But it warrants repeating. I absolutely adore Alex Flinn. Each time I read a new book of hers I think I couldn’t possibly love it as much as the previous one. And once again she’s proved me wrong. Towering may be one of my favorites of hers for a few different reasons. One: it’s a fairytale adaptation which is an auto-buy subject of mine. What I love about Flinn’s adaptations is that they’re modern versions. It seems like that would be difficult to accomplish but I think she excels. She changes so many details in order to make it work better in modern times but also to make it her own unique story, and still manages to retain the themes from the originals.
I had no idea how she’d manage to convince me that a girl could be locked in a tower in the middle of nowhere. It turns out it took two things: murderous drug dealers and one very eccentric and paranoid old woman. These twists were ones I absolutely did not see coming and I ended up loving them. It was something new and different that I haven’t seen in a fairytale.
I couldn’t even begin to describe how much I admire Flinn’s ability to incorporate modern themes and technology with magic and happily-ever-after love into a story that sucks you in and makes you fall in love with the characters. One-dimensional characters were something that always left me feeling that fairytales were incomplete. I love that in these stories I get to see the characters as individuals and not just a couple who meet and fall in love instantly. The details and background gives more life to the story and I think they’re the reason I’m so infatuated with these books.
Sometimes I thought Rachel was just silly and spoiled. A girl who did what she was told because she was afraid to think for herself; and then she did. When the moment came for Rachel to act against Mama’s wishes for the good of someone else, Rachel doesn’t hesitate. She’s terrified and knows she’s risking so much to leave her tower, but she’s such a strong character that she pushes all her fear aside in order to save a strangers life. I didn’t realize who Rachel really was until that moment and it made me admire her character so much. And as soon as she understands what she can accomplish when she thinks and acts for herself, she doesn’t hold back and becomes the heroine I hadn’t expected her to be.
As for Wyatt, sometimes I loved him and sometimes I didn’t. I really enjoyed seeing all the reasons he’s the person he is. At the beginning he seemed a bit like a jerk. I thought he was an annoying teenager who’s moody for the sake of it but once I saw events from his past and occasionally the present, I could understand who he was better and that knowledge gave me such compassion for him. He couldn’t save someone in his past and that makes him think he needs to save Rachel when she’s the one who needs to save him.
The only thing I really didn’t like about this book was the love at first sight. I didn’t completely hate it. It’s something I almost expect from fairytales and I think Flinn gave enough reasons i.e. their mental connection, their personalities, and the life threatening first meeting, for it to be plausible in a fairytale. However, I would’ve liked it better if it didn’t seem quite so much like they were just blindly doing it.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. When I was looking at other reviews for it, I was completely taken aback at how many people didn’t like it. I respect everyone’s opinions, but it seemed like most people’s reasons for not liking it were that it was unrealistic. You know what I have to say to that? It’s SUPPOSED TO BE. It’s fiction. In my opinion, fiction isn’t meant to be realistic. It’s meant to be relatable, yes. But the last time I checked, Towering didn’t fall under the genre Realistic Fiction. It’s just Young-Adult Fiction. As far as I’m concerned, it means it’s probably going to be implausible and that’s something I’ve always especially liked about fiction. That’s what makes it entertaining. I’m not saying everyone’s opinions are wrong. Just try to lighten up, guys. It’s not a textbook. There is no one right answer.
I would love to know what you thought of this book. Also, I am so sincerely sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve had a lot going on and just haven’t made the time for it. I will try as hard as I can to post more regularly.
-Antonia