Thursday, June 20, 2013

Book Review: Towering

by  Alex Flinn
Date Read:  6/20/2013

Rating:  ★ ★

I came into this with pretty high expectations.  First, I have loved all the other Alex Flinn novels that I’ve read.  Second, Rapunzel is one of my favorite stories (especially Tangled!!).  But unfortunately this book fell short of my expectations.

First, it was really hard to connect with Rachel.  For about the first half of the book, she only had like 3 chapters from her POV.  This kept throwing me off because she is the title character.  Obviously she was the one who was going to save the day – whatever needed saving anyway.  But I hardly knew her.  And I also always find it hard to connect with characters that have never experienced the world.  I get bored with characters in which everything is new to them.  I get bored with other characters having to explain things to them.  So once Wyatt and Rachel met, I was also mostly bored because he had to explain things to her.

The beginning was also very hard to follow.  Or not really follow, but to see how everything was going to connect. The beginning seemed so far off from a Rapunzel story it was hard for me to get sucked into the book.  I also think Flinn left us in the dark a little too long about what happened to his friend.  Obviously that was important to his character, but in the end, it didn’t really advance the story.

I’m also still confused why Rachel had magical powers.  This world seemed so “real” that having magic seemed really random.  And it only came into a play a few times – she noticed that she had them, she showed them to Wyatt, and then used them to save the day.  But that was it.  The magic seemed kind of forced to me.  And I’m just still so confused as to why it was there.  <spoiler> Obviously she had to have healing tears so that she could save Wyatt…but that seems about it to me </spoiler>  And I’m also really confused as to why they only showed up when she needed them.  Why did her hair grow only when she needed it to grow? <spoiler> And why did they stop once she had saved the day? </spoiler>

The plot was so disconnected for me.  The story about Danielle seemed like a back story to me at first, but then it somehow became the big plot point.  And the fact that she has to save these people was just weird.  I didn’t know why.  <spoiler> Well, obviously they were druggies that needed help, but since it was also a back story until then, it seemed really weird to me </spoiler>  And why was Rachel the one who had to do it?  What made her special that she got the random magical powers to save everyone??  And why was the way to save the day to give her magical powers? Again, this book was so real, she should have saved the day without magic.  Or the world needed to be more magical.  It just didn’t work for me.

I also knew who Rachel was way at the beginning of the book.  So the revelation towards the end of the book wasn’t nearly as mouth dropping as I’m sure it was supposed to be.  But really, it wasn’t hidden very well.

I would say the only good points were how quickly it reads.  And it’s also a short book at only 293 pages.  I actually thought the story about Wyatt’s friend was the most interesting part.  I wish she had written a book like that instead.  And the setting was nice.  She does a pretty good job of illustrating her settings…or maybe I just have a ton of predisposed setting for princesses kept in towers. Lol. 

So overall, I’m very disappointed in this book.  I was wavering between 2 stars or 3 stars.  I don’t give very many 2 star reviews, but now that I’ve written my review, I really didn’t have any good qualities to describe about it…so I think 2 stars.  Such a shame.  I was really excited for this book. 


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