author: Alex Flinn
published: 14 May 2013
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High in my tower I sit. I watch the birds fly below, the clouds float above, and the tall green forest stretch to places I might never see.
Mama, who isn't my mother, has kept me hidden away for many years. My only companions, besides Mama, are my books—great adventures, mysteries, and romances that I long to make my reality. But I know that no one will come to save me—my life is not a fairy tale after all.
Well, at least no one has come so far. Recently, my hair has started to grow rapidly and it's now long enough to reach the bottom of the tower from my window. I've also had the strangest dreams of a beautiful green-eyed man.
When Mama isn't around, I plan my escape, even if it's just for a little while. There's something—maybe someone—waiting for me out there and it won't find me if I'm trapped here Towering above it all.
Fairytale retellings are my kryptonite. That being said, some are good and others are, well, not. This one falls somewhere in the middle.
Towering is a modern-day Rapunzel retelling. Modern-day, which meant I wasn’t really expecting an actual tower. But there was. Right in the middle of the woods. This is where things began to go wrong for me. The story is set in upstate New York, in the Adirondack Mountains. It’s an area I’m fairly familiar with as I’m from only a couple hours north, a small town settled in the foothills of these mountains. A abandoned tower just waiting for a Rapunzel requires quite a bit of belief suspension. Nor is anything about how the tower came to be explained, which makes sense as I think it would be hard to come up with a logical explanation.
Equally odd for me was the way in which Rachel was raised. She was kept in this tower, isolated from the world, and kept in a time not her own. Her only connection with the outside world, aside from her keeper, was through the books she was given. Books by authors like Jane Austen. There was no explanation for that either, for why she was being raised to be even more socially dysfunctional than a lifetime of isolation would force her to be.
And then the instalove. It truly was instant. It felt so bizarre. Rachel’s be isolated for as long as she can remember, told that the outside world is dangerous. So the moment she meets a boy, there is no hesitation. She welcomes into her lair and then makes out with him. And then the love begins. Ooookay.
The plot itself had promise, but it was so convoluted that it was just hard to swallow. It’s hard to talk about the plot without creating spoilers, but I will say that there is a certain amount of acceptance of loose facts required to get through it. Frankly, there are parts of it that just don’t make sense.
So, yes. There it is.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: