Alex Flinn is becoming known for her modernized versions of classic fairy tales. Beastly was so popular it became a movie, which while it had some pretty big changes from the book stuck so well to the spirit and message of the book that I really enjoyed it. It didn’t hurt that one of my favorite actors Neil Patrick Harris is in the movie. I’ve read Beastly, A Kiss in Time, and Cloaked and enjoyed each of them so I was really excited when I found Towering on display at the library.
I brought it home and began to read. At the start it is a good book, told by Rachel (Rapunzel) and Will. Rachel is living in her tower her “Mama” having brought her there years ago to keep her safe from the “one who killed her mother”. Rachel lives alone in the tower with Mama coming daily to visit and bring her dinner and breakfast for the next day. The more I read of this the more Rachel’s part felt like a rehash of Disney’s Tangled. I don’t want to give too much away other than that.
I was much more intrigued by Will’s part. Will has been sent to live in a small town with the elderly mother of his mother’s best friend from high school. Something has happened and his best friend Tyler is dead. Will seems happy to disappear into the country at some points and at others almost obsessively checks his cell phone for texts that never come. This is realistic for a conflicted teenager. Mrs G on the other hand… Danielle (Will’s mom’s BFF) disappeared years ago, and Mrs G is still struggling with the loss. Will finds Danielle’s diary and begins to read, the diary ends much too soon in the book though.
I’ll be honest, as I hit the middle of the book I began skimming no longer reading intently. I just wanted Will to find Rachel, then I wanted her to agree to leave the tower. I wanted him to solve the mystery of Danielle and the rest of the missing children/people from the area. I had decided I would simply skim the rest of the book, then I decided to see what others thought of the book. I’d been thinking maybe I just wasn’t in the right mood/headspace to enjoy this book since I loved her other books, but according to the reviews I’ve been reading I’m not alone in my thoughts on this book. Since I’ve read one that filled me in on all the secrets I will be returning the book to the library without actually reading the rest.
If you pick this up please don’t take it as an indication of Flinn’s overall body of work, it is NOT! Pick up any of her other books instead. My next will be Bewitching almost a prequel to Beastly telling the story of the witch Kendra. I’ll let you know what I think of it some time down the road.