Review 154. Alex Flinn – Towering.

Towering (Kendra Chronicles, #3)Title: Towering.
Author: Alex Flinn.
Pages: 304.
Published: May 14th 2013 by HarperTeen.
Sort: Part 3 of ‘Kendra Chronicles.’
Part 1: Beastly.
Part 2: Bewitching.
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
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.
Rating

The first thing I need to say is: why is this part of the Kendra chronicles? I really don’t get it. Kendra has nothing to do with this book and it doesn’t have any connection with Beastly and Bewitching. Strange.. And it was good, but was it as good as I expected? Not really.

EDIT: Alex Flinn posted this comment on my review on Goodreads:
Thanks for the review. I apologize for any confusion about Kendra. This book is a standalone book and was never meant to be part of any "series." In truth, even Bewitching is a standalone book in that you don't have to read Beastly to read it (The Kendra Chronicles was meant to be a SUBTITLE, not a series title). Apparently, someone not associated with my publisher posted on Goodreads that Towering was about Kendra. If you look at the book or the e-book, you can see that it's not. Perils of the information age. Sorry.


The story is told from two POV’s; a boy and a girl. Rachel is  locked away in a tower somewhere in the woods. Her ‘new’ mother is protecting her after the murder on her biological mother. She feels trapped and she longs for company. That is where Wyatt comes in the picture. After a horrible happening, he is ready to start again. His mother sends him to an old family friend, Mrs Greenwood. The old woman has been alone after the disappearance of her daughter Danielle. Wyatt starts to hear a voice and when he follows his instincts, he stumbles on Rachel’s tower. The two fall in love together from the moment they see each other. Wyatt discovers that Rachel and the strange disappearances of teenagers are somehow linked and he is determined to find out what is going on.

The things I liked:
The dual POV. Rachel and Wyatt were both solid characters. Wyatt is plagued by guilt and Rachel is innocent and lonely. I can see why they were attracted to each other. I didn’t feel connected to them, but they were enjoyable enough to follow. Rachel has some kick ass moments and I appreciated her bravery.
The mystery. This was fun! I liked to fit the pieces together together with Wyatt. Some things were predictable, some things managed to surprise me. The aspects of the modern setting were subtle, because they never spoiled the fairytale feeling. The somewhat dark conclusion was well-done and I liked the ending.

The thing I didn’t liked:
The romance. Oh boy! Flinn screwed this up. There was enough time to develop their feelings, but there had to be a worse case instant-love.. From the moment they see each other, they feel connected: like there whole purpose on this planet is to be together. I didn’t buy is, even when Flinn tried to explain it by throwing in a lame reason. It all started so good, with Rachel saving Wyatt’s life, but it went downhill and it became incredibly cheesy. The “I love you’s” and “meant to be together” are frequently used.


A fun twist on a popular story, but it could have been better. I did enjoy myself and it was fun to figure out the mystery!

50 comments

  1. EEE!! I wanted to read Beastly and Bewitching but now... Not sure if I can trust this series, especially if the romance is all screwed up! Lame insta-loves are big turn-offs for me and urghh.

    *so conflicted*

    Alicia @ Summer Next Top Story

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    1. Ohhh, but Beastly and Bewitching are pretty good! :)

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  2. Oh boy look at that cover! *stares* it's so pretty. Too bad that the book isn't that good. I mean sounds interesting it's good that mystery is still there but insta-love ruins everything. *sigh* Great review Mel :)

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  3. Oh no, I hate insta-love! It's so sad to hear that it didn't turn out to be as good as you expected.

    - Ellie at The Selkie Reads Stories

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  4. Glad the dual pov was good, but sorry the romance didn't do it for you

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  5. I'm going to be reading this one this month! I haven't read anything by Flinn yet, though I have seen the Beastly movie (didn't love it). Anyways, I'm excited to see what I think about this one! This was a great review!

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  6. I think we liked the same things and didn't like the same things. Ugh, that insta-love did not work for me. I wish we had more from Rachel's pov in the tower too. :(

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    1. I agree. I wanted to know more about her.

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  7. I've watched Beastly, and I'll have to read Bewitching; shame about this one.

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  8. Wow so beautiful cover:) Love that cover:)

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  9. Eh, sorry this one disappointed you ;/ I've read Beastly and remember liking it, although I never knew (until now) that there were more books. This one, apparently, wasn't as good as the first book. I hate the 'instant connection' or 'insta-love' scenarios with a passion. It's as if authors decide that letting their characters get to know each other and then fall in love is the next worst thing after blasphemy.

    But I root for the girl saving the boy's life in a fairy-tale! It's almost always the other way.

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    1. I've edited my review. Apparently, Goodreads misinformed us. This book is a stand-alone.

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  10. I practically begged Edelweiss to get an ARC of this one, but didn't get it. I guess that's alright since it was just so-so for you. Her books always have a little something I don't love, but I normally like them enought to still want to read them and rate them around 4 stars. I will probably still read this, but it will be pushed down on my list.

    Tressa @ Tressa's Wishful Endings

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    1. Yeah, I was lucky to get a copy from Edelweiss. Now I know that I'm not going to buy a copy.

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  11. Bummer that this didn't work out for you-I think I've read one of her books before but wasn't super enthusiastic about it so although I love fairy tale retellings this one wasn't too much wanted by me.

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  12. Oh no! What a disappointment. Even though I wasn't quite as excited for Towering as others, a retelling of Rapunzel isn't something you see everyday, so that was cool. I'm glad the dual perspectives worked out, but other than that, I don't think I'd enjoy this book any more than you would! Thanks for such a helpful review, Mel. :) Hope your next read will be better.

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    1. I don't think this is a book for you Megan. I do agree, it's a shame that it turned out to be only "meh" since there aren't many Rapunzel retellings.

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  13. Dang! I was really looking forward to this one, I love re-tellings. HATE insta-connections or love, so my patience for this one would already be very thin. Thanks for your honesty!

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  14. WORSE than instant love? I'm already considering to not read this now. URGH. But apart from that, I'm relieved to know that the characters were rather strong in your opinion! ^.^

    Stunning review, Mel! <33

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  15. WOAH! I had no idea this was written by the same author who wrote Beastly! Momentary mindblown moment haha. Yikes for the instalove, always hate it when authors overdo it and make it absolutely nauseating. Shame it wasn't that good :( It seemed quite promising. Great review Mel :D

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  16. It was nice of Alex to clear up the Kendra Chronicles issue for you (and everyone), I had always thought this one was a standalone so I didn't realize there was some confusion there. I'm bummed on the romance, usually that's my favorite aspect of any story, but not when it's a case of insta-love. I like the slow burn type of romance with lots of tension, so it's disappointing that's not how things are in this one. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  17. I always thought it was a standalone, too...but I'm glad that it appears to be fixed on Goodreads! It's a bummer you didn't like it, with fairy-tale retellings I can sometimes get past the insta-love, so I'll have to give it a try. Thanks for the honest review :)

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    1. Insta-love is not a problem in fairytales, but this was just too much.

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  18. Insta-love and frequent use of 'I love you's? No, no, no. Just no. I really enjoyed Beastly, it's probably my favorite fairy tale retelling, but I don't think I'll be picking this up anytime soon. Thanks for the review, Mel!

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    1. Beastly was fun. I also liked Bewitching, so this was disappointing.

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  19. I have read a lot of bad reviews of this one..it was a most read for me at one point but now it is a pass!

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  20. Aw, sorry this wasn't a hit for you. But I think that the next Lunar Chronicles book is based on Rapunzel too :)

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

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  21. It's nice of the author to clarify the confusion. I'm one of those people who believe in insta connection but it looks like it was too much over the top in this one. I wouldn't have liked it either. Sorry you didn't like it Mel, thanks for the review :)

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    1. I do think there is something like insta-connection, but this was just.. no.

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  22. This makes me kind of sad :/ Somehow, almost all of Flinn's more recent releases seem to get the title "could have been better". I read Cloaked a few weeks ago and thought the same thing. I loved Beastly so much and I really hope there will be a book similar to that one in the future...

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    1. I haven't read Cloaked yet, but I hope to read it soon.. So this is disappointing to hear!

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  23. Oh no, instalove? That's so awful, but I guess if you're retelling a fairytale with unrealistic romance, it's harder to work with. But still. It IS a retelling. I've been meaning to read something of Alex Flinn's, and this seemed like a good pick. Maybe not?

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    1. Hmmm, I think you're going to hate it. I recommend Beastly.

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  24. Noooooo :( I was so excited to get a review copy, not sure if I'm still reading it now. Ahhhhh, Mel, I can't seem to find any good fairy tale retellings nowadays, suggestions? :)

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    1. Marissa Meyer - Cinder & Scarlet.
      Kate Danley - The woodcutter.
      Jessica Day George - Princess series (1-3) and Sun & Moon, Ice & Snow.
      Juliet Marillier - Wildwood dancing, Daughter of the forest & Heart's blood (two of my favorite books!)
      Melanie Dickerson - Fairest beauty (and I'll be reading her other book soon)
      Cameron Dokey - World above & Winter's child. Not THE best, but fun enough to read once.
      A.G Howard - Splintered.
      Adam Gidwitz - A tale dark and grimm.
      Zoe Marriott - The swan kingdom.

      I hope there is something you like! If you need more, let me know.

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  25. Hmm.. Ash got a copy of this but hasn't read it yet so this is the first i'm hearing of how it is. I don't think I want to read another case of insta-love but if I'm feeling tolerant I'll pick it up for the rest of the story. But i'm going to prioritize the list you provided in the above comment ^^^. Thanks for another great review, Mel!

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  26. Thank you for your amazing honest review sweetie. <3 I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this book :\ But yeah. Thank you for letting me know :D I won't be reading it. But I do think the plot sounds great, to be honest. But yeah. Not a well done romance? Not for me, lol :)

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  27. Aw, only 2.5? That's disappointing, I was really looking forward to this one. I will still read it as even the not as good ones are still reading when it's done by Alex Flinn. Her books have always been hit and miss for me. LOVE Beastly. Cloaked was, meh. Really liked Bewitching. A Kiss in Time was okay. I still enjoyed Cloaked & Kiss in Time, but they're not re-reads for me like Beastly. Thanks for the honest review Mel!

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    1. Beastly & Bewitching were great. I liked a kiss in time and I hope to read Cloaked soon.

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  28. I just read another review for this today rating it exactly the same as you did and venting quite a bit about the insta-love! Which is a HUGE pet-peeve of mine so I think I'll pass this one myself! Sorry it left you feeling disappointed but glad to hear you enjoyed putting the pieces of the puzzle together :) Awesome review Mel!

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    1. I definitely recommend staying away from this one then!

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  29. Hi Mel,thanks for stopping by at my blog and commenting on my review of Towering.I never get review copies via Edelweiss so I do it the old way,ask the publisher directly for a physical one.The same was the case with this one.I was so excited for this! >.< I feel that it would've been better if the author just continued the Kendra Chronicles instead.Bewitching WAS really fun! :(

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Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I really appreciate it and I will return the favor as soon as possible.