Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Towering (Kendra Chronicles #3)

Towering (Kendra Chronicles #3)

3.9 16
by Alex Flinn

See All Formats & Editions

New York Times #1 bestselling author Alex Flinn reimagined the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast in Beastly and gave a twist to the story of Sleeping Beauty in A Kiss in Time. Now with her gothic and darkly romantic YA novel Towering, Alex Flinn retells the tale of Rapunzel.

When Rachel was taken to live in a tower by a woman she calls


New York Times #1 bestselling author Alex Flinn reimagined the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast in Beastly and gave a twist to the story of Sleeping Beauty in A Kiss in Time. Now with her gothic and darkly romantic YA novel Towering, Alex Flinn retells the tale of Rapunzel.

When Rachel was taken to live in a tower by a woman she calls Mama, she was excited. She felt like a princess in a castle. But many years later, Rachel knows her palace is really a prison, and begins to plan her escape. She is encouraged by the speed with which her golden hair has been growing. It's gotten long enough to reach the ground. And she's begun dreaming of a green-eyed man. Could he be out there in the world? Is he coming to save her? Or will she find a way to save herself?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Flinn (Beastly, Cloaked) again puts a modern spin on a classic fairy tale. In this Rapunzel retelling, Wyatt, a teen mourning the devastating loss of his best friend and his best friend's sister, moves to a remote town where his mother grew up. There, living in a large house with a lonely old woman whose only child disappeared years ago, Wyatt has vivid nightmares and hears a haunting singing voice that seems meant for him alone. When he meets Rachel, a beautiful girl locked in a crumbling tower out in the forest, they begin to untangle an even larger mystery plaguing the area. Flinn upturns some gender conventions (Rachel initially leaves her tower to save Wyatt from drowning), but the blending of magical elements and the more banal modern story lines is not always harmonious, and the copious back-story saps momentum from the present-day plot. By the time Wyatt and Rachel finally face off against the town's most wicked villain, some readers may be anxious for a speedy happily-ever-after. Ages 14–up. Agent: George Nicholson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)
VOYA - Susan Allen
The story begins with Rachel ruminating on her long hair and her extended stay in the tower, reaffirming this is a retelling of Rapunzel. She talks about reading only classic books whose authors are long dead. Her mother visits her, often reassuring her that the tower is not a prison but place of protection. By contrast, Wyatt arrives by train, checking his mobile phone for reception, and wondering if his being sent to this rustic spot is a good way to recover from his friend's death. The story, drenched in mysteries, moves back and forth between Wyatt and Rachel, raising questions that keep the pages turning. The reader wonders if Rachel's mother is being honest about why Rachel is shut into the tower. Wyatt, upon arriving at the home of Mrs. Greenwood where he is staying, discovers the journal of Mrs. Greenwood's long-lost daughter Dani. He begins to try to unravel Dani's sudden disappearance. Is the singing he hears Dani? If not, who? A desolate and creepy atmosphere pervades the story, setting a tone that matches the mysterious happenings. The ending is predictable but when all the pieces that make up this enthralling retelling start to fall together, they fall together quickly, perhaps too quickly. So much time has been spent unraveling the mysteries and finding answers to the questions posed that the ending is sudden and has an unfinished feel. Ending aside, this is a good read for mystery fans and those who love fairy tales in a modern setting. Reviewer: Susan Allen
Kirkus Reviews
A contemporary retelling of "Rapunzel" overcomes a somewhat connect-the-dots feel with its gentle, spirited heroine. The tale is told in two voices: Rachel's, the blonde girl in the tower, and Wyatt's, a boy with a secret sorrow. Wyatt has been sent to upstate New York to stay with the mother of an old friend of his mom's, Mrs. Greenwood, to heal from something readers don't learn about until halfway through the story. Meanwhile Rachel, who loves the woman she calls "Mama" although she knows her real mother is dead, begins to chafe against her confinement and her loneliness, although Mama visits her each day with food, books and art supplies. Wyatt finds the diary of Mrs. Greenwood's daughter Danielle, presumed long-dead, and begins to tie together strands that include missing teens, drug addiction, demon lovers and tears that heal. Flinn's "towering" achievement here is Rachel. She makes readers believe in a character educated only on books brought to her and who has not been outside in years. Readers will understand how she reacts as she does to a cellphone, to walking in snow and to hair that grows so fast she can see it, and they will find her both intelligent and resourceful. Rachel and Wyatt's romantic encounters are tender and utterly implicit. Readers may pick it up for the reimagined fairy tale, but they'll remember it for Rachel. (Fantasy. 12-18)
Children's Literature - Judy Crowder
Take three compelling characters, throw in ghost sightings, some Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre, Jane Austin, Dickens, Rapunzel, a cold, dreary landscape and a half-ruined tower that only a few people can see and you'll have one of the most suspenseful young adult novels that has come along in a long time. Flinn's compelling tale begins with Rachel, who has been isolated in a tower most of her life and is visited by a lady called, "Mamma." She spends her days singing and dealing with her long blonde hair, hoping for a hero like the ones in her well-thumbed books to save her from her isolation and tell her who she really is. Danielle's voice is only heard through a long-abandoned journal, an ancient yearbook picture and an old letter left in the pocket of a coat, plus in the memories of an old woman. Wyatt, sent by his mother to stay with an old lady in the Adirondacks wonders if life will ever be the same after experiencing a horrible tragedy. He experiences a ghostly visitor in a scene only Emily Bronte could devise. He also hears singing in the frozen woods, but where is it coming from? Why can't everyone hear it? What's behind the missing people in this small town? Why does Danielle's journal end so abruptly? Wyatt discovers why he is one of the few that can see the tower in the woods but this knowledge doesn't make his new life any easier. Haunted by the death of his best friend, Tyler, confused by the mysteries in this small town, Wyatt doesn't know whom to believe or who should be saving whom. This is a book that readers will not be able to put down, and will ponder long after they've finished the epilogue. Here's hoping that readers will also be inspired by this masterfully-crafted book to read novels penned by Charlotte and Emily Bronte, two of history's finest writers. Reviewer: Judy Crowder
School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Flinn reinvents the "Rapunzel" story as a teen thriller. Rachel spends her days and nights alone in a tower. Her sole contact with humanity is the daily visit of "Mama," and Rachel both loves and rebels against her jailor. Then Wyatt arrives in town. His mother is hoping that he will begin to recover from his friends' deaths in a car accident. He can't understand why no one in this small town seems perturbed by the number of missing teenagers, one of whom was his mother's best friend. He also can't understand why he is apparently the only one who can hear a girl singing somewhere in the frozen woods. When he sets out to find her, he puts into motion a chain of events that leads him, Rachel, and her "mother" into a showdown with violent drug manufacturers and their imprisoned labor force. Flinn cleverly weaves fantasy and realism together into what seems to be almost a new genre. Rather than the cop-out of a dystopian future setting, her story is grounded in the reality of an upstate New York where unemployment is rife, it is always winter, and there is no cell-phone service. Teens will identify and sympathize with Wyatt's loss and Rachel trapped in her tower, and they will rejoice in the tenderness of their blooming romance amid the menace of drug violence. The author's skillful writing somehow makes it completely plausible that sweetness, innocence, and true love can survive within the contemporary social evils of addiction and abduction-and also that Rachel's golden tresses can grow to reach the ground overnight.—Jane Barrer, United Nations International School, New York City

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Kendra Chronicles Series , #3
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)
HL570L (what's this?)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Alex Flinn loves fairy tales and is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Beastly, a spin on Beauty and the Beast that was named a VOYA Editor’s Choice and an ALA Quick Pick for Reluctant Young Adult Readers. Beastly is now a major motion picture starring Vanessa Hudgens. Alex also wrote A Kiss in Time, a modern retelling of Sleeping Beauty; Cloaked, a humorous fairy-tale mash-up; Bewitching, a reimagining of fairy-tale favorites, including Hansel and Gretel, Cinderella, The Princess and the Pea, and The Little Mermaid, all told by Kendra, the witch from Beastly; Towering, a darkly romantic take on Rapunzel; and Mirrored, a fresh spin on Snow White. Her other books for teens include Breathing Underwater, Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, and Diva. She lives in Miami with her family. Visit her online at www.alexflinn.com.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Towering 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Wyatt's best friend has recently died. To help him, his mother ships Wyatt off to her childhood town in upstate NY. Wyatt’s mother arranges for him to stay with an elderly woman whose daughter, Dani, has gone missing years ago. From the moment Wyatt enters the Adirondacks he starts hearing a mysterious song. Wyatt discovers a hidden journal belonging to Dani and it was written right before she disappears. He slowly starts to unravel Dani’s past. Rachel is trapped in a magical tower. She watches the snow fall and sings. No one ever comes to see her except a woman she calls mama. Wishing to experience the outside world she hopes someday to live like everyone she reads about in her books. This is a dark, young adult, modern retelling of Rapunzel's story. Towering is definitely takes a unique twist this well known fairy tale. I found the story a slow starter that built as it went along. The story switches between Rachel and Wyatt’s perspective, with more time given to Wyatt since Rachel is trapped in a tower. The connection is almost instant love, which I guess works for the fairy tale take. I liked reading Towering, this distinctive fairy tale adaptation was positively worth reading. This ARC copy of Towering was given to me by HarperTeen in exchange for a honest review. Publication Date May 14, 2013.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never read a single book by alex flinn untill a kiss jn time. Now that I have found this book I don't think I willever out it down! He's skill is truley amazing! A toast to Alex Flinn!!
sandyemerson More than 1 year ago
There's something magical about Fairy-tale retellings. They take your imagination to places you don't usually go. But I think it's more than that - they allow your inner child to come out and play. It allow adults to relive their childhood and teenagers to dream a little. Rachel is a girl who is caught in a destiny that was not of her making - one who is trapped until her prince, in this case, Wyatt, comes to aide her to free herself and her people from the 'Rhapsody' that is slowly killing them. Rachel was kind of weird to me. She had an innocence about her that just isn't real in the world of today, but I guess that was just a part of her charm. I liked her. In a world filled with cynicism, her naivete was kind of refreshing. And I really liked that when she decided to do something, she did it. Wyatt was harder to connect with. I felt that he came into the picture with me missing half of his story. I don't know if he was in a previous book or not. I still liked him, even with all that. He represented the 'prince', but he wasn't the 'hero' in the book. He had this kind of frailty about him that gave Rachel a sharper edge. The plot itself was a little unsatisfactory - not between Wyatt and Rachel, even though there was a bit of insta-love - but because I expected more from the story for her reason for remaining hidden so long. I understood what the 'Rhapsody' represented, but I still felt a little disappointed. The ending felt a little anti-climatic too. I felt a bit frustrated that the ending seemed to come out from nowhere. I still enjoyed it though. I liked that the novel was in duo voices and the character voices were good too. The pace was a bit choppy in places - it was slow in some places, faster in others. But, despite that,I enjoyed the writing. All in all, I thought this book was okay. It did appeal to me and I came away from it with a good feeling.   Book review by Sandy at Magical Manuscripts
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not the best from Alex Flinn. I read the most of her other retells and was disappointed with Towering. There was no real growth or development in Wyatt/Rachel relationship. It was too instant and perfect, true for most fairy tales but not compared to Flinn's tales. Her other characters had to work for it, which seems more realistic to me and what gives those characters their charm. If I were to recommend one of her books I'd stick to Bewitching or Cloaked. They're the best of the bunch.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love all of alex flinns fairy tale books. They are always perfectly paced and excting with just a little romance and a dash of humor. This book is no diffrent. 10 star book but unfortunantly that is not possible i loved the origonal fairytale and Towering does the fairytale a great justice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was excited to read this book. After I read it, I realized that it doesn't seem like a fairy tale retelling at all. But I did like it a little. It was good at first but then wasn't as good later on in the book. -But at one point Wyatt is with a random girl on New Year's and they get kind of inappropriate and they just met . . .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Merfairy613 More than 1 year ago
While I did find the book highly entertaining and exciting I found the ending to be a little slow, obvious, and  many loopholes. It was a great read however
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Rachel has been locked in a tower by her momma to keep her safe. She spends her time reading, singing and watching her hair grow. She is very lonely and just wants a friend. Wyatt has been sent to live with his mothers best friend to help him forget. He is in the mountains with nothing to do. He goes into Dani's room and finds her journal. He hides it and reads it. All the while he is unraveling a mystery that happened years ago. He explores and finds Rachel. They have to finish the puzzle of Dani's journal to have a chance at a happily ever after. I love retelling of fairytales and looked forward to reading this one about Rapunzle. It was an ok book that I had a few issues with. Sometimes in the beginning I had to go back to reread thinking I had missed something cause the story wasn't to clear. The more I read the more I understood what was going on. I liked how the author made this her own version. At times it seemed a little to instant love but I understand Rachel is starved for attention and Wyatt is lonely his self. There is more than he saves the girl in the tower. There is an element of mystery trying to see what happened to Dani and also an element of danger as it seems drugs are tied up in the story plot. This book moved at a decent pace. If you like fairy tale retellings you may enjoy this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
iamvampire More than 1 year ago
Love it but it was a littler predictable. Girl in tower, guy finds tower, girl leaves tower for true love. But the drugs part is a new one for me lol 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really like this book, it is interesting, suspensful, hopeful, adventurous, and romantic. I haven't finished it yet, but so far-I really do think this book is a definite page turner and a great read :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was very giod and i really enjoyed it but it wasnt the best out of all of alex flinns fairytales
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this book a must read it was highly enjoyble.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very suspenseful, kept me reading until the end.  Some elements, in hindsight, were a little strange (SPOILER--why does her hair only grow when it needs to?  Things like that, not explained very well).  Overall, it was enjoyable and I liked it, but it could have been slightly better.  Still recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think lags back... im gonna go to bed... night