Monday, April 1, 2013

Fall From Your Tower, See If I Care

Expected Publication:  May 14th, 2013
Towering (Kendra Chronicles # 3)
By: Alex Flinn
ISBN-13:  9780062024176

At first, I merely saw his face, his hands on the window ledge. Then, his whole body as he swung himself through the window. Only I could not see what he swung on.
Until, one day, I told my dream self to look down. And it was then that I saw. He had climbed on a rope. I knew without asking that the rope had been one of my own tying.

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.

     Just a disclaimer: It used to be that whenever Alex Flinn wrote a book, I absolutely loved it because it was well-written, original and an overall great read.  Lately, this seems to no longer be the case.  I was excited about this one because I love anything to do with Rapunzel and was interested to see how the author would modernize it.  I should have known that with the Kendra Chronicles label slapped on it (even though it has NOTHING TO DO WITH KENDRA.  LIKE AT ALL!) that this book wasn't a good usage of my time.  The alternating points of view were jarring and made the plot (what little of it there was) drag itself out even further than it ever should have.  Rachel literally had no interesting thoughts and Wyatt was all 'woe is me' for the entirety of the book - even after he falls into insta-love with Rachel.  Speaking of which, I'm sorry but it was stupidity not romance that led them to declare their love after barely even knowing each other's names.  That sort of thing makes me sick to my stomach.  Rapunzel's tears have healing powers?  She's the savior to people enslaved by these evil brothers using them to farm this addictive, LSD drug leaf?  WTF???!!!  I definitely wasn't expecting a plot twist like that one!  The inter-connected subplot with Danielle's disappearance and the identity of Rachel's dead Mother and the "Mama" who keeps her locked up was insultingly obvious and made me roll my eyes in more than one instance.  Yes, the author managed to make Rachel's voice and actions authentic to her way of life (no knowledge of the modern world and only dead authors for company) and I did like that she doesn't just blindly follow "Mama", even before Wyatt comes along to 'rescue' her.  The thought of the tower existing and no one other than Wyatt finding it seemed overly far-fetched to me as a reader.  Maybe i'm just hypercritical, but I really did want to love this book.  And other than some nice prose passages, I could honestly take it or leave it (with the emphasis on leaving it).  When the drug plot popped up, this book went bat-shit insane in my opinion and for some it may be in a good way, but not for me.  I don't think that after this I'll be reading anymore fairy tales by Alex Flinn.  I don't think my heart could take four disappointing books in a row.  Maybe for a younger audience who could suspend their disbelief I would recommend this one.  But for those who prefer a little more believability in a modernization, try reading Rapunzel Untangled By Cindy C. Bennett.  Not perfect, but the better attempt at a modern Rapunzel in my opinion.
VERDICT:  2/5  Stars
*received an Advanced Reading E-book Copy from the publisher, via Edelweiss. No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book's expected publication date is May 14th, 2013.*

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