My First DNF: A Review of TOWERING by Alex Flinn

Alex Finn
304 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: May 14th, 2013
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: MEH – DNF

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.

    A sucker for fairy-tale retellings, I found TOWERING by Alex Flinn a major disappointment.

   Rachel knows nothings of the outside world, living in a tower surrounded by trees, she’s hidden away from people. Each day her hair grows longer and she’s getting lonely, spending pretty much all of her life just staring at snow and the endless sea of trees. Her only entertainment is her books that she’s practically memorized. But then things take a turn, and her life is suddenly at stake.

   I was excited for TOWERING. I couldn’t wait to get started and was dying to read it. The beginning was okay, and I was sure it would pick up and get better. I was wrong, it only got worse as I went deeper into the book.

    I read half of the book and not being able to read anymore, I put it down. I had expected a lot from TOWERING, you know, since Alex Flinn’s BEASTLY was actually made into a movie, and because I absolutely love retellings. But this book was a terrible let down.

    The plot was pretty interesting and hooking, but the writing? It was horrible. I usually finish a book, even if it’s bad, but TOWERING drove me to the brink of madness. This has to be my first DNF (did not finish) since I began reading, and guys, I’ve read a LOT. None of the characters have any life in them, and there was insta-love. Yes, yes, fairytales usually have insta-love but this? It sucked, big time.

    The story is told from two points of view, with the addition of entries from Dani’s diary. Dani’s diary was pretty much the only good part of this story, but her part ended too soon. All in all, TOWERING was not in my league and hopefully the next fairytale retelling I read will be epic.

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Asma is a cat-loving co-blogger at IceyBooks. She's a 17 year old homeschooler who spends her time blogging (obviously), reading, and whatever else strikes her fancy. She's also a huge fangirl of Assassin's Creed, Marvel, and Six of Crows.



  1. Reply

    Nicole Mainardi

    May 13, 2013

    That's sad that the writing wasn't that good, considering how many books she's written, and like you said one of her books was made into a movie. And that cover is so gorgeous! It seems like a crime that such a beautiful cover should be wasted like that.

  2. Reply


    May 13, 2013

    DNF…I like that (well, not the actual thing, but the abbreviation, anyway). I looove a good fairy tale retelling too, so I can imagine how disappointing this would be.

  3. Reply

    Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    May 13, 2013

    The insta-love was sooooooo bad in this one. I was able to enjoy parts of the plot though. But yeah, totally agree with you that the characters weren't that great and the love story was just, horrible. This is the only book I've read by the author so I don't think I'd pick up another.

  4. Reply


    May 13, 2013

    I've always wondered about Beastly but never picked up. And I was curious about this one because of Rapunzel. But I think I'll pass on it. Bad writing, flat characters and insta love? No thank you

  5. Reply

    Janita @ Book, Interrupted

    May 13, 2013

    Read her other book, Bewitching, instead. No insta-love there! I'm still going to try this one because I love Alex Flinn, but I'm not the biggest fan of insta-love either, even if it is a fairy-tale. Did Tangled have insta-love? Uh-uh.

  6. Reply

    Kim (YA Asylum)

    May 14, 2013

    I'm sorry to hear you didn't like this. It's surprising that the plot was good, but it was the writing that sucked. I don't usually DNF either, but I'm in the middle of a book that's similar. The writing is what's driving me insane. I totally understand can't standing insta-love. Thanks for the warning.

  7. Reply


    May 14, 2013

    Oh, no! I haven't read Beastly, but I really enjoyed Bewitching. Have you read that one? I wonder if it's just a difference of taste? So curious now!

  8. Reply

    Bookluvrs Haven

    May 14, 2013

    Love a good fairy retelling too, and sad that this one didn't deliver. I haven't read Beastly but I saw the movie and thought it was pretty cute and heart warming. Too bad about this one!

    Lily @ Bookluvrs Haven