Towering and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $17.99
  • Save: $4.18 (23%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 4 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Towering has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Shipped by Amazon. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Fast delivery and great value.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Towering Hardcover – May 14, 2013

See all 6 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$3.93 $1.24

100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more
$13.81 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 4 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Towering + Cloaked + A Kiss in Time
Price for all three: $42.05

Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From 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 Cityα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Flinn (Bewitching, 2012) is back with yet another clever spin on a fairy tale. This time, it’s an empowering retelling of the story of Rapunzel. Rachel, an ethereal beauty with fast-growing hair, is trapped in a tower and visited only by the woman she calls Mama. Meanwhile, Wyatt flees his hometown—and his past—after a heartbreaking tragedy befalls his best friends, and he lands at old lady Greenwood’s house in a sleepy, desolate Adirondack town with its own share of secrets. After hearing a haunting voice from the woods, and piqued by the diaries of Mrs. Greenwood’s long-lost daughter, Wyatt wanders into the forest and finds Rachel’s tower. Together, they unlock the secret of Rachel’s origin and the purpose of her mysterious powers. This has well-rounded characters, including Rachel, who is no damsel in distress but a formidable heroine in her own right, and a fast pace. Plenty of hard realism—drug use, domestic abuse, and teen pregnancy—makes this retelling more than just a fantasy. Luckily for happily-ever-after fans, Towering doesn’t skimp on the fairy-tale ending. Grades 8-11. --Sarah Hunter

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (May 14, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062024175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062024176
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #859,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alex Flinn was born in Syosset, New York. She learned to read at three and wanted to be a writer at five. She received her first rejection letter (from Highlights magazine) at eight. At twelve, her family moved to Miami, Florida, where she had a really hard time making friends, due to congenital shyness and a really bad haircut. So she read a lot and tried to write a novel but never finished because she had no idea what to write about.

Flinn attended a performing arts high school program, similar to that portrayed in her book, Diva, then majored in vocal performance in college. Panicked upon realizing that there weren't a whole lot of jobs for opera singers, Flinn went to law school.

Law school was, it turns out a really good place to learn to write for teenagers. Writing for teens and writing for judges are very similar because both judges and teens have a lot of demands on their time and minimal time for reading. Also, Flinn interned at the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, trying many domestic violence cases, which were later the inspiration for her first novel, Breathing Underwater.

Breathing Underwater was published in 2001. It received many honors, including being chosen a Top 10 Best Book for Young Adults by the American Library Association. It was followed by Breaking Point, Nothing to Lose, Fade to Black, Diva, and Beastly. Beastly is soon to be released as a motion picture. Her newest book is A Kiss in Time, a modern Sleeping Beauty.

Flinn still lives in Miami with her husband, two daughters, a dog, cat, and African Spur-Thighed Tortoise. She enjoys performing arts, biking, and travel.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Danielle @ What Danielle Did Next on June 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I'm a huge fan of re-tellings of fairy-tales, and there's been a real spate of them lately. I've read some really good ones but unfortunately Towering by Alex Flinn was not one of them.

I hadn't read Alex Flinn before but had heard great things about her previous novels in particular Beastly and Rapunzel is a favourite fairy tale so great combo right? Ugh wrong. I knew that bringing a fairytale into a modern setting was going to be problematic but I was staggered by how disjointed this book was.

The book is told from three points of view - Wyatt, a young guy who moves to live with his mom's dead best friend's mother to get some distance from a tragedy in his life, Rachel, the Rapunzel character, who lives in a tower and is taken care of by a mysterious character called "Mama" and has special healing powers and amazing hair and Danielle, the dead best friend of Wyatt's mom whom we learn about through her diary entries.

Gosh, I actually find this review hard to write as I think back and realise just how bad it was and I really should have DNF'd it. I don't think I've come across a book less enjoyable. The characters were so one-dimensional and the plot line bordered on ridiculous that you couldn't actually use the fairytale aspect as an excuse because that would be an insult to fairytales. I'm going to go through each POV to explain what I mean because it's unfair and unbalanced to just rant. (although I'll probably end up doing that anyway)
Wyatt moves to a new town to stay with Mrs. Whatshername (Danielle's mother, I can't remember her name) after his best friend dies. That was actually the only moment that Wyatt behaved like a well-rounded human being when he told the story of how it happened...
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Audra B on May 14, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The very first thing that I loved about Towering is the cover. I think it's absolutely gorgeous and pulled me in right off the back. The second thing I loved is the books setting. It's a fictional town in New York, but is situated where a lot of my family lives in New York. I love when I can identify with a story based on its vacation, so I knew we were off to a good start.

Rachel has lived in a tower for most of her life, not spotting anyone other than her mother. Wyatt is sent off to live with a friend of his mother's, Mrs. Greenwood and from his first night there things go from weird to weirder. He finds a journal of his mother's high school friend, Dani, and he thinks he can begin to hear her voice calling to him.

Flinn takes us on a journey of mystery and intrigue as we try to figure out exactly what is going on in this town. Personally, things got a little weird for me, and I felt removed from the story towards the end as things just got unbelievable weird. Despite this, Flinn has crafted an amazing retelling of the classic Rapunzel fairy tale. Her characters were charming, and I couldn't help but get pulled into the story thanks to them.

This was my first book of Flinn's that I've experienced, and after reading Towering I definitely plan on going back and reading her others.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shawna J. Hansen on July 20, 2013
Format: Audible Audio Edition
Towering by Alex Flinn was one of the best books I've read in 2013. I've read a few other fairy tale based-stories set in modern times and was curious to see how the Rapunzel story would play out. The characters were molded with elements of realism (a young man dealing with his own lack of courage when his best friend needed his help) and fantasy (the same young man is visited by a ghost and slowly unravels the mystery of a lost girl and a girl held in a tower). Flinn masterfully weaves the two elements together into a story that is a fairy tale and has strong emotional appeal. This book takes off and stays interesting from page 1 to the end. I loved how the characters each struggled with what it is to be brave and to do something scary to help someone they care about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on January 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Okay, where to start on this book. I had enjoyed Bewitching when I read it for the First Reads program, it wasn’t fab, but it was pretty dece. And then I saw that’s she was doing a retelling of Rapunzel, and that is something that my mom loves, and that I wanted to get for her, and I figured I would enjoy it as well. I was so off on that count, it was almost painful. I was kinda ambivalent towards the book as I started it because the writing didn’t seem to improve, it still seemed juvenile and simplistic, but I wanted to keep going because there was a really great mystery about missing kids that I was like I can read 100 more pages to find out what is going on.

I almost wish that I hadn’t kept going. There were just so many flaws in the characterization that may be because it is geared towards a slightly younger crowd. Let’s start with the basic plot elements and go from there.

Characterization: Was okay, I didn’t like Rachel because even though she living a tower, she spoke in such a strange manner which was fine, because it was oddly formal, and maybe if all she had were books, then maybe I could see it, but she had contact with Mama who by no means spoke like she lived in 18th Century England. I can understand this feeling that I got that she was out of touch with reality, after all, she lived in a tower with no one to talk to except her crazy Mama. I felt that Wyatt was the most logical of everyone in this story, or at least the most realistic-ish because no one in this story was very realistic. At all. I felt bad for Wyatt as he dealt with the consequences of his actions and he tried to make up for them by saving Rachel.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: Towering
Price: $13.81
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?