Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 304 pages
Release Date: May 14, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Swapped through paperbackswap.com
Rating: 2.5/5 stars
I have read a number of Alex Flinn books before and they are always quirky and fun fairie tale retellings. I was excited to read this retelling of Rapunzel, because there aren’t a ton of Rapunzel retellings out there. However this book ended up being a disappointing read.
This book is told from two viewpoints. The first is Wyatt who is sent to live in the Adirondacks with a elderly friend of his mother’s. Wyatt has been suffering through the death of his best friend Tyler and his mother thinks a change of scenery would be good for him. Wyatt keeps hearing strange singing coming from the woods and is determined to solve the mystery behind the song.
The second POV is that of Rachel. Rachel is a seventeen year old girl who has been raised in a tower, her only company is Mama…an older woman who is convinced that if Rachel leaves the tower she will be hurt. However Rachel is getting restless and is dying to know about the world outside her tower.
This book was just slightly north of awful. There isn’t really anything technically wrong here (no typos, sentence structure is fine) but there is a lot I didn’t like about the story. I also felt like the plot was flawed and at times just plain silly.
There is a lot that in here that is the epitome about things that are routinely just done wrong in YA fiction. Crazy insta-love, characters putting themselves in creepily wrong situations, poorly done prophecies, parents doing strange things to their kids, and a plot that makes you roll your eyes. It’s all here.
The love between Wyatt and Rachel is super instantaneous and super gooey. It was seriously eye-rollingly obnoxious. As if that isn’t bad enough you have this subplot involving magical drug rings with psychedelic drugs as the cause for Rachel’s imprisonment. This borders on ridiculous and is just very goofy.
Then there is the whole idea that Wyatt, who is very depressed and sad, gets sent to the middle of nowhere to stay with some old woman he doesn’t know….by his parents. Yeah, that totally makes sense.
Alex Flinn has been a very hit or miss author for me. I find some of her stories, like Beastly, to be dorkily good. They are kind of goofy and silly in a way that is charming (I know I don’t understand it either). This book had none of that charm. There were lots of the two main characters going starry-eyed over one another immediately after seeing each other.
Overall this was a bad story and I wouldn’t recommend it. The characters are stupid, there is awful gooey insta-love, and the plot makes no sense. The idea of a magical drug chain is very underdeveloped and, because of this, comes off as more goofy than intriguing. Even fans of fairy tale retellings should skip this one, trust me.