Hello! Welcome to my stop of the Metaltown blog tour! I am so excited to be able to share my review for Metaltown! Make sure to check out the giveaway to win a chance to win a copy of the book and remember to visit the rest of the tour!
Metaltown by Kristen Simmons
Published by Macmillan on September 20th 2016
Genres: Dystopian, Science Fiction,Young Adult Fiction
Source: ARC via Macmillan
Stars: 5 out of 5
Metaltown, where factories rule, food is scarce, and hope is in short supply.
The rules of Metaltown are simple: Work hard, keep your head down, and watch your back. You look out for number one, and no one knows that better than Ty. She’s been surviving on the factory line as long as she can remember. But now Ty has Colin. She’s no longer alone; it’s the two of them against the world. That’s something even a town this brutal can’t take away from her. Until it does.
Lena’s future depends on her family’s factory, a beast that demands a ruthless master, and Lena is prepared to be as ruthless as it takes if it means finally proving herself to her father. But when a chance encounter with Colin, a dreamer despite his circumstances, exposes Lena to the consequences of her actions, she’ll risk everything to do what’s right.
In Lena, Ty sees an heiress with a chip on her shoulder. Colin sees something more. In a world of disease and war, tragedy and betrayal, allies and enemies, all three of them must learn that challenging what they thought was true can change all the rules.
An enthralling story of friendship and rebellion, Metaltown will have you believing in the power of hope.
My favorite aspect about Metaltown was it’s unique mixture of dystopian and social commentary. From the beginning of the book we are told about the abysmal living and working conditions of Metaltown, day in and day out the citizens have to breath in hazardous toxins, drink unclean water and eat synthetic food. The lives of it’s citizens is defined by their struggle to survive, to get through each day without getting fired from the factories or getting injured on the job. Other than it’s few elements of dystopia, such as the corn flu. The corn flu is a terrible disease that can be contracted through synthetic corn that has side affects that closely resemble tuberculosis, which so far the is no cure for the disease. The setting of this novel made it feel like we were reading about the living conditions unskilled laborers had in the years 1890-1910. The workers, both in Metaltown and the Edwardian era of America, who were forced to work in hazardous and inhumane conditions often without pay, let alone health benefits or a decent salary. While reading about what Colin and Ty had to do in order to eat and make a living I was aghast, because while I know that this is fiction there are also many places in the world where this is a very sad reality for many children. This is an aspect of the author’s writing that I absolutely love, how we may just be reading a book but in reality were are experiencing vicariously the many atrocities that go on in this world through the characters that we are reading about. You don’t really think about those things until you see ( or read) about people becoming human guinea pigs and testing vaccines and experiencing the side affects. Being able to see the world of Metaltown through the eyes of the three main characters who came from different social backgrounds added another layer of depth to this story and is what made Metaltown a five star read.
All of the main characters had their own narration, which was a nice contrast to be able to see how a “press” would affect the workers and the owners of the factories. We read a lot from Colin’s perspective so I like to think of him as the main character. As we eventually see he is the one who organizes the press (or in other words, strike) and is in the way the leader to all Small Parts workers. Colin selfless, loyal, honest, and protective of his family and friends, a natural born leader who organizes the workers to take a stand even they wouldn’t band together. I found him to be a really great character who had more depth than I would have originally expected and strayed away from any overused tropes. At first Collin seemed to be as rough around the edges as the rest of his friends (even Ty, which I’ll get to later) but we see how much he wishes for the old life he used to have. The one where he went to school, go on bicycle rides, read and instead of the one he has now. But as the story goes on we see how much Collin wants for change to happen.
Ty was someone who took me quite a while to warm up to her personality because I found her tough girl attitude to be abrasive. I get that she was raised on the streets and didn’t have any normalcy in her life but I never got a sense of who she was as a character. Ty never displayed any warmth or humor to make her endearing. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel sympathetic towards her at the end of Metaltown. I’m not going to give anything away, but I do wish that she had a happier ending.
I would have to say that Lina was my favorite character in Metaltown. Lina was the only character to have any real character development out of the three mc’s, she went from an heiress who was naive about the world around her to a fiercely independent person. Lina was the one who was the voice of reason for the workers, she was there to mediate between them and her family corporation. I liked her representation of a strong female character, she didn’t have to loose her feminism to be tough and I guess that was also another issue that I had with Ty. there are hints of a romance between Colin and her but don’t worry, it never becomes the sole focus of the novel.
The overall plot was very interesting, I’m not sure if I can comment on whether or not it’s similar to Newsies or Le Mis because I’ve never watched the musicals or movies ( it’s just too long, and all that singing *bleh*). I must say that it did take a long time for things to get interesting, it was definitely a slow start that had quite a few predictable twists. Metaltown isn’t one of those feel good, happy stories, but one to read if you’re in the mood for something hard-hitting with great characters and a fantastic story about friendships. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more from the author!
Thank you so much Tor Teen and the Irish Banana Blog tours for providing me with a physical copy for review. In compliance with FTC guidelines, I must state that I received this book for free and was in no way compensated for my review.
ABOUT KRISTEN SIMMONS:
Kristen Simmons is the author of the ARTICLE 5 series, THE GLASS ARROW, and the upcoming METALTOWN (Tor Teen). She loves her family, Jazzercise, and chocolate cupcakes. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio.
For more updates on Kristen and her writing, visit http://www.kristensimmonsbooks.com
3 Finished Copies of METALTOWN (US Only)