Thursday, July 31, 2014

Kaniesha Reviews: Of Metal and Wishes ARC by Sarah Fine

Title: Of Metal and Wishes
Series: Of Metal and Wishes #1
Author: Sarah Fine
Release date: August 5, 2014
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: gothic, retelling, supernatural
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There are whispers of a ghost in the slaughterhouse where sixteen-year-old Wen assists her father in his medical clinic—a ghost who grants wishes to those who need them most. When one of the Noor, men hired as cheap factory labor, humiliates Wen, she makes an impulsive wish of her own, and the Ghost grants it. Brutally.

Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor, including their outspoken leader, a young man named Melik. At the same time, she is lured by the mystery of the Ghost and learns he has been watching her … for a very long time.

As deadly accidents fuel tensions within the factory, Wen must confront her growing feelings for Melik, who is enraged at the sadistic factory bosses and the prejudice faced by his people at the hand of Wen’s, and her need to appease the Ghost, who is determined to protect her against any threat—real or imagined. She must decide whom she can trust, because as her heart is torn, the factory is exploding around her … and she might go down with it.

Review: I received Of Metal and Wishes from Edelweiss for review! Thank you!
Of Metal and Wishes is such a complex and compelling book, I know for certain that I can’t capture everything important from it for this review.

Of Metal and Wishes is a classic retelling (Not going to tell you guys which! You can google if you want to know!) of a girl named Wren, who has recently moved to a slaughterhouse to live with her father, who lives in and runs the clinic. Everything is more or less fine until the Noor, a “lower class” race of people are brought in to run the slaughterhouse at very low wages. They are basically slaves and the racism in this book is prominent and evergoing.

* I’m not going to tell you guys which retelling it is because I found out myself about halfway through the book and it sort of spoiled it for me!

Because Wren is new to the slaughterhouse and had previously been able to wear her very pretty (and attention grabbing) dresses at will, she continues to wear them. But then she is unfortunately, sexually harassed by one of the Noor boys during their first day at the slaughterhouse. Due to this, Wren goes to the slaughterhouse’s ghost’s shrine and makes a wish against the boy. Here on, the book is filled with a majority of pain, mystery and suffering. (I realize that pain and suffering are more or less the same but you’ll see, you’ll know what I’m talking about when you read it.) Not to mention the racism, sexism, slut shaming and blatant rape culture.

It’s a very problematic book and I’m honestly not sure how to feel about how they were handled in the end. If you think of it as just fiction, it’s alright. If you think about the impressionable teen minds that will read the book, it’s not as alright. I think there could have been better lessons about these things but there weren’t so I’ll move on. I'm just adamantly against any forms of prejudice, that this book was hard for me to read a majority of the time.

Wren is a lot different than YA protagonists I’ve personally read about: she is quiet, submissive and the type to run away from a fight rather than stand up for herself. These qualities do not make her a bad character at all, they actually contribute to the story quite a bit. Instead of an action-packed story about fighting for change or to take over, we’re given a story about a girl just trying to survive and receive love. Whether that love is with her family, with a boy, with her friends, with a ghost. (Though I may be misleading you, because finding love is not one of her goals, it just happens).

But the reason I love this book so much (yes, it is the boy): Melik! Melik is honestly your typical let’s-treat-everyone-fairly, I-treat-everyone-well-even-though-I-am-treated-like-dirt type. I like it though, because he’s multidimensional and he will mess you up if you mess with someone he cares about. He is not above letting his anger control him, which is very intriguing for his normal demeanor.

The relationships in this book all felt genuine to me, especially because Wren had known most of these people for a month tops and was meeting quite a few a day or two into the story. The relationship and character growth were all natural and fun to read. (Again: fun is a loose term if you compare it to all the misery.)

To put it simply: Of Metal and Wishes is a sad, agonizing story destined for heartbreak and death but I loved every minute of it.

Rating: 5 stars

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