Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading: Metaltown

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Just Finished Reading: Metaltown

Metaltown 
by Kristen Simmons

Published on September 20, 2016
by Tor Teen

Source: eARC for review

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.

My take: Way back when, I read Kristen Simmons Article 5. I just looked up my review, which said (tl;tr) loved the story world; didn't love the characters and their romance.

Well, déjà vu all over again.  On the positive side, I thought the story world in Metaltown was really well-crafted. I'm not sure if this book is supposed to be alt-history or sort of dystopian-futuristic, but it takes place in a bleak, gritty world that feels turn-of-the-century industrial and post-apocalyptic all at once. Food and clean water are scarce, people are hungry, a lot of kids have been orphaned, and the poor work long hours in unsafe conditions. There's a war raging and one of the main employers is a huge weapons factory.

Metaltown is told from the points of view of three characters: Colin, a boy who works on the factory line, his (female) friend Ty, and Lena, the daughter of the owner of the weapons factory. The characters were a bit of sticking point for me. I never really warmed up to either Colin or Lena, and thus wasn't all that enthralled by their slow-burn, rich girl/poor boy romance. I really liked Ty, but as soon as Colin went all googly-eyed over Lena, poor Ty was kind of left on her own and ... let's just say that wasn't very good.

Does this book have a love triangle? Not technically, but I didn't love the triangular dynamic of the supposedly nice guy who all but ditches his loyal female friend to chase around after another girl. It wasn't exactly a love triangle, but it did feel to me that one character gets unceremoniously shoved out in the cold. So I couldn't really like Colin because of his crappy treatment of my fave character, Ty. The book tried very hard to make me like Lena, with her mean father and abusive brother, and did  succeed in making me feel sorry for her, but that was it. For whatever reason I just didn't connect to her, which is surprising, because since my childhood obsession with A Little Princess I have had a fierce and secret love for poor little rich girl characters.

If you like gritty, industrial settings, you should definitely try at least a few chapters of Metaltown, which will give you a good feel for the characters -- then you can decide for yourself!

10 comments:

  1. I hate love triangles more than anything. Although it sounds a little different this one hasn't grabbed my interest. You did a fabulous review as always :)

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    1. It's not really a love triangle, but it gave me that same kind of sad reading-a-triangle feeling, if you know what I mean...

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  2. You didn't like the romance in Article 5? I only read the first one, but I remember liking both leads. I just got Metaltown earlier this week and I'm super excited, I could tell that the world building was going to be excellent. I went to a book signing with Kristen and she said she drew her inspiration from Les Mis and Newsies so I can't wait to see those two come together!

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    1. I didn't really connect to the characters in Article 5. And I've never seen Les Mis or Newsies, but I did love the story world. Hope the characters are more of a fit for you!

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  3. She seems to have a knack for great world building. But I would have to agree with you on the romance department. Let's just say you'll seldom see her characters voted as the world's OTP. Lol.

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    1. I agree! But Amber Elise didn't. So I guess there's some debate :)

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  4. I've not read this author before. Been looking at this book.

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  5. It's been soooo long since I've read a dystopian novel. I was totally burned out. This doesn't' sound like a true love triangle so I could probably get past that but not liking the lead character is a problem.

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Well, the not liking the characters could just be me...

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