Metaltown by Kristen Simmons
Author: Kristen Simmons
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction>Dystopia
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 20, 2016
Goodreads Synopsis: 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.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
REVIEW: I wasn’t sure how I felt about Metaltown at first look, with a world that left many in hunger and diseases that left many dead, several of them young children. But, as I kept reading, I was drawn in by this world that was made of mostly factories and food deprived villages. It isn’t that I am fond of dystopian reads and find those circumstances fascinating, its what the characters make of their time in a world where nothing seems to be right anymore. Their quick change from child to adult in only a few years.
“She glanced his way, noticing the changes in him. Metaltown had made him hard. His sky blue eyes had turned to steel, and his dark, shaggy hair had been shorn close to the skull to cut the heat inside the plant. Hands used to writing facts and figures had grown strong and calloused, and he had muscles, too, beneath those baggy clothes.
Ty and Colin are both just trying to survive and keep going in this place that feels pointless, but even like that they keep moving on, living day by day. I loved how Ty kept strong and didn’t just allow herself to be looked down by anyone, did her best to be taken in as an equal and not just another girl who was going to end up on the streets selling herself for a little piece of what the world had left to offer. Colin had his mind set as well, but his way of seeing things and going about it differed drastically from Ty’s perspective and at times it drove me just as crazy as it did her.
“When Jed got to the bottom of the pile, he pulled two bills out and handed them back to Colin. ‘For your troubles,’ he said, smiling. ‘You could use some new trousers, looks like. A sweater, too. It’s cold outside.’ Ty swallowed. She willed Colin not to take it– owing money to the wrong sort was worse than being poor– but what choice did he have?”
I could feel right from the start that Jed was going to be a character to watch out for. Along with Lena’s dad and brother. There was a great balance in Metaltown between the strong and loved characters and the vile, uncaring ones that just made me want to jump in the pages and slap the idiocy out of some, and join the pursuits of others. And yes, those at the top may be very well knowledgeable, by the new world standards, but their personas are complete jerky cretins, just as many of those in power now.
But back to Lena, I very much liked how her character was added into this novel, showing that even when money is involved in these kind of places, it is not always for the best. At least not for girls like her, with a father and brother who make sure to hurt her physically and mentally, at any moment they feel like.
“You’re still so fragile,’ he said. He undid the latch, and in a quick move, grabbed the bird, holding it firmly in his hand. The brush fell from Lena’s hand with a clatter, and she quickly righted it. Forcing herself to be calm, she crossed the room to where her father stood, a serene look on his face. Softly, he stroked the bird’s belly while its head twitched side to side. A sob rose in her throat. ‘Do you have what it takes to be a Hampton, Lena?”
I liked how all of their lives intertwined and the drive the main characters had in making those at the tops learn that the world couldn’t continue to stay the same and these young characters wouldn’t live their lives in vain anymore. Though I may not be the biggest fan of the love story in Metaltown, it still added a nice touch to things and showed that everything is not always just pain and disillusioned dreams. And the way they all chose to press back, made this read that much better.