OF METAL AND WISHES by Sarah Fine
Synopsis: There are rumors that there is a ghost who haunts the slaughterhouse where Wen’s father works. Not superstitious, Wen challenges the ghost to show his power. Oh, and he does, brutally. Guilt-ridden, Wen befriends the Noor (cheap factory labor) boy who embarrassed her and is lured into the mystery of the Noor men–one in particular. Deadly disturbances are occurring all around Wen and she must determine whom she can trust; the ghost who promised to protect her? Or the Noor men who have always been seen as nothing more than barbarians?
If I believed in the devil, I’d give him credit for the shift whistle at the Gochan One factory.
Favorite Lines: (There will be a lot. This book was beautifully heartbreaking.)
Instead of embroidering silk, I embroider skin.
I actually don’t mind that part. – page 2
We probably all have metal shavings embedded in our lungs. If you cut us open, we’ll sparkle in the light. – page 6
“I…I’m sorry, but wouldn’t you like to be somewhere else? This is not a good place, and I would think there might be some other, nicer place for you.” I recall someone at the funeral saying my mother was in a better place. I certainly hope this isn’t as good as it gets. – page 43
She doesn’t charge much, just a single tin coin per prayer, but it is a cost to those who can barely make ends meet. Even hope costs something, I suppose. – page 60
I could get addicted to the way this strange Noor boy is looking at me. It is curious and wondering and warm, like spring. – page 70
“Wen always has medicine.” – page 90
It’s like he’s taken off a mask, or maybe put one on, I don’t know. This Melik is a man, a warrior, a soul that could never be crushed. Now I see what could be possible if the Noor were pushed too far. They are not weak, not passive. It’s only a hint, a glimpse, but there’s fire here. – page 110
His voice is less hoarse now, like our conversation has been the oil it needed to run smoothly. – page 142
“Sleep well, Wen,” the Ghost says. I like how he says my name, low and heavy, like it carries weight. – page 143
Melik is too beautiful to be ruined, too strong to be torn apart, and I need him to go on and on, because that’s just what seems right. – page 158
He catches my hand as soon as my thumb brushes his skin. He gives it the lightest of tugs, but I move like I’m water, like I’m light as air. – page 182
Soft, desperate words are whispered against my skin, and even though I don’t understand them, I think I can translate. You are alive. You are here. You are mine. – page 222
I see him, the parts that are whole and the parts that are shattered. He is human, he is a boy, he is evil and good fused together. My Ghost. My rescuer. My enemy, my friend. – page 298
The only one I look at is Bo. I focus on his deep brown eye, the one full of secrets I will never learn, the one that belongs to a boy who built an entire world where we could play together, where neither of us could ever be lonely. – page 307
Review (My thoughts):
First of all, let me just say I’d read Sarah Fine’s grocery lists. #superfan. Also, the cover of this book is magnificent and the title…. ugh. I just love books. Anyway, I loved this story. Wen is a quiet girl, mousy and knows her place. She just suffered the loss of her mother to cancer, and had to move with her father to a Gochan One–a factory where the workers slaughter animals. Her father is a doctor and she helps at the clinic with him. In the factory there is a supposed ghost. Factory workers and people from Gochan One write prayers to him on little slips of paper and pray to him for their wishes to be answered. It is a busy season, where Gochan One needs to hire outside workers to complete their jobs, and the Noor are hired. The Noor are the less fortunate. Most of the people who live in Gochan One and the surrounding areas regard them as barbaric and rude. Basically, everyone thinks they aren’t nice people. Naturally, they are judged harshly and forced to live in unsanitary dorms while working. One of the Noor lifts Wen’s dress at lunch time as a joke and then all hell breaks loose. Wen is embarrassed and prays to the ghost to reveal himself to her. She challenges the ghost to show his power. If everyone was so afraid of this ghost, what could he really do?
Well, Wen certainly finds out.
OF METAL AND WISHES is a breathtakingly heartbreaking and beautiful all at the same time. Wen started out as quiet and unassuming. She was so mousy and afraid that it pissed me off at moments. But when she started to assert herself I literally found myself going, “That’s right, Wen!” at times LOL. The character development is spectacular and the way everything weaves together is spot on.
I am in love with this book and I can’t wait for the sequel later on in the year. I have never been a fan of romances, but this was so beautifully done it was hard for me to walk away from it.
Read it. Read it right now. (I’m not kidding.)