Tuesday, March 11, 2014

So, I've seen a few others doing early reviews for books pre-release by doing a less formal review and sorta just fangirling over the title prior to publication, which may be months away, depending on when they read the book. Jamie from The Perpetual Page-turner has a Save the Date feature, and Heather over at The Flyleaf Review showcases her pre-release thoughts in a Mark Your Calendars post. I have the same problem. I want to tell the world about some of the awesome books I read pre-publication, but I can't wait until just a few weeks before the release date to shout it from the rooftops.

My dilemma led me to an awesome -- if I do say so myself -- idea: Reviews in a GIFfy. I already sometimes post my reactions to a book via GIFs on Goodreads. (The one I did for World After was very well received.) But I wanted to make it a thing for those titles that I just can't wait until they appear on the ole reading schedule, and I wanted to share my reactions via GIF with all of you. Essentially, these are going to be GIF-only reviews to tide you -- and me! -- over until I can expand on my thoughts in a legitimate review closer to the book's release date.

The first book to get this treatment is Sarah Fine's Of Metal and Wishes, which is a Phantom of the Opera retelling of the highest caliber. I absolutely love Sarah's Guards of the Shadowlands series, and I was very excited to read Of Metal and Wishes, even when I knew little more about the book than that it featured a ghost and a slaughterhouse. But the book is soooo much more than that:

Title: Of Metal and Wishes
Author: Sarah Fine
Series: n/a at this time
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Publication Date: August 5, 2014
Source: received from publisher via Edelweiss
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Add to Goodreads
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.

I wasn't expecting to get the approval for Of Metal and Wishes, so when I received a copy for review from Simon & Schuster, there was a little flailing involved:

In the first five percent of the book, when I realized Wen was going to be feisty:

The writing was, well, it was like this:

And I wanted it to keep coming.

When Wen first lands eyes on the boy with the rust-colored hair and jade-colored eyes:

The closer Wen and Melik got:

Every time Melik uttered, "Wen always has medicine."

As I realized just how strained and tenuous the relationship between Wen and her father was and why:

Upon discovering the Ghost and his lair and stumbling upon things like this:

I kind of did this:

And though the Ghost seemed mostly harmless:

And the more Underboss Mugo intervenes in Wen's affairs, the more I felt like this:

On behalf of Wen:

As the social injustices and cultural differences became so much clearer and much more divisive:

The more I read of this beautiful story, the more I became entranced:

I simply couldn't stop reading, and when it was over:

This couldn't possibly be it. I needed more. More of these characters, more of this world, more beautiful words from the unbelievably talented Sarah Fine.

And then I got an email from the author.

In other words, stay tuned for a big announcement!!!

About the author:

I’m the author of the Guards of the Shadowlands urban fantasy series (Skyscape/Amazon Children’s Publishing), including Sanctum (October 2012) and Fractured (October 2013). My gothic young adult novel Of Metal and Wishes will be published by McElderry/Simon & Schuster in August 2014. In May 2014, Putnam/Penguin will publish Scan, the first of two thrillers I co-authored with Walter Jury under the name S. E. Fine. When I’m not writing, I’m psychologizing. Sometimes I do both at the same time. The results are unpredictable.

Find Sarah:

Website | Twitter | FacebookGoodreads | Tumblr


  1. Replies
    1. Hehe...I loved your note on my placeholder post. =)

  2. Oh man. I can't wait to read my copy now! Gifs tend to annoy me, but hey, sometimes, they can capture what it is you're trying to say without saying a lot.

    AWESOME. REVIEW. That is all.

  3. Reviews in a GIFfy. lol I love it! You got me curious about this one!

  4. I love the Gif and the whole idea behind this. I'm so excited for this book, I loved Sanctum and I cannot wait to see what other books she has ready to roll out!

  5. Aaaah, August is way too far away! I was intrigued by the premise already but even more so now!

  6. Well, I'm sold! I might just have to see if I can request this.

  7. awesome. I have this one but have not read it yet, I like to wait closer to the date, becuase of this reason..... love the review though. very awesome.

  8. OMG I LOVE THIS!!! This is brilliant. I think GIFs are the greatest things of ever. There's just SO much you can do with them, right? I looove this, especially if it becomes a regular feature. Anyway...*runs to goodreads*

  9. I don't have any idea how to operate gifs. Like the idea of finding one and putting it on my site is a great mystery. You are the master and will have to teach me one day. However, this post basically upped my already excited state for this book!!!

  10. thanks for the fun review!! Definitely caught my attention :) LOL... definitely putting this top of my want list!

  11. The writing was like wine LOL love it! And I'm glad that Wen is a feisty heroine - I'm a fan of feisty characters in general :D Great gif review! I love this idea but I am soooo not creative to come up with something like this lol

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  12. This is awesome! I have never seen a review done like this, so it was fun to read through it! It definitely makes me more excited about reading the book!

  13. I ADORE this new feature, Jen! SO AWESOME! :)

    I don't know if I'll get approved for this one, but I'm going to request it and give myself a chance! It just sounds too good to pass up the opportunity.

    Oh... you're making me ALL flaily about this one, Jen! I LIKE!

    Marlene @ The Flyleaf Review

  14. I absolutely agree that Reviews in a GIFFy is FABULOUS! I laughed my booty off from the first GIF to the very last one. Thank you for this, honestly. Sometimes, pictures say things that words cannot and these pictures definitely made me want to read this book even more!

  15. Oohh...I love this one too, Jen! The GIFfy--I still need to read the book and AGAIN you are making it very hard for me to wait a little--I'm going to end up reading this and The Kiss of Deception very soon, I can tell :) Great job, Jen!

  16. HOW DID I NOT KNOW THIS WAS A PHANTOM OF THE OPERA RETELLING! Probably because I automatically read anything Sarah Fine writes without question but I am a million times more excited now seeing as I am obsessed with Phantom of the Opera! Gah and seeing how much you loved it... can it be August?


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