Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell ~ Review by Fallon

Mechanica by
Hardcover, 320 pages
Expected publication: August 25th 2015 
by Clarion Books
ISBN13: 9780547927718
Source: ARC from Publisher
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

Goodreads Description:

Nicolette’s awful stepsisters call her “Mechanica” to demean her, but the nickname fits: she learned to be an inventor at her mother’s knee. Her mom is gone now, though, and the Steps have turned her into a servant in her own home.

But on her sixteenth birthday, Nicolette discovers a secret workshop in the cellar and begins to dare to imagine a new life for herself. Could the mysterious books and tools hidden there—and the mechanical menagerie, led by a tiny metal horse named Jules—be the key to escaping her dreary existence? With a technological exposition and royal ball on the horizon, the timing might just be perfect for Nicolette to earn her freedom at last.

Gorgeous prose and themes of social justice and family shine in this richly imagined Cinderella retelling about an indomitable inventor who finds her prince . . . but realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale happy ending after all.

Fallon's Review:

Thank you to the Publisher for sending me an ARC for review of Mechanica. This in no way affects my opinion in my review.

Mechanica is a fresh twist on Cinderella. It was so nice to see a story that originally did not portray her as anything more then a dreamer. In Betsy Cornwell's take on Cinderella she portrays a girl who has been repressed but she has goals and a vision and drive of how her future will be.

Nicolette has lost both her parents just as the original story of Cinderella portrays and yes she has a not so nice Stepmother and Stepsisters but that is where the comparisons stop. Mechanica does not need a fairy godmother or a prince to save her. She has a heart of determination and a will of steel. 

This is a modern steampunk tale of a girl who makes her own happy ending. She experiences many obstacles along the way but Mechanica is a girl who does not wallow in her own pity. She is an inventor and her wheels are always turning. She does not run just because life is hard. She is determined to work hard and become who she wants to be.

At first thought the story was slow and a cliche but that stops at the beginning. This story is magical and enchanting at every turn. It is a Cinderella story I would want my children growing up on and loving. 

Mechanica is a story we need in 2015 and on and this story makes me want to forget the past and move forward with a heroine like this. I loved this magical tale. This was age appropriate for all teens and I think all children should add this to their collection. This is must read.

Buy Links:

Praise for Mechanica
☆ “A spunky mechanic stars as a steampunk Cinderella who doesn’t need rescuing . . . A smart, refreshing alternative to stale genre tropes.” —Kirkus, starred review

Mechanica has a thoroughly modern theme and teaches young readers to find their passion and become self-reliant.” —VOYA 4Q 4P M J S

“There’s no need of fairy godmothers in this feminist retelling of Cinderella . . . Fans of fairy-tale updates will find it easy to lose themselves in this bright, romantic story, whose hero shows she can not only have it all but also do it herself.” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers looking for an atypical fairy tale will find this refreshing because it relies less on traditional romance or happy endings, and more on living independently and unconventionally, loving freely, and being able to choose your own destiny.” —School Library Journal

About the Author
I wrote my first novel, TIDES, as a student at Smith College. After graduating from Smith and getting an MFA from Notre Dame, I moved to Ireland to live with the fairies.

My second novel, MECHANICA, a steampunk retelling of Cinderella, is coming in August 2015. A companion novel to TIDES, currently called COMPASS, is slated for early 2016.

I'm also the story editor for Parabola Magazine, a reader for Teen Ink Magazine, and a teacher at Johns Hopkins CTY. I keep dairy goats in Ireland and spend a lot of time hunting for wild hazelnuts.

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  1. Doubly excited now after reading your review. I have an e-arc from netgalley and I am definitely going to forgo what I am reading right now to begin this. Great review and awesome gifs :)

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex


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