Book Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Book Review: Mechanica by Betsy CornwellTitle:  Mechanica (Mechanica #1)
Series: Mechanica #1
Author: Betsy Cornwell
Publisher: Clarion
Genres: Sci-Fi, Young Adult Fiction
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Rating: four-stars
Series Rating: four-stars

Summary (from Goodreads):

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.

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❃ I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. ❃

Book Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell is a spectacular steampunk retelling of the story everyone knows and loves, Cinderella. Instead of happily ever after, however, Nicolette doesn’t need romance and cares more about her friends. She is a very caring character that brings positivity wherever she goes.

❀ A Cinderella Retelling

Mechanica is a retelling of Cinderella that tells the story of a young mechanic called Nicolette. It is also a steampunk, which I don’t read a lot. At first while reading this fantasy book, I was sensing some Cinder vibes, but as I got further into it, I realized that it is really nothing like it. I see many people comparing the two, but the only similarity between them is that they are both retellings of the same book that feature machines. Mechanica is all about a girl who is independent and doesn’t need a prince to make her happy. It’s kind of like a reverse Cinderella.

❀ Theme of Friendship

One of the big themes in Mechanica is friendship. Nicolette meets new friends while she is at the market and they do their best to help each other out. They help her gather supplies for her inventions and one of them writes really thoughtful letters to her frequently. I really enjoyed how there is not a lot romance, because Nicolette doesn’t seem like the kind of person who needs a relationship. Because of this, the book can focus more on her true friends and her epic inventions.

❀ Main Character is Enjoyable

I really liked Nicolette’s character in Mechanica. She is so selfless and offers to help pay for her friend’s mother’s medicine and doesn’t complain too much that she is used by her stepmother and stepsisters as a slave. Nicolette is also intelligent and capable of remaking her mother’s old machines and even remakes a tiny robot horse! I loved how Nicolette is so kind and appreciative for what she has, making her the opposite of her family.

❀ Highly Recommend

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell is an all new interpretation of Cinderella that focuses more on friends than romance. It has a compassionate main character who is a brilliant inventor. I definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys the classic Cinderella.

About Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell is the New York Times best-selling author of The Forest Queen, Mechanica, Venturess, and Tides. She graduated from Smith College and was a columnist and editor at Teen Ink before receiving an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame, where she also taught fiction. She now lives in Ireland with her family.

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About The Candid Cover

Olivia ❀ YA book blogger, Starbucks lover, novice New Yorker, & professional bibliophile.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

  1. Jaime Lynn says:

    I haven’t read Cinder yet, so maybe I need to jump on the Mechanica bandwagon before I do! That way, there will be nothing for me to compare it to, other than the original story! This sounds so good, and I am looking forward to checking it out. And seeing the cover in person!

  2. Ginger betty says:

    Ooo i’m glad i read this review. I was slightly put off by the fct that it was steam punk but after seeing that its a retelling of cinderella i think i’ll give it a try!

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