My Rating: 3.5 Stars
Written by: Betsy Cornwell
Age Range: 12 and up
Grade Level: 7 and up
Page Count: 320 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books
Publication Date: August 25, 2015
Genre: Children's Fiction
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.
Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell
Mechanica is a blending of a Cinderellish based story with a steampunk and feminist twist.
Nicolette is orphaned and left at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and stepsisters. They treat her as a servant, hence the Cinderellish I spoke of above. But even with all their cruelity, Nicolette thrives in her ability with mechanics and once she discovers her mother’s secret “workroom” she finds a way out of her desperate situation…by selling her creations.
What I really appreciated about this story:
Nicolette doesn’t want to be saved by a prince, she wants to save herself.
Nicolette discovers and develops a strong female friendship.
The potential for this plot was strong but it never truly climaxes. It was more like a daily, detailed journal telling of Nicolette’s independence with lots of side bars that never seem to go anywhere.
I liked this story but in the end it was just that I liked it. 3.5 stars.
I received this ARC copy of Mechanica from Clarion Books in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication August 25, 2015.