Friday, September 11, 2015

Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

Title: Mechanica
Author: Betsy Cornwell
Length: 304 pages
Publisher: Clarion Books
Classification: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling, Science Fiction, Steampunk, Fantasy
Release Date: August 25, 2015
Source: e-galley via NetGalley (Thank you HMH Books!)
Read: August 2015
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 an e-galley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

I LOVE fairy tale retellings. So I was very excited when I first found about about Mechanica! A Cinderella retelling where the main character is an inventor! I became instantly interested and knew it was a story that I needed to read. 

I think that Mechanica is an interesting and unique retelling of Cinderella. I found it to be quite different from other retellings that I have read. But unfortunately I didn't fall in love with the story or the characters. But overall, I did enjoy reading it.

On Nicolette's sixteenth birthday she finds a letter that was slipped under her door. A letter that was written by her deceased mother, telling her where and how to find her mother's workshop. A workshop that Nicolette once believed had been completely destroyed by a fire. Nicolette is astonished and very excited by what she discovers. A place to escape from her step-family. A place with devices that help her complete her chores. As well as, a place where she can create her own inventions. This workshop gives Nicolette a chance to save herself and finally get away from her step-family.

I enjoyed that Mechanica has some of the similarities to Cinderella that I know. But at the same time it is a different story. I found it very interesting that there are Faeries in this retelling. Some Faeries that are not exactly like a Fairy God Mother. Not all of the Faeries are evil, but there are some that are. I was left wishing I knew a bit more about the Faeries and their magic. 

Overall, I liked parts of the story. There were times when I thought the story was a bit repetitive. And it felt like not a lot was happening. I did find myself skimming through parts. The story felt slow-paced and sometimes I had a hard time staying completely focused on what I was reading.

I did really like Nicolette as a character. She is smart and loves to read. I love that she is trying to make things better for herself and wants to be the one to get her freedom. It was easy for me to care about her. The way she is treated by her step-family really broke my heart. I really enjoyed her interactions with the mechanical animals and insects. 

I also really liked the friendship between her and Caro. I also couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen between her and Fin. I liked that she was able to figure out that it is okay to get help sometimes from those that care about you. 

My Recommendation:

Overall, I did enjoy reading this retelling of Cinderella. It is definitely different from other retellings I have read. And I was really surprised by the ending. I liked the characters and the plot of the story. Though there were some things that I liked, the story dragged at times and I found myself skimming some of the descriptive sections. I also felt like there were times where I was waiting for more to happen. If you really enjoy reading retellings that are different from what you thought they would be, you can give this one a try. I didn't fall in love with Mechanica but I did like it.

My Rating: 

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