Author: Betsy Cornwell
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Publication Date: August 4, 2015
Synopsis: 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.
OUR THOUGHTS: First, can we talk about how absoutely GORGEOUS the cover to Mechanica is! It's so well-detailed. The moon lit up and hanging in the background. The beautiful girl walking across the log made of cogs and gears and chains. The castle adorned in shadow and the dragonflies flying about. We can't stop looking at it!! If the cover isn't enough to just hook you in, the synopsis drives the NEED to read even deeper! Mechanica is a retelling of Cinderella but instead of the Disney princess acting as a locked up maid, we get a girl who is both forced maid and secretly an inventor of all things awesome. It's wonderful to discover a book where a girl will use BOTH her brains and her heart to make the choices for herself. The last bit of the synopsis: "But realizes she doesn't want a fairy tale ending after all" is what ultimately made us add this as a MUST read to our already growing TBR pile!! A fairy retelling where perhaps the girl chooses to go in a completely different direction of how she'll define happyily ever after, instead of with a prince, perhaps just with herself? YES! We are so there with girl power cheerleading!