Mechanica

Mechanica

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New York Times bestseller

☆ “A smart, refreshing alternative to stale genre tropes.” —Kirkus, starred review

Read an Excerpt

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. When she discovers a secret workshop in the cellar on her sixteenth birthday—and befriends Jules, a tiny magical metal horse—Nicolette starts to imagine a new life for herself. The timing may be perfect: there’s a technological exposition and a royal ball on the horizon. 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.

Praise for Mechanica:

YALSA Teens’ Top Ten nominee 2016

Amazon.com: Best Young Adult Books of 2015, Spotlight Pick for the Best Young Adult Books of August

USA Today Must-Read Romances of 2015

Amelia Bloomer Project 2016 official selection (American Library Association)

Bank Street Best Children’s Books of the Year

New York Times Children’s Best Sellers May 15, 2016

☆ “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

“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

“One of my top reads this year.” —The Amazon Book Review

“Betsy Cornwell twists Cinderella to her own unique take, and Mechanica will definitely please readers.”—USA Today

Mechanica is an enchantingly told tale, with gorgeous prose, wonderful characters and magical worldbuilding. It is deeply, unflinchingly feminist, and an absolute wonder to read. Go read it!” —Rhiannon Thomas, author of A Wicked Thing and Kingdom of Ashes

“Anything but another lifeless ‘Cinderella’ retelling . . . With a unique mix of steampunk and the maker movement, Mechanica introduces a smart, strong, talented heroine who may be able to find her prince, but doesn’t necessarily want to.” —BookPage

“This feminist fairy tale breathes new life into an old favorite.” —Bookish

“Combines a feminist Cinderella story with a beautiful steampunk world . . .This is a tale about Girl being her own fairy godmother, and the heights to which she can ascend because of it.” —Hypable

“A total feminist refresh of the Cinderella tale.” —Barnes & Noble TEEN

“Full of fantastic inventions, magic, and suspense – this story is captivating. YA fantasy meets steampunk in this inspired tale with plenty of heart.” — SciFiChick.com

“If you are a fan of fantasy or fairy tale retellings, you’ll love Mechanica.” — Miss Literati

“A well-developed story that is brimming with excitement and adventure . . . impressive by any standards.” — Creative Kids

“A tale of a kickass heroine who happens to be a genius, not so much a damsel in distress. With retellings of fairytales so much in fashion, this one steps it up a notch with the most feminist Cinderella yet!” — Her Campus

“Reminds me of all the other magical, mystical books that I’ve come to love — except with a lot of steampunk . . . It’s a great story about hardship and has a beautiful world full of magic.” — TeenReads

“5 out of 5 stars . . . absolutely enchanting and enjoyable. I normally do not go for Cinderella rewrites because the original fairy tale is so concentrated on having a prince come and do the rescuing, but this rewrite addresses and changes that in the best way possible . . . perfect for fans of Gail Carson Levine.” — Librarian on the Lake

“A multilayered gem . . . Of the array of YA “Cinderella” retellings available, this sparkling steampunk variation is easily one of the best.” The Castle Library

“This retelling of the Cinderella tale is remarkably fresh. The idea of a self-made heroine has been skillfully done before, and Betsy Cornwell further modernizes the story by breaking gender stereotypes, focusing on friendship rather than romance, and celebrating the wonders of technology.” — Children’s Book and Media Review

“I really loved this book . . . I will read it over and over again. I recommend it to fans of fairy tale retellings, fantasy, and anyone with a rebel heart.” —Books and Prejudice

Mechanica is an absolute dream, the spiritual successor to Ella Enchanted that we’ve all been waiting for.” —Sarcasm & Lemons

“One of the best retellings I’ve read.” —Downright Dystopian

“Inspiring and hopeful. Subtle feminist themes are everywhere . . . If you like steampunk elements combined with magic, a likable female main character and lovely depictions of friendship, I can’t recommend this book enough!” —The Fantastic Sheep

“This is one Cinderella retelling you definitely won’t want to miss.” —Hardcovers and Heroines

“[Betsy] writes with such charm, such heart that you can’t help but keep on reading . . . this may just be my favourite version of Cinderella ever.” —The YA Bookshelf

“This book is perfect.” —Compass Book Ratings