Publisher: Clarion Books
Release Date: August 25, 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.
**Thank you to HMH Books for Young Readers for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!**
First off, I'd like to say that I'm a huge fan of Cinderella. I was obsessed with her when I was younger, and to this day she is still my favorite princess. I will read absolutely any retelling about her, because I love the story so much! It's basically every child's dream.
Mechanica was a very original approach to retelling the story, which was something I absolutely adored. A steampunk version of Cinderella is just what this world needs. The book starts off with Nicolette finding her mother's workshop where she used to invent things, and then Nicolette decides to invent something herself. She decides she should do this for the Exposition.
I absolutely loved the side characters in this book. When Nicolette first goes to the market to try to sell her things, she meets Caro (short for Caroline) and Fin, both of whom actually live and work in the castle, which is pretty awesome. The three of them become good friends which is excellent because all Nicolette needs is a friend or two.
I honestly thing that this is one of the best retellings I've read, just because it was a retelling but in its own way where it wasn't completely similar. The world that Mechanica lived in was a completely different world than the actual Cinderella, as everything was so mechanical and steampunkish. It was literally so cool to read.
I'm currently waiting for Mechanica to become a movie directed by Tim Burton. In the meantime, you should all give it a read!