3.61 (4,609 ratings by Goodreads)
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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 pushed her into a life of dreary servitude. 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. And the timing may be perfect: There's a technological exposition and a royal ball on the horizon. Determined to invent her own happily-ever-after, Mechanica seeks to wow the prince and eager entrepreneurs alike.
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 104 x 201 x 27.18mm | 435.45g
  • Clarion Books
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • 0547927711
  • 9780547927718
  • 316,578

Review quote

"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 "If you are a fan of fantasy or fairy tale retellings, you'll love Mechanica."
-- Miss Literati "Combines a feminist Cinderella story with a beautiful steampunk world."
--Hypable "Betsy Cornwell twists Cinderella to her own unique take, and Mechanica will definitely please readers."
--USA Today "Cornwell creates a diverting plot starring a unique cast of characters."
--RT Book Reviews "Sure to appeal to fans of Marissa Meyer's Lunar Chronicles. . . With a strong focus on making your dreams happen no matter what, this feminist fairy tale breathes new life into an old favorite."
--Bookish * "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 "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 "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 who can't get enough of the growing steampunk trend will happily pick this up."'
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About Betsy Cornwell

Betsy Cornwell is the author of the YA novel Tides, which SLJ called "a nuanced debut" and "an insightful and compelling work." She graduated from Smith College and was a columnist and editor at Teen Ink before receiving an MFA in creative writing from Notre Dame, where she also taught fiction. She lives in Ireland. Visit her website at
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Rating details

4,609 ratings
3.61 out of 5 stars
5 22% (1,034)
4 34% (1,568)
3 29% (1,320)
2 12% (532)
1 3% (155)
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