Review of Mechanica by Betsy Cornwell

by Betsy Cornwell
Release Date: August 25th 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

My Rating:

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.

My Thoughts:
I love retellings so I was very eager to read Mechanica (and that cover!) and overall I did enjoy it. I loved that Cornwell took the classic Cinderella story and added some feminism. Nicolette- Nick for short- was a strong character that had mechanical skills like her mother before her. I thought that her mechanisms were interesting and for the most part easy to visualize. Jules, the mechanical horse her mother created, was adorable and he was my favorite character in the story….until View Spoiler »

Mechanica didn’t revolve around the romance but when the romantic elements were present they weren’t my favorite. There was some insta-love but it did help that the character was aware that they were feeling things a little quickly. The idea of being in love with the idea of someone rather than their true self was present and was a believable approach since that happens often in life. I never felt any chemistry between the characters. Not one little bit. The scenes felt pretty typical for the most part and were less swoony and more annoying.

As I mentioned above, Nick was a strong character and I loved that she was set on helping herself and creating a new life with her mechanical skills. She had a goal and worked towards it even with many obstacles standing in her way. I thought that was a great twist to the Cinderella story. No prince needed to save her. The only issue was that somehow it all fell flat regardless? I’m not sure exactly how or why but there were parts of the book that felt slower and yet the ending sequence felt rushed. Things sort of fell into place and were a tad too easy.

Final Thoughts:
Though the idea behind Mechanica was strong the execution fell flat for me. Nick was a strong character though not overly relatable and I never did feel chemistry between any of the characters. I wanted to have an emotional investment into Nick’s story but I never did. I though the mechanical elements added a great deal to the story and like I said it was based on a great twist to the typical Cinderella story.

My March TBR Pile

February was one heck of a month. A lot of bad happened and some good too…March hasn’t started off that much better but I’m optimistic it will improve. I have really enjoyed the books I’ve been reading. This month has a great selection and I’m really excited to escape reality into these books. Here’s a look at the month…

Pile of Books


This is a rather small pile but I’m not wanting to feel stress these days. I’ve been reading at a slower pace so figured this was manageable. I think I’ll begin with Magonia. I’m so exciting and hope it lives up to my expectations. Have you read it yet?

Upcoming Posts for March

  • March 3- Blog Tour for A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
  • March 5- Blog Tour for The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  • March 10- Interview with Lauren DeStefano
  • Reviews for Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver, Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castellucci, The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows and more.

Stacking the Shelves

This week was  a big week in book mail. I’m going to be lazy and not do all the links (sorry not sorry). Hopefully you can read the title and author. If not let me know and I’ll provide it in the comments.

Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews is a weekly meme where you show what books you’ve purchased, gotten from the library, received from giveaway, as gifts or for review.

For Review (solicited):

LionHeart MechanicaBlackout BecomingJinn Velvet VanishingGirls

For Review (unsolicited):

TheWinterWitch TheMidnightWitch RabbitBack


Silvern NOVLbox

I’ve been having some good luck with giveaways lately! I won Silvern from Christina Farley from her site (along with a pre-order) and the December NOVL Box curated by Holly Black.



I purchased from Books of Wonder so I got a signed copy. I ordered this prior to knowing I would make it to the event so I have two signed copies…that means I’ll be doing a giveaway soon.

Posts from Last Week:

  • Giveaway for my ARC of The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord
  • Review of Unmade (Entangled #2) by Amy Rose Capetta  star
  • Blog Tour for The Mime Order– Review + Giveaway   star
  • Review of Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard  star
  • Blog Tour for Tuck Everlasting– Discussion

Upcoming Posts:

  • Lego Cover Art- I’m creating my first cover by myself (cough-ACOTAR-cough). I’m almost finished so it should publish on Sunday. The Lego Cover for Ensnared is still in the works and should be finished soon. Hopefully this month.
  • I’ll be participating in Valentine Blog Hop next month
  • Interview with Melinda Salisbury author of The Sin Eater’s Daughter in early February
  • Blog Tour for Dove Arising by Karen Bao in late February

I’ve got three other interviews in the works so look forward to those as well.


click on image to go to giveaway

MimeOrderBlogTourbutton TheStartofMeandYou

How was your week?